Legally Non-Binding Citizen Consultation via Internet An End in Itself or One Step Closer to the Democratic Ideal

Theresa Witt

Résumé

[extract] Researchers need to find and agree on terms and definitions to describe and discuss scientific observations. If new research is done on established topics, however, it may be enough to alter the understanding of already existing concepts, to broaden definitions and modify scientific terms respectively to link them with new levels of meaning.

Online participation is an excellent example for such an approach, since many (offline) principles have been equipped with the prefix “e” for “electronic”: e-participation, e-government and e-democracy are the most discussed concepts 2.0. This field of research involves scholars from many different disciplines, such as political science, law, sociology as well as communication studies, information science and economics. Therefore, it is all the more important to distinguish carefully between different terms, concepts and research perspectives, especially, if the terms are closely related to one another

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