Comparing online with offline citizen engagement for climate change: Findings from Austria, Germany and Spain

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Tipus d'obra: Article (academic)

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e-Democracy

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The aim of this paper is to study the expectations of environmental senior managers, as experts in this field, about the effect of e-participation in the fight against climate change. Their experiences in, and the fulfillment of their expectations about, citizen participation in local government environmental programs have been analyzed through different questionnaires in order to answer the following research questions. What effects can be expected from citizen participation in environmental programs? What conditions are necessary for, and what barriers are there to, successful participation processes? Is e-participation more effective than traditional citizen participation? The results confirm that e-participation is only an enabler of citizen engagement in participation processes, but it does not overcome all the barriers to these processes. The success of citizen participation cannot be guaranteed merely by introducing ICTs. The integration of e-participation with traditional offline tools for citizen participation is needed.