Examining e-democracy through a double structuration loop
Work data:ISSN: 1740-7508
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | e-Government | Sociology
This paper develops a structurational framework for examining e-democracy. This framework draws on the Giddens structuration theory, Owanda Orlikowski's Structurational Model of Technology (SMT) and her technology-practice lens, to bring into focus democratic practices facilitated by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). An examination of social practices mediated by technology assists in uncovering the underlying structures that enable and constrain actors in democratic engagement. The framework ties together the technology-shaping process and technology-use process, that both act on each other to shape the emergent role of e-democracy. It sensitises researchers to the dialectic interaction of institutional mediation structures, technology mediation structures and human agency. In particular, this framework draws attention to 11 key social structures and agency issues that need to be explored by researchers for building a deeper understanding of how the role of e-democracy is enacted and its impacts moderated in the democratic process. This paper argues that this framework provides a useful lens for analysing social issues surrounding e-democracy.