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Title: The Interplay between Digital and Political Divides: The Case of e-Petitioning in Taiwan
Authors: 黃東益
Lee, Chungpin;Chen,Don-yun;Huang,Tong-yi
Contributors: 公行系
Keywords: political participation;mobilization of bias;political divide;digital divide;ICTs;Citizens’ petitions
Date: 2014.02
Issue Date: 2014-10-16 17:01:26 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Political scientists have long been aware of the problem of unequal participation in democratic politics, the phenomenon we can call “political divide.” The emergence of information and communication technologies over recent years has sparked a discussion on whether this long-standing political divide can now be resolved by “e-democracy.” This study aims to answer two questions: (i) Can e-democracy, specifically e-petitions, attract traditional nonparticipants to participate in public affairs? (ii) In the context of promoting e-petitions, can “digital divide” alleviate the problem of “political divide?” The data used in this study were collected from a national poll on citizen experience of and willingness to participate in the petitioning for referendum. The results indicate that those who recall participating in paper petitions tended to be older, less educated, and with stronger party identification. Also, our results reveal that these people who can be effectively mobilized by traditional social networks are mostly, in fact, the “digital have-nots.” Furthermore, regarding the potential participants in e-petitions, we find that those “digital haves,” who had not been mobilized in previous paper-based petition sessions, were more likely to participate in e-petitions if they are implemented in the future. The results demonstrate the existence of a possible negative correlation between the political and the digital divide. This suggests that e-democracy might be potentially beneficial to alleviate the long worried negative effects of the political divide in democratic polity.
Relation: Social Science Computer Review, 32(1), 37-55
Data Type: article
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Appears in Collections:[公共行政學系] 期刊論文

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