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Citizen Consultation from Above and Below : The Australian Perspective

Bruns, Axel & Wilson, Jason (2009) Citizen Consultation from Above and Below : The Australian Perspective. In Prosser, Alexander & Parycek, Peter (Eds.) EDEM 2009 - Conference on Electronic Democracy 2009, 7/8 Sep. 2009, Vienna.

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Abstract

In Australia, a range of Federal Government services have been provided online for some time, but direct, online citizen consultation and involvement in processes of governance is relatively new. Moves towards more extensive citizen involvement in legislative processes are now being driven in a “top-down” fashion by government agencies, or in a “bottom-up” manner by individuals and third-sector organisations. This chapter focusses on one example from each of these categories, as well as discussing the presence of individual politicians in online social networking spaces. It argues that only a combination of these approaches can achieve effective consultation between citizens and policymakers. Existing at a remove from government sites and the frameworks for public communication which govern them, bottom-up consultation tools may provide a better chance for functioning, self-organising user communities to emerge, but they are also more easily ignored by governments not directly involved in their running. Top-down consultation tools, on the other hand, may seem to provide a more direct line of communication to relevant government officials, but for that reason are also more likely to be swamped by users who wish simply to register their dissent rather than engage in discussion. The challenge for governments, politicians, and user communities alike is to develop spaces in which productive and undisrupted exchanges between citizens and policymakers can take place.

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ID Code: 27368
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: citizen, consultation, government, Australia, social media
ISBN: 9783854032519
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Australian Government and Politics (160601)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [consult the author]
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2009 11:04
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2010 00:00

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