Co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science. In this talk Dr. Gibson uses original survey data from the 2010 UK election to address the question of defining and measuring e-participation. Despite over a decades’ worth of research being conducted into the topic of e-participation, a clear and commonly accepted definition of the activity itself remains elusive. The talk will focus on ways in which e-participation has been studied both conceptually and empirically, drawing on the extensive literature that has examined offline participation. Is e-participation simply an extension of existing forms, differing only in mode? Or does it offer a new and qualitatively different form of political engagement. After developing a typology of e-participation we test it using confirmatory factor analysis. The results indicate that different forms of e-participation can be identified and that they have potentially different implications for mobilisation of citizens.
Rachel Gibson is a Professor of Political Science at the Institute for Social Change at the University of Manchester.