The Genre System Lens on E-Democracy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPaivarinta, T., & Sæbø, Ø. (2008). The Genre System Lens on E-Democracy. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 20(2), 51-82.
E-Democracy aims at enhancing citizen involvement in societal communication and decision making. However, the very ideals of democracy vary while reports of e-democracy in use have often left them undiscussed. Moreover, theoretical works on the potential of information technology (IT) for democratization have often viewed IT as a “black box”, and assumed that technology should create an impact as such. Hence, there is a dearth of research on the interplay between models of e-democracy and actual IT artefacts in use. We suggest and elaborate an analytical framework, which combines the genre system lens of organizational communication and contemporary e-democracy models. The framework adheres to the ensemble view of IT artefacts. We illustrate use of the framework through a retrospective analysis of four e-democracy applications. The framework reveals similarities and differences between particular e-democracy contexts and applications, which can now be more concretely discussed at the level of genre systems and their constituent genres. Such analytical dimensions as malleability, genre compatibility, and density of genre systems may give insight for further research and knowledge accumulation on e-democracy.
Published version of an article published in Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 20 (2), 51-82. Also available from the publisher at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/sjis/vol20/iss2/3