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CSC Policy Paper Series 06 2010 Government 20 Beta Phase English

CSC Policy Paper Series 06 2010 Government 20 Beta Phase English

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Published by erikjonker
A ANALYSIS OF ePARTICIPATION AND
WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS OF GERMANY'S
50 LARGEST CITIES AND 1 6 FEDERAL
STATES
A ANALYSIS OF ePARTICIPATION AND
WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS OF GERMANY'S
50 LARGEST CITIES AND 1 6 FEDERAL
STATES

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Published by: erikjonker on Jul 28, 2010
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09/15/2010

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GOVERNMENT2.0    INBETAPHASE     
 AANALYSISOFePARTICIPATIONAND     WEB2.0APPLICATIONSOFGERMANY'S     50LARGESTCITIESAND16FEDERAL    STATES     
 
 SCHELLONG / GIRRGER – GOVERNMENT 2.0 IN BETA PHASE1CSC © 2010
Public Sector Study Series 06/2010
GOVERNMENT 2.0 IN BETA PHASE
An Analysis of eParticipation and Web 2.0 Applications of Germany’s 50 largestCities and 16 Federal States
Alexander Schellong Philipp Girrger
After years of sluggish progress, eParticipation is increasingly being prioritized by German and international policy makers. Web 2.0 applications are supposed to facilitate the citizen-government interaction. Following a web-based data collection of web-portals, eParticipation offerings and use of Web 2.0 applications in Germany’s 50 largest cities and 16 federal states in the areas of urban planning, budgetary planning, complaints/suggestions and citizen services within a four-step policy cycle were analyzed. The results underline that informational integration of citizens in government outweighs consultative approaches. Therefore, this study concludes that—for the 66 cases studied— German Government 2.0 activities are still in beta phase.
Introduction
For two decades the potential of eParticipation has been outlined in numerous publicationson eDemocracy.
1
Unfortunately, eDemocracy remains nothing more than a rhetoricalpromise.
2
Nevertheless, recent years have seen greater momentum on the policy-level. 
3
The OpenGovernment Agenda
4
of the Obama Administration, the Malmoe Declaration
5
on the jointeGovernment strategy until 2015 ratified by the EU Member States
6
, or the Germangovernment program E-Government 2.0
7
prioritize citizen participation in government andpolitics. Moving towards the network society
8
Frequently, two terms are being applied in this context: Government 2.0 and Web 2.0(applications). The term Government 2.0 is understood two-fold. It either describes a visionof a new form of governance, engaging with constituents is understood as acritical element of political legitimacy.
9
and citizen-government interaction (e.g. as outlined in theMalmoe declaration) or the use of Web 2.0 applications
 
The authors Dr. Alexander Schellong and Philipp Girrger would like to thank their colleagues Marion Koch,Dominique Abessouguie, Stephan Bauers, Andreas Messler, Nebojsa Radojevic, Christoph Stephan and RalfZiegler.
1
Peri 6 (2001); Grönlund (2002); OECD (2003)
2
Mahrer & Krimmer (2005); United Nations (2005)
3
OECD (2008)
4
www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_2010/m10-06.pdf
5
www.egov2009.se/wp-content/uploads/Ministerial-Declaration-on-eGovernment.pdf
6
European Commission (2009): 25; The number of EU Member states with a defined eParticipation policy hasrisen from 5 in 2005 to over 25 in 2009
7
Federal Ministry of the Interior (2009); (2008)
8
Schellong/Müller (2010)
9
Müller (2010)
10
Osimo, D. (2008); Punie/Misuraca/Osimo (2009); Nabatchi, T./Mergel, I. (2010)
 
. The latter for example beingblogs, micro-blogs, wikis, or online social networks. Since they allow for forms of social
 
 SCHELLONG / GIRRGER – GOVERNMENT 2.0 IN BETA PHASE2CSC © 2010
Public Sector Study Series 06/2010
interaction such as communication or collaboration, they are also called social media
.Their range of application in eParticipation activities and impact on the citizen-governmentrelationship is just barely becoming visible. In any case, the facilitating potential of Web 2.0applications for eParticipation is believed to be very high.
Despite numerous eParticipation projects started by politics, government or citizens, a recentstudy by the German Ministry of the Interior came to the conclusion that there is much roomfor improvement of eParticipation in Germany.At the same time it is widelyagreed upon that technology cannot solve the problems of democracy.
Because of the increasing public discourseon Government 2.0 and Germany’s astounding improvement by 46 ranks from 2008 to 14
th
 place in the area of eParticipation in this year’s UN eGovernment benchmark
There are various studies on citizen participation, however, only few focus on eParticipationand Web 2.0 in German government. Most studies are either detailed single-case studies orgeneral discussion, it is time totake a closer look at the current state of eParticipation and Web 2.0 in Germany.
Scope of this study
Taking a look at web-portals, CSC analyzed the state of eParticipation and use of Web 2.0applications in Germany’s 50 largest cities and its 16 federal states in four areas: urbanplanning, budgetary planning, complaints/suggestions, and citizen services.
Web 2.0 and e-participation in Germany
BITKOM’s policy paper tries to stimulate a debate on Web 2.0 in government.of Web 2.0 applications and their potential use within government or forcitizen participation. Broader empirical studies are scarce.
A comprehensive approach was chosen by two studies from the German Ministry of theInteriorIt presentskey characteristics of Web 2.0 applications and various examples from around the globe.Moreover, barriers to implementations (e.g. legal, administrative practices) are outlined. Theauthors stress the importance of Web 2.0 as a potential avenue for government to adapt tothe changing and participatory needs of the network society.
 
11
Mergel/Schweik/Fountain (2009)
12
United Nations (2010)
to capture the state of eParticipation in Germany and identify various areas andmeasures for improvement. Among others, a citizen survey showed that the motives andexpectations for eParticipation depend on the level of government. On the local level,eParticipation is guided by perceived individual repercussions and impact on the policydecision. On the national level (federal government), eParticipation is the result of individualinterest in a policy area. However, citizens believe that individual impact on policy makers islow. Overall, the studies show that Germany has reached a high-degree on the basic level
13
Albrecht et al. (2008): 8;„[We can conclude that there are various good practice cases in Germany, however,overall broader diffusion and institutional embeddedness need remains in a nascent stage. Only seldom is ICTapplied in sustainable way. Moreover, offerings lack transparency and responsivity as government fails toaddress why it is offering eParticipation, how it is utilizing citizen feedback and whether citizen can expect aresponse from government or politics.]”
14
United Nations (2010): 84ff.
15
Habbel/Hubert (2008); BITKOM (2008); Osimo (2008); Fages/Sangüesa (2007)
16
BITKOM (2008)
17
Federal Ministry of the Interior (2008); Albrecht et. al. (2008)

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