Från demokrati till e-demokrati En jämförande studie av demokratiutveckling i det moderna samhället
Sammanfattning: This mainly deductive study examines what factors explain the variation of e-democracy and if, why a causal pathway exists. The deductive feature is carried out through examining the predictions of the modernization theory, testing hypotheses concerning the link between economic development and wealth in relation to e-democracy. Deriving from a theoretical point of departure where e-democracy is conceptualized with the help of democratic theory, this phenomenon is studied in three different but linked empirical parts. A cross-sectional global study did establish a relationship between some of the indicators derived from the theory; however, the magnitude of the explanatory power was lower at the level of e-democracy than at the level of democracy. A cross-sectional national study of all Sweden’s municipalities did show that especially high levels of education were clearly related to high levels of e-democracy. Approaching the questions of causal mechanisms and deviations from the found pattern, case studies did emphasize that the linkage between the structural conditions and actor’s-orientated explanations largely could verify what is deducted from theory. However, the importance of economic possibilities and internal prioritizations inside the political organization was essential for the development of e-democracy and was found through more inductive approaches.The main contribution of this thesis is the results that, both on an aggregated and a micro level, verify the theory but also add other important explanations. Another important conclusion is the creation of a model for e-democracy where a complete e-democracy is linked to democratic theory and not only maintains information, discussion, and decision-making processes through information and communication technology but also does this while strengthening political participation and political equality.
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