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This article examines how elected officials' interactions with neighborhood groups, business interests, issue groups, and other stakeholders are shaped by their use of the Internet and by characteristics of local e-government infrastructure. The study utilizes data from a nationwide survey of local elected officials and from an analysis of corresponding local government websites. Results show that Internet use is associated with a significant increase in contact with stakeholders and with increasingly diverse types of communication partners, even after controlling for officials' general propensity to communicate. Both time spent on official duties and city size moderate the influence of Internet use. However, local government web sites do not appear to have a substantive influence on citizen's participation in policy making.
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Keywords: Internet; civil society; e-democracy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Communication, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA 2: Institute of Government and Public Policy, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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