Supervisor: Damian Tambini
Research topic: Local e-participation and its relations to the local political arena
My work focuses on a selection of Italian citizen-driven online forums with the aim of analyzing e-participation as perceived by citizens. One aspect I am particularly interested in is political efficacy (internal and external) encouraged by engagement in local Web initiatives. I regard the link between e-participation and theories of democracy and participation in Political Sciences as fundamental to my research. As many political scientists have stressed, citizens are more likely to participate at the local level, where issues are closer and chances to affect political outcomes are greater. I take this point online and concentrate on e-forums that deal with local political matters in given Italian settings. I find particularly interesting to study and test e-participation in Italy, where citizens still tend not to engage in political discussion and, despite the intense activism of some groups, the majority of the population continues to show apathy or aversion towards political affairs.