INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY:
This book examines the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the civic lives of people in Bangalore City, the information capital of India. It analyzes the e-government efforts of the local government, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, and studies the efforts of Janaagraha, a citizen s group, to facilitate participatory democracy. It explores answers to the following questions through survey research and ethnographic data from Bangalore. What factors facilitate or inhibit use of ICTs in local government? Do ICTs facilitate greater citizen involvement in local government? Do they strengthen governance and deepen democracy? In Bangalore, the digital divide is still severe enough to make traditional forms of IT use in the governance process, such as email, online consultation and feedback generation, impractical. IT is a factor that can facilitate transparency and allow administrators to be accountable if they choose to share information with the citizens. IT is still not the key factor that encourages citizen participation in governance. However, IT can alter information flows that can be used by motivated citizens to participate in governance.