The internet and democratic participation: uses of ICTs by voluntary and community organisations in Ireland
Citation:Trench, Brian; O'Donnell, Susan. 'The internet and democratic participation: uses of ICTs by voluntary and community organisations in Ireland'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 28, No. 3, July 1997, pp. 213-234, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
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This paper explores the implications of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) for community and voluntary sector organisations in Ireland and reports on the initial findings of the authors' research project: "The Voluntary Sector in the Information Age". The point of departure for the research project is a conception of society in which citizen organisations play a significant role, citizenship is expressed actively and levels and modes of public participation define a democracy. The project seeks to explore how certain implementations of ICTs could enhance and expand democratic practices by strengthening existing and developing networks of voluntary and community organisations, making their work practices and their negotiations with established powers more effective. The project's findings so far suggest that Irish voluntary and community organisations have experienced substantial difficulties in developing such applications or in realising the real or imagined benefits to them of using ICTs more extensively. A range of financial, technical, organisational and cultural factors have influenced ? and, notably, inhibited ? the adoption of newer ICTs in the voluntary and community sector, in a manner, or to an extent, which may affect that sector's participation in the wider society.
Publisher:Economic & Social Research Institute
Type of material:Journal Article
Availability:Full text available