Digital Policy Participation:
Efficiency of E-Petitions Of Non-State Digital Platforms (Based on the Material of Change.org)
Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics in Nizhny Novgorod, firstname.lastname@example.org_id: 417954 |
postgraduate student, Department of Public Policy and Public Administration, Kuban State University, email@example.com
The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research within the framework of the scientific project № 18-011-00140-А
The article presents an empirical study conducted on material from the Russian language segment of Change.org, focusing on the theoretical field of digital political participation and cases of ‘slacktivism’ to clarify e-petitions’ contributions to changes in public life. The purpose of the study is to describe the boundaries of the effectiveness of e-petitions, and to present thematic dominants in federal districts at the levels of petitioning and support by online voting. 22,452 Change.org e-petitions from 2012 to 2017 were extracted and analysed with Python software (Lxml, Requests and Re libraries). The territory of their creation was marked as well. 918 e-petitions which were identified by their authors as ‘executed’ were taken for analysis by region. Both text databases underwent the open coding technique using the AntConc and TopicMiner software and descriptive statistics tools, i.e. cluster analysis (SPSS Statistics 22). As a result, three groups of territories were identified. In the first group, the government and businesses are ready to solve a wide range of issues in the region, and respond to the requests; in the second group, they respond only to the survival problems; in the third group of territories, they feel the safest, helping animals and ignoring other demands. The study suggests ‘an offline
effect’ of online petitions where the themes are an integrative indicator: they reflect the needs of the population of a given territory, indicate the recognition of the problem as worth solving, and show what problems the regional authorities or business are ready to tackle without significant public pressure.
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