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How to improve citizen participation in a municipal context with blockchain-based ICT
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The master thesis focuses on citizen participation and how to support it with the application of ICT. Due to its recent publicity, blockchain and its features have been investigated and were related to the citizen participation domain. A qualitative research study has been conducted to explore the perceptions of citizens relating to blockchain. Based on those findings suggestions for improvement of citizen participation were provided.

More specifically, a focus group interview has been conducted in the Swedish municipality of Växjö. Probes have been used to encourage the participants to follow unexpected thoughts to provide creative answers and to start a dialogue between the group and the researcher. The gathered data from the focus group interview was then analyzed with an iterative coding process. This process yielded a list of seven concepts which bundle the following aspects mentioned by the participants in the group interview: Accessibility, Flexibility and Responsiveness, Trust, Accountability vs Privacy, Adaption, Representation, and Collaboration. The concepts are referring to the use of blockchain in the context of citizen participation. They have been discussed later on, based on the contextual framework built on the topics ICT, blockchain, citizen participation, and soft systems methodology. A literature review was conducted to build this framework.

The discussion summarizes how the citizens perceive blockchain and how it can support their participation within a municipality context. The perceptions include concerns relating to privacy, hopes of improved information infrastructures with open data formats, as well as that blockchain could modernize democracy. The forms of blockchain systems which could support citizen participation comprise aspects such as that it could lead to transparent and traceable investment flows for participative planning and controlling, as well as that it could help to identify bad players when collaborating with each other. In the last parts, issues of citizen empowerment are discussed as a result of the previous parts of the discussion about citizens' perceptions and the forms blockchain could have for them.

This research aims to contribute to current research on citizen participation supported by ICT. It means to promote developments towards higher degrees of citizen power, by providing citizens' views on blockchain and the forms of participation it could support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 55
Keywords [en]
Citizen Participation, Blockchain, ICT, Empowerment, Citizen Empowerment, Social Inclusion, Qualitative Research, Focus Group Interview, Information Systems
National Category
Information Systems Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78891DiVA, id: diva2:1264302
Subject / course
Informatics
Educational program
Master Programme in Information Systems, 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf