Digital Sovereignty and Participation in an Autocratic State: Designing an e-Petition System for Developing Countries



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Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


Establishing a sustainable citizens-government dialogue is a crucial topic on the agenda of many countries. E-petition systems are among the most popular and effective tools for establishing a responsive and effective dialog between governments and citizens. E-petition systems mitigate the gap between citizens and government authorities and contribute to the empowerment of citizens. This study aims to determine how to increase citizens’ participation in decision-making processes through the case of an e-petition system in Azerbaijan. The research employs a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods within a case study design. Data were collected from a triangulation of multiple sources, i.e., interviews with state authorities and online survey among the citizens of Azerbaijan. Additionally, we reviewed experiences from other countries that introduced e-petition systems, in order to better understand the success factors of and obstacles to launching e-petition systems, with a particular focus on the needs of developing countries. The outcome of this study is a proposed design of an e-petition system model that can be considered in developing countries.



e-petition, e-participation, e-democracy, citizens empowerment, e-petitsioonid, e-osalus, e-demokraatia, kodanike võimestamine