Civic Engagement and Local E-Government: Social Networking Comes of Age

This study examined features on local government websites that could contribute to civic engagement, through 1) information about government and community, and 2) through interactive or participatory opportunities online. The research is based on content analysis of government websites in the 75 largest U.S. cities and 20 largest Illinois cities between March and the beginning of May 2011. Cities were ranked using a composite score with 94 criteria for council manager governments, and 90 for governments without city mangers. In an earlier 2009 study, cities were scored on 78 items if they had a city manager and on 74 otherwise. The paper discusses the main results for the 2011 study and then assesses changes between 2009 and 2011. This comparison demonstrates that there has been some change overall in the two years, mostly because cities that were further behind have moved up in the ranking

Karen Mossberger
Yonghong Wu
© University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, 2012