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Abstract

The emerging research area of eParticipation can be characterized as the study of technology-facilitated citizen participation in (democratic) deliberation and decision-making. Using conventional literature study techniques, we identify 105 articles that are considered to be highly relevant to eParticipation. We develop a definitional schema that suggests different ways of understanding an emerging socio-technical research area and use this schema to map the research contributions identified. This allows us make an initial sketch of the scientific character of the area and its central concerns, theories, and methods. We extend the analysis to define four central research challenges for the field: understanding technology and participation; the strategic challenge; the design challenge; and the evaluation challenge. This article thus contributes to a developing account of eParticipation, which will help future researchers both to navigate the research area and to focus their research agendas.

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