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E-Participation and Environmental Protection: Are Local Governments Really Committed?

Authors


  • Sonia Royo is senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. She participates in the research team led by Lourdes Torres in accounting, management, and auditing of public sector reforms (http://gespublica.unizar.es). Her primary research interests are in the fi elds of e-government and citizen participation. She has published articles in leading international journals, such as Public Administration, International Public Management Journal, and Government Information Quarterly. E-mail: sroyo@unizar.es
  • Ana Yetano is senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Zaragoza and belongs to the Gespública research group (http://gespublica.unizar.es). Her research interests include citizen participation, performance measurement and management in the public sector, and public sector accounting. She has published in international journals such as Public Administration, European Accounting Review, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, and Public Performance and Management Review. E-mail: ayetano@unizar.es
  • Basilio Acerete is senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Zaragoza. He participates in the research team led by Lourdes Torres in accounting, management, and auditing of public sector reforms (http://gespublica.unizar.es). His research interests are concerned with citizen participation and public–private partnerships. His articles have been published in top referenced journals, and he has been a visiting researcher at the University of Manchester. E-mail: bacerete@unizar.es

Abstract

There is widespread acceptance that current institutions are inadequate to address the challenges of sustainable development. At the same time, there is an urgent need to build awareness and increase capacity for promoting action with respect to environmental protection at the local level. This article analyzes the Web sites of the environment departments of European local governments that signed the Aalborg Commitments to determine the extent to which they are using the Internet to promote e-participation in environmental topics and to identify the drivers of these developments. Potential drivers are public administration style, urban vulnerability, external pressures, and local government environmental culture. Findings confirm that e-participation is a multifaceted concept. External pressures influence the transparency of environmental Web sites, while public administration style and local government environmental culture influence their interactivity.

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