Getting to Citizen 2.0: a new model for democratic citizenship




De Vos, Esther

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The Internet and the proliferation of other digital technologies have facilitated the emergence of electronic or e-government across the world since the early 1990s. The Internet has now evolved into Web 2.0, which provides greater opportunities and platforms for interaction and collaboration than in the past. Governments using Web 2.0 in their e-government strategies are now moving towards Gov 2.0, a model of government based on increased interaction and collaboration with citizens and other policy actors. This has required a corresponding evolution in the conception of citizenship in democratic countries. While the Citizen 2.0 model is still relatively new, emerging a couple of years ago, it promotes new expectations of how citizens will engage in the political process. This raises concerns about the barriers facing citizens today in the adoption of this new model of citizenship. Bringing together the literature about e-government, democratic citizenship and adult literacy, this thesis explores the difficulties in realizing Citizen 2.0 model. Using discourse analysis to identify the various discourses in each literature, this thesis argues that the challenges in the adoption of the Citizen 2.0 model in democratic societies, and particularly in Canada, exist partially because current adult literacy rates and their impact on political knowledge and participation, as well as technological barriers in leveraging Web 2.0 for political purposes. These challenges carry significant implications for the realization of the Citizen 2.0 model, but also for the successful implementation of Gov 2.0.  



e-government, literacy, citizen 2.0, citizenship, gov 2.0, digital divide