Experimenting with Public Engagement Platforms in Local Government

Seongkyung Cho, Karen Mossberger, David Swindell, John David Selby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Cities are venues for experimentation with technology (e.g., smart cities) and democratic governance. At the intersection of both trends is the emergence of new online platforms for citizen engagement. There is little evidence to date on the extent to which these are being used or the characteristics associated with adopters at the leading edge. With rich data on civic engagement and innovation from a 2016 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) survey, we explore platform use in U.S. local governments and relationships with offline civic engagement, innovation, and local characteristics. We find that use of online participatory platforms is associated with offline participation, goals for civic engagement, and city size, rather than evidence that this is related to a more general orientation toward innovation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)763-793
    Number of pages31
    JournalUrban Affairs Review
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - May 2021


    • civic engagement
    • diffusion
    • local governments
    • online platforms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Urban Studies


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