Online Communication with Citizens. Should Latvian Public Institutions Learn from Foreign Experience?
Volume 24, Issue 1 (2018), pp. 44–51
Pub. online: 4 August 2022 Type: Article Open Access
4 August 2022
4 August 2022
Civic engagement is a core value of democracy that approves legitimacy of democracy itself and decisions made by public institutions. In Latvia, civic engagement rates are decreasing, thus for public institutions it is important to find new ways how to engage citizens in the decision-making process. In the twenty-first century, it means that public institutions should also be present in social media. The objectives of the article are to identify foreign experience how public institutions are using social media for civic engagement and evaluate the reasons for Latvian public institutions to learn from this foreign experience. Accordingly, methods of the research are analysis of scientific publications covering examples about digital democracy, civic engagement and use of social media by public institutions, as well as analysis of data about the Internet and social media usage in Latvia. The study findings suggest that Latvian public institutions are already using social media for one-way communication. Moreover, in Latvia, availability of the Internet and participation rates in social media are above the EU average, thus there is potential to use social media also for two-way communication and foster civic engagement.