Social media potential for developing participatory governance

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Participatory governance as an opportunity for citizens to take part in public management can be realized in different forms. The article considers the potential of social media in the development of participatory management. The authors conducted a survey in Moscow to estimate the possibilities of social networks in establishing dialogue and partnership for solving urgent social problems, in particular, the people’s readiness to participate in social-network interaction, approaches of networks to its organization, and efficiency of the current forms of such interaction. The study of online and offline activity showed that despite the general satisfaction with the possibilities of personal initiative in solving socially significant problems, the respondents are not ready to be socially active; their activity in social networks consists of obtaining information, sometimes - in its use for socially significant activities, and very rarely - in ‘organizing’ such activities. The comparison of social networks from the standpoint of the convenience for discussing socially significant issues and interaction with authorities showed that VKontakte and Instagram are promising platforms for participatory governance. In most cases, Muscovites participate in the network communities of the mass media, public organizations or public opinion leaders, very rarely - in the network communities of the authorities. According to the majority, in interaction with the authorities, social media perform an informative function by drawing attention to socially significant issues; however, it is also important to involve citizens in solving these problems. The low efficiency of the social-network interaction between the authorities and the population is obvious. The survey results indicate the general dissatisfaction with the organization of dialogue between the population and authorities in social networks. Respondents admit both the importance of developing dialogue-partner forms of Internet communications and the low level of their implementation. Thus, the portal ‘Active Citizen’ receives contradictory assessments as a platform for electronic voting, i.e., the potential of social media in the development of participatory governance is not used efficiently.

About the authors

L. A. Vasilenko

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.

доктор социологических наук, профессор кафедры организационного проектирования систем управления Института государственной службы и управления

Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119606, Russia

V. V. Zotov

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology


доктор социологических наук, профессор департамента философии Учебно-научного центра гуманитарных и социальных наук

Institutsky Per., 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Russia

S. A. Zakharova

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


кандидат социологических наук, доцент кафедры зарубежного регионоведения и международного сотрудничества Института государственной службы и управления

Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119606, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2020 Vasilenko L.A., Zotov V.V., Zakharova S.A.

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