I-voting has been around for two decades now and yet it still fails to be widely implemented. One of the main motives is the citizens’ lack of trust in the technology and the people deployed to it. By considering distrust as an independent variable from trust, I explore how both constructs shape public discourse around I-voting (both the technology and its promoters), understood as a critical case for the escalation of the very same approach and potential conclusions to the research in e-government.
In order to fulfil this goal, I will be based in Gdansk University of Technology - GUT (Poland), in the Department of Informatics in Management, under the supervision of Pr. Tomasz Janowski, with one secondment to the Fraunhofer FOKUS Institute (Germany), in the Competence Center Public IT, under the supervision of Pr. Peter Parycek. The project will develop 5 case studies, 4 based on 2 week study visits and a long study visit to New South Wales (Australia) under the supervision of Pr. Lemuria Carter (University of New South Wales). The experience in GUT and FOKUS Institute will add technical and legal expertise to the proposed approach; while the development of case studies will give data for the analysis of the process of creation of trust and distrust. Methodologically, I will map the emergence of discourses of trust and distrust in I-voting through discourse analysis and in-depth interviews with sociopolitical actors; later, Q-methodology will be used to understand which discourses the citizenry mostly shares. The project will provide strategic know-how on the dynamics of trust and distrust concerning I-voting’s acceptance.
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