Parliamentary petitions and public engagement: an empirical analysis of the role of e-petitions

Cristina Leston-Bandeira
2019 Policy and politics (Print)  
Legislatures around the world are experimenting with online petitions as a means of enabling the public to express policy preferences. In many countries they have attracted an extraordinarily large number of signatories, but it is often unclear what, if anything, they achieve. This article addresses this important question through an analysis of the UK P -petitions system. Drawing on a review of historical and comparative research, it develops a new analytical framework which identifies four
more » ... ential types of roles -linkage, campaigning, scrutiny and policy. Our study shows that although a large proportion of e-petitions to the UK Parliament are rejected and only a very small number lead to action, they nevertheless play an important role. Some have performed campaigning or scrutiny roles, but their primary effect has been to facilitate public engagement.
doi:10.1332/030557319x15579230420117 fatcat:wbmkyylgabhwnd6ixnt7tg45zi