Municipalities ostensibly scale the ladder of e-participation improvement to gain legitimacy. However, research has not yet addressed how e-participation initiatives are affected by serious legitimacy concerns such as corruption. One municipal response to corruption is to use e-participation offerings as a remedial effort to gain citizen trust, but window-dressing strategies might also be used. In this article, the authors attempt to make sense of this ambiguity by hypothesizing that the effects of perceived corruption on e-participation offerings depend on the type of e-participation as well as the level of local social capital and local public accountability demand. Analysis of data from 104 municipal websites in South Africa between 2013 and 2017 reveals support for two moderation mechanisms: (1) a positive remedial response to corruption in the presence of strong social capital and (2) a negative avoidance response to corruption in the presence of high demand for accountability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration