Cruickshank, Peter and Smith, Colin F (2009) Self-efficacy as a factor in the evaluation of e-petitions. In: Proceedings of EDEM 2009 - Conference on Electronic Democracy. Austrian Computer Society, Vienna, pp. 223-232. ISBN 978-3-85403-251-9
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E-petitions are seen as one response to a perceived decline in public trust of political institutions and the associated symptoms of disengagement. In this paper, some current research into epetitioning in Europe is reviewed, and the need to understand the context behind the expectations
and perceptions of external actors (citizens and petitioners) in the process is considered. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is presented as an approach which broadens the analysis beyond perceived outcomes and gives prominence to the concept of self-efficacy, and parallels are drawn with
citizens’ belief in their ability to successfully interact with the political system as a whole.
A diagram with an idealised flow is presented and used for consideration of the points at which evaluation data can be collected in this context.
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