Citizen participation is one of the core values of democracy. Democratization means an increase in citizen participation in public affairs. However, the issue of democratization is rarely studied in the field of public administration. This articles uses the Taipei City Government (TCG) Citizen Complaints System to illustrate some tensions relating to citizen participation in a newly democratizing country. TCG officials were interviewed to piece together the puzzle of how the citizen complaints system works. Furthermore, a survey was conducted on how each channel and media is used by citizens to file their complaints. Then, the development of the Taipei City Mayor's e-mail box is focused on to see how the tension between participation and cost is handled by utilizing newly emerging information technology. These developments are then evaluated in terms of publicity, accessibility, and accountability suggested by Senevirante and Cracknell. The paper proposes suggestions for improvement from these three aspects for TCG and other governments as well to establish a citizen complaints system that substantiates democracy.
International Journal of Public Administration, 26(5), 525-574.