This chapter introduces a case of e-deliberation in Taiwan. Democratic deepening can be achieved by the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs), based upon their ability to connect people at a relatively low cost. Following the theories and application of deliberative democracy and e-government, experimentation is increasingly being conducted to answer the critical question: “will ICTs help?” It offers a quasi-experimental design of two citizen conferences held simultaneously in the Beitou area of Taipei, Taiwan; one face-to-face and the other online, with all other factors being equal. The results suggest that whilst online conferencing is as good as face-to-face conferencing on all fronts (with the single exception of time constraints), the expansion of e-deliberation to county- or national-level issues presents significant challenges. More evidence from further experimentation will be required to form viable strategies for fulfilling the “e-dream” of revitalizing democracy through ICTs at community, local, and national levels.
Handbook of Research on Strategies for Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation: Comparative Studies, IGI Global, 323-347.