This book focuses on online petitioning and crowdfunding platforms to demonstrate the everyday impact that digital communications have had on contemporary citizen participation. It argues that crowdsourced participation has become normalised and institutionalised into the repertoires of citizens and their organisations.
To illustrate their arguments the authors use an original survey on acts of political engagement, undertaken with Australian citizens. Through detailed interviews and online analysis they show how advocacy organisations now use online petitions for strategic interventions and mobilisation. They also analyse the policy issues that mobilise citizens on crowdsourcing platforms, including a unique dataset of 17,000 petitions from the popular non-government platform, Change.org. Contrasting mass public concerns with the policy agenda of the government of the day shows there is a disjuncture and lack of responsiveness to crowdsourced citizen expression. Ultimately the book explores the long-term implications of citizen-led change for democracy.