AbstractThis article suggests that current research on the use of new digital technologies by the public sector should move beyond its focus on their facility for e-government and e-democracy. It is important to observe that the same technologies can also be a resource for developing public enthusiasm and identification with local authorities by adopting a rhetoric of friendship. The backdrop of the study is the forthcoming Norwegian reform of municipal structure, informed by a similar reform in Denmark in 2006/2007. If Norway, like Denmark, significantly reduces its number of municipalities, the majority of municipalities will undergo significant change and risk losing citizens’ sense of local identity. Each new municipality will need to create meaningful community building to ease the public’s fear of losing their good life. The study examines how municipalities reach out to connect with their publics, and whether they employ emotional and engaging discourse to achieve this. Our data consist of twenty Norwegian and twenty Danish municipal websites.
Nordicom Review – de Gruyter
Published: May 1, 2018
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