In July 2021 my Centre for Social Informatics colleague Peter Cruickshank was awarded a doctoral degree for his thesis Evaluation of engagement with hyperlocal e-participation systems by citizens and representatives.
The pdf of the thesis is now freely available for download from the Edinburgh Napier University repository. It will be of interest to all who conduct research on information behaviour and use, and particularly those investigating themes such as everyday life information seeking and information literacy in the context of e-participation.
In his thesis, Peter establishes the concept of hyperlocal representation as a research domain, discusses hyperlocal representatives (such as Scottish community councillors) as stakeholders in the participation process, and examines the role of passive lurkers. This work makes a valuable contribution to academic research in the area by treating hyperlocal representatives as information actors in their own right. This is in contrast with previous research on e-participation with its focus on the activities of citizens and local government administration staff.