This research explores the extent to which the Internet is used by local authorities for participation purposes and aims to reveal the limitations of such an enterprise. The research found that the Internet is mostly perceived as an information provision and service delivery tool, and that it is much less likely to be considered as a medium for stimulating citizen participation. Although some practical problems of participation can be ameliorated with the use of the Internet, normative concerns are reproduced in the context of the Internet. Drawing on social shaping of technology arguments and the literature on new institutionalism, the book also argues that the use of the Internet is shaped differently in different institutional settings. Without political willingness and a deliberate intention to use the Internet for participation purposes, the use of the Internet fails to introduce rapid and transformative change in either the levels or the style of political participation. The book is an essential reading for all those interested in the implications of the Internet for participation and democracy.