When do e-petitions influence political decision-making? An analysis of the e-petitions system of the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies

Online petitioning
By Raphaël Kies, Sven Seidenthal

This article is one of the first attempts to systematically analyze the factors explaining the extent to which institutional e-petitions influence decisions taken by a government. The analysis reviews all the e-petitions that have obtained the 4,500 signatures required to give rise to a public debate in the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies. We tested six hypotheses to explain variations in the influence of e-petitions on the government: 1) compatibility with the government’s agenda, 2) the government’s jurisdiction to deal with the e-petitions in question, 3) the consensual (or not) nature of the e-petition, 4) the number of signatures in its favor, 5) its media visibility, and 6) the status of its initiator. As expected, we observed that an e-petition is likely to influence the decision of the government if it fulfills the following three conditions: 1) it must be compatible with the government’s agenda, 2) the government should be the competent body to address the issue of the e-petition, and 3) the government should agree with the petitioners’ demands. Other factors, such as popular or media support for an e-petition, its subject, or the costs of its implementation, appear to be less relevant.

  • Luxembourg
  • e-democracy
  • e-petition
  • appropriation
  • legislative studies
  • Chamber of Deputies
  • Parliament
  • democratic innovations
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info