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Digital Government-Citizen Interaction


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This course explores digital interactions between governments and citizens. Focusing on policymaking and digital-era governance, the course will pay special attention to managing participatory processes for better public service delivery.

There are two ways to understand e-governments and how they use digital information in public services. First, e-governments collect citizen data and utilize digital technology to improve efficiency and – ultimately – optimize public services (modernization). Second, e-governments involve citizens in coproducing data and digital public service delivery (democratization). The course will combine both perspectives.

In the course, students will learn about different types of interactions between civil servants and citizens (e.g. coproduction, participation), as well as broader normative issues associated with government-citizens relations (e.g. democracy, citizenship). To explore these various aspects, the course draws on different research domains and follows an interdisciplinary approach (e.g. Public Administration, Communication Science, Information Systems Research).

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students are able to:

  • Describe theories of how the rise of e-government has changed digital government-citizen relations in terms of public service use and citizen participation;

  • Put forward evidence-based arguments on the debate regarding street-level and system-level bureaucracies;

  • Explain the concept of ‘coproduction’ and the role of digital technology in coproduction practices across a range of governmental domains and service areas;

  • Critically evaluate current debates (e.g., privacy, filter bubbles and the digital divide) on the potential of big data to improve public services and citizen participation.

The course will raise questions around the democratic dimension of services while also looking at the provision side (civil servants) of the process. There are also different benefits for students from different programs:

  • ICT in Business Students can gain a better understanding of the service dimension of the technologies and how citizens respond and shape these technologies in the political context.

  • MPS Students can gain insights into the technologies currently being implemented by government, the effects on democratic and co-creation processes and the opportunities for better management.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Digital self-study materials and online tutorials. If the Coronavirus restrictions allow, in-person classes will be used where possible.

. Course load

4 online tutorial meetings of 75 minutes each.
4 sets of digital self-study materials of approximately 2 hours each.
3 hours of examination

Assessment method

Assignment 1: Peer-feedback on essay (pass/fail)
Assignment 2: Essay (50% of final grade)
Exam (50% of final grade)

For MPS students only: an extended/additional essay assignment is offered for 2 extra EC points.

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list



From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Programme Co-ordinator: ms. Esme Caubo


There is only limited capacity for external students. Please contact the programme Co-ordinator

Also register for every course in Brightspace. Important information about the course is posted here. PA and GofS students: please register under 4353DGCI3 in Usis to be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment