Crowdsourcing Technologies in Municipal Administration: the Cases of Russian Cities

Alevtina V. Starshinova, Elena B. Arkhipova, Olga I. Borodkina

Research output


The focal point of the paper is E-technologies in the sociocultural context of modern Russia. There is much evidence that such technologies are becoming a source of changes in the architecture of the Russian social state that has recently developed in the country’s socio-cultural context. Although Russia has been known for the dominance of vertical relationships, the current situation is dramatically changing. Interestingly, Russian society is step-by-step designing the space of horizontal citizens’ network interaction. Of much importance is the social change, which stems from the usage of digital technologies in management, which results in extended networking communication between authorities and citizens. What comes next is a new sociality, more adequate to the nature of the social state involving crowds of citizens in managerial decisions. The changes affect, first of all, the municipal level of management; however, the call for the introduction of digital management tools is initiated in many respects “from top-down”, i.e., by the highest power structures of the state. The purpose of the article is to analyze the possibilities of a new social practice of crowdsourcing in municipal government based on the analysis of digital interaction mechanism between government and citizens. The paper presents the results of the research based on case-studies of 10 Russian cities which promote municipal crowdsourcing platforms as a means to form and support a new relationship with citizens at the local level. An analysis of the formation of networked electronic participation of authorities and citizens allowed us to identify the dynamics of crowdsourcing platforms as a mechanism for the formation of new relationships and to present a classification of models of emerging network communications. Models differ in the opportunities that crowdfunding platforms provide for the inclusion of citizens in the formation of the development directions of the municipality. The first model is characterized by the presence of full-cycle crowd resources (crowd project) and includes technologies such as CrowdVoting, CrowdWisdom, CrowdCreation. The second model allows citizens to propose the initiative and vote for a ready-made solution of its implementation. The third model contains limited opportunities for participation in decision-making and is a service for informing the citizens of the city about problems or their disagreement with the current policy. Only the first model involves joint participation in management, which was demonstrated by only three municipalities; among them there are one Moscow and two regional municipalities. The uneven development of the network interaction between citizens and municipal governments stems from several factors. However, in present-day conditions it is based on the desire or unwillingness of the authorities to transfer part of their powers to citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-106
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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