Knud Böhle and Ulrich Riehm, both of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), have published E-petition systems and political participation: About institutional challenges and democratic opportunities, First Monday, 18(7) (July 2013).
Here is the abstract:
The implementation of e-petition systems holds the promise to increase the participative and deliberative potential of petitions. The most ambitious e-petition systems allow for electronic submission, make publicly available the petition text, related documents and the final decision, allow supporting a petition by electronically co-signing it, and provide electronic discussion forums. Based on a comprehensive survey (2010/2011) of parliamentary petition bodies at the national level covering the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) plus Norway and Switzerland, the present state of public e-petitioning in the EU is presented, and the relevance of e-petition systems as a means of political participation is discussed.