Digital Citizens and Communities

Digital Citizens and Communities

Access and use of digital technologies and information, and impacts for individuals and communities




Mossberger, Karen, Caroline J. Tolbert and Scott LaCombe (2021)  Choosing the Future:  Technology and Opportunity in Communities.  New York:  Oxford University Press.

Mossberger, Karen, Eric W. Welch and Yonghong Wu, eds. (2021)  Transforming Everything?  Evaluating Broadband’s Impact Across Policy Areas.  New York:  Oxford University Press.



Caldarulo, Mattia, Karen Mossberger, and A. Howell (2023). Broadband Adoption and Student Academic Achievement. Telecommunications Policy. 

Mossberger, Karen, Scott LaCombe and Caroline J. Tolbert (2021) “A New Measure of Digital Economic Activity and Its Impact on Local Opportunity,” Telecommunications Policy.  Online First September 2021, Open Access.

Mossberger, Karen and Caroline J. Tolbert (2021) “Digital Citizenship and Digital Communities:  How Technology Matters for Individuals and Communities.”  Invited contribution for special 10th anniversary issue of the International Journal of E-Planning Research 10 (3).  DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.20210701.oa2.  Online First December 2020, Open Access.


Book Chapters

Mossberger, Karen.  (Forthcoming) “From Digital Inequality to Opportunity:  Broadband Policy in the States,” in Politics in the American States, 12th ed., Caroline J. Tolbert, Thad Kousser and Jamila Michener, eds. Sage.

Kersting, Norbert and Karen Mossberger (Forthcoming) “The Digital Divide and Digital Citizenship in International Comparison,” in Handbook on Online Participation (in German, Handbuch Digitalisierung und Politische Beteiligung), Norbert Kersting, Jörg Radtke and Sigrid Baringhorst, eds. Springer Nature.

Mossberger, Karen, Eric W. Welch, and Yonghong Wu (2021) “Introduction:  Broadband as Experimentation and Policy Learning,” in Transforming Everything?  Evaluating Broadband’s Impact Across Policy Areas, Karen Mossberger, Eric Welch and Yonghong Wu, eds.  NY:  Oxford University Press, 1-24.

Tolbert, Caroline J., Karen Mossberger, Natasha Gaydos and Mattia Caldarulo (2021)  “Addressing Spatial Inequality in Broadband Use and Community/Neighborhood Level Outcomes”  in Transforming Everything?  Evaluating Broadband’s Impact Across Policy Areas, Karen Mossberger, Eric Welch and Yonghong Wu, eds.  NY:  Oxford University Press, 101-138.

Brown, Adrian, Karen Mossberger and Seong K. Cho. (2020) “Race, Place and Digital Governance,” in Race and Public Administration, Ken Meier and Amanda Rutherford, eds., Routledge, 98-118.


Monographs, Repositories, Grant Reports and Working Papers

Mossberger, Karen, Angel Molina, Yushim Kim and Meredith McCullough.  October 2021. Digital Entrepreneurship in Communities of Color.  Center on Technology, Data and Society.  Policy brief written with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Available at

Mossberger, Karen, Caroline J. Tolbert and Scott LaCombe.  May 28, 2021. Measuring Digital Entrepreneurship at the Grassroots:  What Role Will It Play in Community Resilience?  Kauffman Foundation, article for Data Directions. Available at

Mossberger, Karen, Caroline J. Tolbert and Scott LaCombe.  June 8, 2020.  Broadband Needs and Opportunities in Iowa.  States Can Work with Communities to Address Rural, Low-Income Needs.  Backgrounder.  The Iowa Policy Project.  Available at


Invited Participation

Aspen Institute.  Roundtable, Digital Literacy as Infrastructure: Digital Citizenship in the Disinformation Age. Virtual roundtable by invitation only.  November 18, 2021.

World Bank, Virtual Launch Event, Govtech Maturity Index. United Nations opening session event.  Participant in panel discussion, September 16, 2021.

World Forum for Democracy, Council of Europe. Satellite Event, E-democracy and Sustainability.  Keynote speech, Inclusive Participation and Sustainability in the Digital Age.  University of Muenster (virtual).  June 18, 2021.

Opening Event:  Are You Ready to Light Up the Future?  Statewide Meeting on Digital Equity (virtual).  Presentation, May 18, 2021.



Venture Forward: The project is a collaboration between, the University of Iowa and ASU.  It examines the density of “ventures” (domain name websites) as a measure of digital participation in communities throughout the US.  It captures local economic activity not accounted for in small business statistics or other government data.  The project examines the relationship between venture density and local prosperity and opportunity across counties and metropolitan regions using a dataset of 20 million GoDaddy customers in the US.

Executive Summary

White Paper:  A New Measure of Digital Participation and Its Impact on Economic Opportunity


Venture Forward website and data with interactive maps


Broadband Data Portal: University of Iowa and Arizona State University.  Data and repository supported by National Science Foundation Broadband Community Capacity program award #1338471, available in the menu above.  Also available on Harvard Dataverse.  The state, county, metro and city data posted here offer unique data over time, from 1997 to 2016.  Through the use of multilevel models, estimates were created for these subnational geographies based on large-sample surveys of the U.S. Bureau of the Census – the Current Population Survey Internet Supplement (1997-2012) and the American Community Survey (2013-onward). The data show substantial and persistent disparities across communities in the US, both urban and rural.



2022 Goldsmith Prize, Best Academic Book, Shorenstein Center, Harvard University for “Choosing the Future:  Technology and Opportunity in Communities” (Mossberger, Tolbert and LaCombe, 2021, Oxford University Press).