Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government

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Overview

Developments in information and communication technology and networked computing over the past two decades have given rise to the notion of electronic government, most commonly used to refer to the delivery of public services over the Internet. This volume argues for a shift from the narrow focus of "electronic government" on technology and transactions to the broader perspective of information government—the information flows within the public sector, between the public sector and citizens, and among citizens—as a way to understand the changing nature of governing and governance in an information society. The chapters discuss the interplay between recent technological developments and evolving information flows, and the implications of different information flows for efficiency, political mobilization, and democratic accountability. The chapters are accompanied by short case studies from around the world, which cover such topics as electronic government efforts in Singapore and Switzerland, the U.S Environmental ProtectionAgency's effort to solicit input on planned regulations over the Internet, and online activism"cyberprotesting" globalization.ContributorsRobert D. Behn, Maria Christina Binz-Scharf, HerbertBurkert, Lorenzo Cantoni, Cary Coglianese, Martin J. Eppler, Jane E. Fountain, Monique Girard,Åke Grönlund, Matthew Hindman, Edwin Lau, David Lazer, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Ines Mergel,Gopal Raman, David Stark, Sandor Vegh, Darrell M. West Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is AssociateProfessor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and chairs the Rueschlikon Conferences on Information Policy. David Lazer is Associate Professor ofPublic Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Director and founder of the Program onNetworked Governance at Harvard University. He is the editor of DNA and the Criminal Justice System: The Technology of Justice (MIT Press, 2004).

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What People Are Saying

Bruce Bimber

"Through a rich set of essays by leading thinkers, this book advances the next generation of ideas about information technology and government, moving the literature beyond the original, transactional conception of "electronic government."
The authors bring up to date a thesis extending back to Federalist thought in the U.S., which is that flows of information are central to the exercise of power and indeed form one of the foundations of government."--Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara

Richard Davis

"This book, which is primarily for scholars and interested students of political communication and new information technologies, shifts the focus of e-government studies from technology to information transmission. The latter addresses communication relations between citizens and government as well as among government actors. I am heartened by the authors' effort because the emphasis of works on e-government too easily descend into highly technical treatises that forget the role of politics and the function of technology as another (and hopefully better) means to facilitate information exchange. Instead, the writers and editors of Governance and Information Technology keep their attention on the technology as a means and not as an end." -- Richard Davis, Department of Political Science,
Brigham Young University

Eugene Bardach

"So you thought information technology in the form of 'e-government'
would save taxpayer dollars, improve government performance, increase transparency and accountability, and promote democratic participation -- and all in a hurry too?
Some first-rate scholars of the subject show how the several truths about these matters are much more complicated, and the reasons for them sometimes paradoxical."--Eugene Bardach, Department of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

Eugene Bardach, UC Berkeley

Pippa Norris

"The e-governance revolution has transformed the way that governmentcommonly delivers basic services. But has it transformed democracy? This isa first-class study of the complex processes of information flows betweencitizens and government. Drawing upon well-known experts and a diverserange of cases, the study provides provocative and important insights intoprocesses of political communications, the uses and limits of informationtechnologies, and the transformation of modern governments."--Pippa Norris, Director, Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for Development PolicyUnited Nations Development Programme

Pippa Norris, United Nation Development Programme

From the Publisher
"Information is the foundation of government. These essays provide a deeper understanding of the ways information flows within government and between government and citizens.

If knowledge is power, this is a powerful book."Joseph S. Nye Jr , DistinguishedService Professor, Harvard University, and author of Soft Power: The Means to Success inWorld Politics

"So you thought information technology in the form of "e-government" would save taxpayer dollars, improve government performance, increase transparency and accountability, and promote democratic participationand all in a hurry too? Some first-rate scholars of the subject show how the several truths about these matters are much more complicated, and the reasons for them sometimes paradoxical."Eugene Bardach , Department of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

"The e-governance revolution has transformed the way that government commonly delivers basic services. But has it transformed democracy? This is a first-class study of the complex processes of information flows between citizens and government. Drawing upon well-known experts and a diverse range of cases, the study provides provocative and important insights into processes of political communications, the uses and limits of information technologies, and the transformation of modern governments."Pippa Norris , Director, DemocraticGovernance Group, Bureau for Development Policy United Nations Development Programme

Bruce Bimber
"The editors of Governance and Information Technology have assembled a strong juxtaposition of general overviews and concrete case studies to critically examine ways in which information and communication technologies are reconfiguring access to information both within government and between governments and citizens. This book not only challenges the idea that new technologies are democratizing access, but also presents alternative conceptions, such as the development of an 'information class', that will shape debate and research on the political implications of e-government." —Professor William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute,University of Oxford

"Through a rich set of essays by leading thinkers, this book advances the next generation of ideas about information technology and government, moving the literature beyond the original, transactional conception of "electronic government." The authors bring up to date a thesis extending back to Federalist thought in the U.S., which is that flows of information are central to the exercise of power and indeed form one of the foundations of government."—Bruce Bimber,University of California, Santa Barbara

Eugene Bardach
"So you thought information technology in the form of 'e-government' would save taxpayer dollars, improve government performance, increase transparency and accountability, and promote democratic participation — and all in a hurry too? Some first-rate scholars of the subject show how the several truths about these matters are much more complicated, and the reasons for them sometimes paradoxical."—Eugene Bardach, Department of Public Policy, University of California,Berkeley
Pippa Norris
"The e-governance revolution has transformed the way that governmentcommonly delivers basic services. But has it transformed democracy? This isa first-class study of the complex processes of information flows betweencitizens and government. Drawing upon well-known experts and a diverserange of cases, the study provides provocative and important insights intoprocesses of political communications, the uses and limits of informationtechnologies, and the transformation of modern governments."—Pippa Norris, Director, Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for DevelopmentPolicyUnited Nations Development Programme
Richard Davis
"This book, which is primarily for scholars and interested students of political communication and new information technologies, shifts the focus of e-government studies from technology to information transmission. The latter addresses communication relations between citizens and government as well as among government actors. I am heartened by the authors' effort because the emphasis of works on e-government too easily descend into highly technical treatises that forget the role of politics and the function of technology as another (and hopefully better)means to facilitate information exchange. Instead, the writers and editors of Governance andInformation Technology keep their attention on the technology as a means and not as an end." —Richard Davis, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262633499
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,175,058
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and chairs the Rueschlikon Conferences on InformationPolicy.

David Lazer is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment and Director and founder of the Program on Networked Governance at Harvard University. He is the editor of DNA and the Criminal Justice System: The Technology of Justice (MIT Press, 2004).

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     xi
About the Contributors     xiii
From Electronic Government to Information Government   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     1
Technological Change and Information Flows in Government     15
Global Perspectives on E-Government   Darrell M. West     17
Case Illustration: FirstGov: The Road to Success of the U.S. Governments Web Portal   Maria Christina Binz-Scharf     33
Electronic Government and the Drive for Growth and Equity   Edwin Lau     39
Case Illustration: "E-Government Is an Outcome": Michael Armstrong and the Transformation of Des Moines   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     59
Challenges to Organizational Change: Multi-Level Integrated Information Structures (MIIS)   Jane E. Fountain     63
Case Illustration: From Computerization to Convergence: The Case of E-Government in Singapore   Ines Mergel     94
Case Illustration: Dubai's Electronic Government   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     97
The Blurring of the Informational Boundary between State and Society     99
Weak Democracy, Strong Information: The Role of Information Technology in the Rulemaking Process   Gary Coglianese     101
CaseIllustration: The EPA EDOCKET System   Gopal Raman     123
Freedom of Information and Electronic Government   Herbert Burkert     125
Case Illustration: Protecting Privacy by Requesting Access: Marc Rotenberg and EPIC   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     142
Socio-Technologies of Assembly: Sense Making and Demonstration in Rebuilding Lower Manhattan   Monique Girard   David Stark     145
Case Illustration: The Rise and Fall (?) of Participatory Electronic Information Infrastructures   Ake Gronlund     177
"Open-Source Politics" Reconsidered: Emerging Patterns in Online Political Participation   Matthew Hindman     183
Case Illustration: Cyberprotesting Globalization: A Case of Online Activism   Sander Vegh     208
Evaluating the Impact of Reengineering Information Flows     213
The Challenge of Evaluating M-Government, E-Government, and P-Government: What Should Be Compared with What?   Robert D. Behn     215
Case Illustration: The Swiss E-Government Barometer: Kuno Schedler Feels the Temperature of E-Government Services   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     239
Information Quality in Electronic Government: Toward the Systematic Management of High-Quality Information in Electronic Government-to-Citizen Relationships    Martin J. Eppler     241
Case Illustration: Information Quality in Electronic Government Websites: An Example from Italy's Ministry for Public Administration   Lorenzo Cantoni     257
It Takes a Network to Build a Network   David Lazer   Maria Christina Binz-Scharf     261
Case Illustration: TeleCities: Sharing Knowledge among European Cities   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     279
The Governing of Government Information   Viktor Mayer-Schonberger   David Lazer     281
Index     293
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