Monday, 15 July 2013

New Questions for E-Government: Efficiency but not (yet?) Democracy

an article by Alexandru V. Roman and Hugh T. Miller (Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, USA) published in International Journal of Electronic Government Research Volume 9 Issue 1 (2013)


E-government’s rise to prominence in the early 1990s was met with great enthusiasm amidst the promise that information communication technologies (ICTs) might fulfill the demands and expectations for improved democratic governance. Since then, significant progress has been made in terms of information provision and delivery of public services; yet, dialogue, a core dimension of democratic governance, remains largely unrealised within the digital context.

This study employs content analysis within the frame of a check-off research protocol to determine if the population of state websites has the capacity to support digital democratic dialogue. The key question is whether there is an emphasis within the milieu of state websites to support e-dialogue outside the provision of information and e-services.

The analysis suggests that efficiency rather than dialogue is the primary focus in the design of the state websites.

Is, therefore, e-government a new development in the historical effort to enforce efficiency as a core value of governance?

Hazel’s comment:
Efficient for the government maybe but trying to administrate your systems in an online environment increases the digital divide, provides little or no flexibility, and is largely undemocratic.

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