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<em>Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government</em>

Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government

Book, MIT Press

September 2007

Editors: Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Faculty Affiliate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, David Lazer

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Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Science, Technology, and Public Policy; Dubai Initiative



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.

Contributors 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 Protection Agency’s effort to solicit input on planned regulations over the Internet, and online activism "cyberprotesting" globalization.

Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government is the result of a collaboration between the authors, the Dubai Initiative, and the Dubai School of Government (DSG). The original papers were presented at a DSG conference held in Dubai in May 2005.

Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger is Associate Professor 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 of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government 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).



"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 alternatives conceptions, such as the development of an 'information class,' that will shape debate and research on the political implications of e-government"
William H. Dutton, Director Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

"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, Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for Development Policy United Nations Development Programme

"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


For more information about this publication please contact the STPP Web Manager at 617-496-1981.

For Academic Citation:

Mayer-Schoenberger, Viktor and David Lazer, eds. Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, September 2007.

Document Length: 352 pp.

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