Bureaucratic Discretion and Deliberative Democracy

Bureaucratic Discretion and Deliberative Democracy

Christian Hunold (Drexel University, USA) and B. Guy Peter (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-130-8.ch007
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Abstract

Administrative discretion is both a strength and a weakness of contemporary political systems. Governments could not govern without the capacity to fill in legislation with detailed administrative regulations. Further, these regulations tend to reflect far more substantive information about the subjects being regulated than would most legislation coming from the legislature or decisions reached by the courts. The weakness of using discretion in rulemaking is the lack of legitimacy of these rules. Bureaucracies have a less than positive image in most industrialized democracies, and it is often assumed that their decisions are made to aggrandize their own institutional interests, or to serve “special interests” rather than the public. Thus, in order to make rulemaking more legitimate, effective means of oversight and participation for the public as a whole are required. We argue that many of the existing means of oversight are not as effective asthey once may have been. This is true largely because of the volume and complexity of rulemaking activity. In addition, the demands of the public in most democracies for more opportunities for effective participation mean that rulemaking that is done without the opportunity for the public to involve itself is suspect. The deliberative turn in thinking about participation, especially within public administration, may provide the public with opportunities for greater direct oversight, and perhaps also greater legitimacy for the rules adopted.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Matti Malkia, Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko, Reijo Savolainen
Chapter 1
Matti Malkia, Reijo Savolainen
In this chapter, authors present a common conceptual framework to understand the nature, causes and effects of electronic transformation... Sample PDF
eTransformation in Government, Politics and Society: Conceptual Framework and Introduction
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Chapter 2
Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko
The concept of governance has its roots in the changing role of the state and in a managerialist view of the operations of public administrations.... Sample PDF
Introduction to Democratic e-Governance
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Chapter 3
Ted Becker
In this chapter, the author tackles the major problems plaguing representative democracies around the world. Importantly, these problems originate... Sample PDF
Teledemocratic Innovations that Public Officials Ignore-At Our Great Peril
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Chapter 4
John Clayton Thomas
Public managers in Western democracies have felt growing pressures in recent decades to involve citizens more in the work of public administration... Sample PDF
Public Involvement in Public Administration in the Information Age: Speculations on the Effects of Technology
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Chapter 5
Seija Ridell
In this chapter, the contribution of new information and communication technologies to enhancing democracy at the local level is articulated as a... Sample PDF
ICTs and the Communicative Conditions for Democracy: A Local Experiment with Web-Mediated Civic Publicness
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Chapter 6
Christa Daryl Slaton, Jeremy L. Arthur
The question of “how wide to open the window” to hear citizen feedback and let them influence local politics is highly topical. The authors provide... Sample PDF
Public Information for a Democratic Society: Instilling Public Trust Through Greater Collaboration with Citizens
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Chapter 7
Christian Hunold, B. Guy Peter
Administrative discretion is both a strength and a weakness of contemporary political systems. Governments could not govern without the capacity to... Sample PDF
Bureaucratic Discretion and Deliberative Democracy
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Chapter 8
Arthur R. Edwards
The importance of moderation of online policy discussions is widely recognized. However, much less attention has been paid to the social interface... Sample PDF
The Moderator in Government-Initiated Internet Discussions: Facilitator or Source of Bias?
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Chapter 9
Roger Richman
This chapter explores some implications of the emerging telecommunications networks for urban areas and concludes that new networks will do more to... Sample PDF
Metropolitan Governance and Telecommunications Policy: Changing Perceptions of Place and Local Governance in the Information Society
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Chapter 10
Kevin Sproats, Trevor Cairney, David Hegarty
Twelve local government authorities constitute Greater Western Sydney, the fastest growing and most diverse metropolitan region in Australia. With a... Sample PDF
Building Regional Communities in an Information Age: The Case of Greater Western Sydney
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Chapter 11
Roger W. Caves
The use of ICTs in community development areas has increased over the past 10 years. This chapter examines how the “Smart Community” concept can... Sample PDF
Responding to the Information Needs of Citizens in an Open Society: The Role of Smart Communities
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Chapter 12
Sonja Bugdahn
Critics of the notion or concept of “information society” have often made claims to put the new ICTs into a more historical and institutional... Sample PDF
What's New? Perspectives on Freedom of Information and the Internet
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Chapter 13
Anna Malina, Ann Macintosh
Examined in this chapter is action to address the “digital divide,” and possibilities for extending e-democracy to support wider democratic... Sample PDF
Bridging the Digital Divide: Developments in Scotland
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Chapter 14
Peter J. Smith, Elizabeth Smythe
This chapter examines how information technologies have been used by non-governmental organizations to contest economic globalization. The chapter... Sample PDF
Globalization, Citizenship and New Information Technologies: From the MAI to Seattle
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About the Authors