E-Government and the Risk Society

E-Government and the Risk Society

Michael Blakemore (University of Durham, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch102
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Abstract

The modern “risk society” does not necessarily focus on an increase in overall risk to citizens. It is more focused on trying to predict and reduce risk in the context of the speed and complexity of globalisation. Anthony Giddens observes that society is organising itself increasingly around the mitigation of risk, and Ulrich Beck notes that the assessment and mitigation of risk is undertaken in a systematic way (as cited in “Risk Society,” 2005). While society has always been confronted by external risks (floods, earthquakes, etc.), the risks within e-government are primarily manufactured risks, produced by largely uncertain outcomes of the integration of information and by the ways in which information technologies are used within government. For example, CCTV (closed-circuit television) can be used in a planned manner to monitor and deter crime in public spaces, but an uncertain outcome can be the risk of all citizens being proactively monitored by government.

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