Public Authorities and the Local Information Society

Public Authorities and the Local Information Society

T. Inkinen (University of Turku, Finland) and J. S. Jauhiainen (University of Oulu, Finland)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch209
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Abstract

This article focuses on the role of public authorities in the creation of local information societies (LIS). The analysis is conducted with reference to strategies, policies, and actions of public authorities with the aim of promoting information and communication technologies (ICTs) at the local level. Although the article relates to broad issues relevant today throughout the western world, we narrow the empirical examples to Finland. To begin, we provide a brief account of documents that guide LIS policies. Our focus is on the discursive formation and strategic guidance of LIS. For example, several European Commission documents highlight the positive relationship between economic growth, competitiveness, and knowledge-intensity as a means for success in global competition. On the national level, we discuss the current Finnish government strategy for the promotion of the information society (Government of Finland, 2003). Second, we offer insights into how discursive strategies for the LIS are implemented through practical activities. Two examples discuss the relationship between public authorities and citizen, business and governance-oriented LIS. In particular, it is essential to consider the connections and disparities between written policy strategies and everyday practices. The first topic focuses on the Tampere Region, recounting a case of LIS promotion through enhancing interaction between citizens and public authorities. In the second case, we discuss the Multipolis technology network. It is an example of LIS policy targeted to support private-led technology development in the more remote localities of northern Finland.

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