Building the Information Society from the Bottom Up? EU Public Policy and Community Informatics in North West England

Building the Information Society from the Bottom Up? EU Public Policy and Community Informatics in North West England

John Cawood (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and Seamus Simpson (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch007
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Abstract

If information and communications technologies are to be used to support community efforts to achieve social and economic development, then policies which link emerging technological opportunities with the social and economic context must be devised. In the European regions, the many organizations which promote community informatics have increasingly taken up the concept of the Information Society as both an objective and a rationale for such policy making. The key player in proselytizing this concept has been the Commission of the European Union and monies from EU Structural Funds have been deployed in a series of community, regional and interregional informatics initiatives which started in the early 1990s. In these initiatives, increasing emphasis has been laid on the devolution of decision making to the community, user access and the empowerment of those who risk exclusion from the potential benefits of ICTs. In brief, the Commission has sought to create a policy environment which encourages local and regional actors to build the “Information Society” from the bottom up.

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