Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Government: A Challenge to the Concept of Citizenship?

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Government: A Challenge to the Concept of Citizenship?

Alejandro Ochoa-Arias (Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela) and Mariángela Petrizzo (ENDOLOGICA, Open Informatics and Professional Services Cooperative, Venezuela)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-860-4.ch019
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This chapter re-interprets the development of electronic participation and electronic government in the context of an alternative ideology. Bringing back the critique of previous chapters about government as a technology, the chapter shows how it is possible to generate new and socially oriented spaces for democratic processes in which technologies are tools for transformation. This requires expanding the concept of citizenship, of the state and of society.
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Icts And Government: A Complex Mix

The arrival of internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) to large sectors of population and almost every corner of the world, open a wide range of possibilities to the states, governments and citizens alike. Such possibilities range from an improvement of administrative procedures as to the introduction of changes in the relationships between citizens and the political milieu, basically through a more formal and deeper intercourse between those spheres of social action. They are what has been called e-government and e-democracy (Araya, 2005).

A large part of the studies devoted to the implementation of ICTs in the relationships between the State and citizens, are based on the assumption that administrative and political actions are mutually independent, and in some cases, they are linked but not in a very substantial way. Therefore, there is a dichotomy between administration and democracy which ignores the process in which the citizenship is built in a democratic environment and how it affects the ways in which the citizens are engaged in the activities of e-government and e-democracy (Petrizzo, 2005). In the constitution of citizens and the structures and practices of government, the whole set of elements will be affected notwithstanding their administrative or political nature.

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