Realigning Governance: From E-Government to E-Democracy

Realigning Governance: From E-Government to E-Democracy

Donald G. Lenihan (Centre for Collaborative Government, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch250
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In this chapter, the author acknowledges that over the last few decades, information and communications technologies (ICTs) have progressed at a remarkable pace. By the mid-1990s, the new technology had been used to engineer a major transformation of the private sector, reshaping markets and the basic building block of the modern economy: the corporation. Likewise, enthusiasts predicted that the public sector was about to go through a similar transformation. A new era in government was said to be dawning. For some, electronic- or e-government promised to transform government operations leading to major “efficiency gains” in service delivery. But e-government is proving more difficult and costly than first thought and the expected benefits have been slow to materialize. With some notable exceptions, the efficiency gains have been mixed. The boom in e-commerce was short-circuited by the dot-com bust. Is the bloom coming off the e-government rose? This chapter tries to shed more light on the pertinent issues and reflect a broader vision that e-government is about the transformation of government. A firm commitment from decision makers to think through the issues and steer the right course is critical or e-government could easily lose momentum or veer off course.

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