Vision 2020: A Case Study of Web 2.0 Application to Public Governance in Taiwan

Vision 2020: A Case Study of Web 2.0 Application to Public Governance in Taiwan

Ching-Heng Pan (National Chung-Hsing University & Taiwan E-Governance Research Center, Taiwan), Don-Yun Chen (National Cheng-Chi University & Taiwan E-Governance Research Center, Taiwan) and Chian-Wen Wang (National Cheng-Chi University & Taiwan E-Governance Research Center, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-753-1.ch018
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Abstract

The chapter introduces a novel website model adopted in Vision 2020. An evaluation framework is presented for assessing the extent to which a website facilitates electronic participation via Web 2.0 technologies. Then, the Vision 2020 website is thoroughly examined in terms of the evaluation framework. Recommendations for the design and implementation strategies of government websites aimed to increase e-participation are offered.
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Background

In the Time of Rebuilding Participatory Democracy

Throughout the evolution of representative democracy, the governance structure has encountered a serious challenge in that citizens are becoming increasingly indifferent to democratic procedures. Mitigating people’s alienation from public affairs has been a critical issue faced by democratic regimes (Fraunholz & Unnithan, 2008). Since the 1980s, democratization in Taiwan has moved from the transition stage to habitualization stage (Rustow, 1973). Citizens should not be considered merely as voters or consumers. Instead, they should be viewed as participants, partners and co-inventors of public policy that seeks not only efficiency but also more inclusive, legitimate citizen participation (Smith & Ingram, 1993). The government ought to include public opinion in the political process by creating diverse participative mechanisms in order to build a responsive, legitimate and “strong democracy” (Barber, 1984).

Adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in government should not simply seek to achieve more efficient service delivery. It is equally important to press for participatory democracy. A recently emerging trend is the urge to free e-governance from managerialism and seeing ICTs as ways to strengthen democratic governance (Caldow, 2004; Chadwick, 2003; Lenihan, 2002; Macintosh, 2004). At the core of this effort is a response to the criticism that citizens are treated as customers, resulting in the demand that policy makers refocus on public service and civic engagement. “Public servants do not deliver public services; they deliver democracy” (Denhardt & Denhardt, 2007: xi). The development of e-governance should therefore respond to the call for the reaffirmation of democratic values, citizenship and service in public interest.

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