Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

The Internet and related technologies have dramatically changed the way we live, work, socialize, and even topple national governments. As the Internet becomes increasingly pervasive across societies, we find more often that governments adopt Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as part of their toolbox for facilitating efficient and citizen-oriented service delivery at all levels of government. Local governments across the major industrialized democracies have not been an exception to this trend and have set sail into the age of digital government. Closest to their citizens, towns and cities have adopted ICTs to facilitate electronic government (e-government). While research on local e-government functionality in terms of information dissemination, service delivery, and citizen engagement continues at an impressive empirical and methodological pace, gaps in our knowledge remain. Cross-national comparative research on local e-government that covers a wide range of municipalities in combination with in-depth case study analyses is lacking. Informed by a comparative case study approach, this book seeks to narrow that gap and offer practical policy solutions to facilitate local e-government. We do so by pursuing both a macro and micro perspective of e-government functionality in the federal republics of Germany and the United States and unitary France and Japan. The macro perspective focuses on the state and scope of e-government functionality across a large number of randomly selected municipalities of all sizes in these advanced industrialized countries. Based on a small sample of case studies, the micro perspective analyzes the successful implementation of e-government in Seattle (United States), Nuremberg (Germany), Bordeaux (France), and Shizuoka City (Japan).

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

The Internet and related technologies have dramatically changed the way we live, work, socialize, and even topple national governments. It is not surprising that they would have a sizeable impact on the way local governments relate to the public, especially their own citizens. As was the case with previous communication technology breakthroughs, such as radio and television, early commentators predicted that the Internet would revolutionize public administration and politics; as we gain some perspective and experience, we find more often that governments adopt Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as part of their toolbox for facilitating efficient and citizen-oriented service delivery at all levels of government. Local governments, which by definition are the closest to their citizens, have not been an exception to this trend. Local governments across the industrialized democracies have adopted ICTs to facilitate electronic government or e-government in the areas of information dissemination, service delivery, and citizen engagement in government. With a focus on e-government at the local level, this study pursues both a macro and micro perspective of e-government functionality in the federal republics of Germany and the United States and unitary France and Japan. The macro perspective focuses on the state and scope of e-government functionality across a large number of randomly selected municipalities of all sizes in these advanced industrialized countries. Based on a small sample of case studies, the micro perspective analyzes the successful implementation of e-government in Seattle (United States), Nuremberg (Germany), Bordeaux (France), and Shizuoka City (Japan).
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Trends and Theoretical Context

Frontmatter

Chapter 2. Current Trends in Local E-Government

The wave of intensified economic globalization and the increasing density of networked computers since the fall of the Berlin Wall have become major forces across the industrialized countries and have touched all levels of government. Some argue that globalization has shifted the focus of economic and political activities to the global level at the expense of the national and grassroots level. There are also those who argue that the network technology underpinning the Internet concentrates power among the political elite rather than decentralizing decision making (Warschauer, 2003). Others disagree with these viewpoints and draw attention to the important role of the sub-national within the context of the globalized information technologies. In conjunction with the use of ICTs, local governments can serve as flows able to facilitate the dissemination of information and networks across and beyond government (Castells, 1989, 2006). Research efforts since 1996 also suggest the increasing importance of ICTs at the local level. According to the latest E-Government Reference Library (Version 10.0), a list of peer reviewed publications in this area compiled by Dr. Hans Scholl at the University of Washington, Table 2.1 illustrates the proliferation of local e-government peer-reviewed references (Fig. 2.1).
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Chapter 3. Transformation of Local Government in the Digital Age

The major normative issue that arises in much of the discussion of ICTs and democratic theory is the digital divide, how it is shifting, and what governments should do to address the inequalities it generates in the Information Age. While recognizing that the digital divide is inherently undemocratic and that it has important theoretical and empirical consequences at the local level, it is not our primary normative focus in this book. Rather, we want to discuss the theoretical aspects of the relationships between emerging ICTs (particularly the Internet), citizen participation and representation in local democracy. The fundamental question we address is: to what extent might ICTs transform our concept of how local democracy operates? Specifically, how might ICTs impact citizens’ relationships to local governments in modern democracies?
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Comparative Analysis of Local E-Government Functionality

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. United States

Though the Internet emerged as a popular medium during the 1990s and both the private and, to some extent, public sector embraced it as a new means to disseminate information, the federal government did not establish its official e-government strategy until Mark Forman was appointed Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the early 2000s. On July 1, 2001, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formed the E-Government Task Force aimed at “improving the quality of services to citizens, businesses, governments and government employees, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal government” (United States of America & Executive Office of the President, 2002).
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Chapter 5. Germany

Germany is a federal system in which both legislative and administrative competencies are executed across the federal, state, and municipal levels of government. Although administrative powers are mostly divided between the national and state governments, municipalities enjoy a considerable degree of self-administration based on Article 28 of the Grundgesetz or Basic Law. The nature of Germany’s federal system in terms of sharing administrative powers has important consequences for e-government, as illustrated by BundOn-line 2005—a national initiative that aimed at providing federal services faster and more efficiently via the Internet. Within this context, Fetzer (2006) observes:
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Chapter 6. France

Although France is usually classified as a digital “follower” rather than a “leader,” its public authorities at various levels have taken significant steps to promote ICT infrastructure and applications. The purpose of this chapter is to examine French government ICT strategies at the national level, to provide an overview of local e-government trends and determinants in a random sample of cities across seven regions, and to present an in-depth case analysis of e-government and e-democracy in Bordeaux.
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Chapter 7. Japan

In Japan, the Basic Law on the Formation of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society passed Parliament in 2000. The Basic Law tried to take measures in a society where ICTs had spread; it provided the legal starting point of the various ICT policies implemented since. Effective since 2001, this law assumed the existence of a high-information communication networked society,
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Chapter 8. Conclusion

Cities and towns in the United States, Germany, France, and Japan have set sail into the age of digital government. Their journeys began and continue with the dissemination of information via the Internet but they soon moved beyond this basic level of e-government functionality. In recent years, municipalities have continued to strengthen the billboards level of e-government functionality and accelerated expansion of on-line service delivery opportunities. An overview of trends in local e-government adoption across the major industrialized countries over the past two decades illustrates that shift. From both a macro and case studies perspective of local e-government that relies on a combined sample of more than 2000 incorporated municipalities across the federal republics of the United States and Germany as well as the unitary republics of France and Japan, and draws on the cities of Seattle (United States), Nuremberg (Germany), Bordeaux (France), and Shizuoka (Japan), our research also shows that the digital age has arrived at the local level of government. As a result, e-government has contributed to a new modus operandi in terms of how municipalities provide information to and interact with citizens.
Tony E. Wohlers, Lynne Louise Bernier

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner

BranchenIndex Online

Die B2B-Firmensuche für Industrie und Wirtschaft: Kostenfrei in Firmenprofilen nach Lieferanten, Herstellern, Dienstleistern und Händlern recherchieren.

Whitepaper

- ANZEIGE -

Wieviel digitale Transformation steckt im Informationsmanagement? Zum Zusammenspiel eines etablierten und eines neuen Managementkonzepts

Das Management des Digitalisierungsprozesses ist eine drängende Herausforderung für fast jedes Unternehmen. Ausgehend von drei aufeinander aufbauenden empirischen Untersuchungen lesen Sie hier, welche generellen Themenfelder und konkreten Aufgaben sich dem Management im Rahmen dieses Prozesses stellen. Erfahren Sie hier, warum das Management der digitalen Transformation als separates Konzept zum Informationsmanagement zu betrachten
und so auch organisatorisch separiert zu implementieren ist. Jetzt gratis downloaden!

Bildnachweise