Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change

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9780815700777: Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and Institutional Change
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The benefits of using technology to remake government seem almost infinite. The promise of such programs as user-friendly "virtual agencies" and portals where citizens can access all sections of government from a single website has excited international attention. The potential of a digital state cannot be realized, however, unless the rigid structures of the contemporary bureaucratic state change along with the times. Building the Virtual State explains how the American public sector must evolve and adapt to exploit the possibilities of digital governance fully and fairly. The book finds that many issues involved in integrating technology and government have not been adequately debated or even recognized. Drawing from a rich collection of case studies, the book argues that the real challenges lie not in achieving the technical capability of creating a government on the web, but rather in overcoming the entrenched organizational and political divisions within the state. Questions such as who pays for new government websites, which agencies will maintain the sites, and who will ensure that the privacy of citizens is respected reveal the extraordinary obstacles that confront efforts to create a virtual state. These political and structural battles will influence not only how the American state will be remade in the Information Age, but also who will be the winners and losers in a digital society.


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About the Author:

Jane E. Fountain is associate professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is a research member of the Internet Policy Institute and director of Women in the Information Age Project.

Review:

"One can only hope that practitioners and policy analysts read this book as the war on terrorism proceeds and agencies are increasingly forced to deal with Internet technologies." —E. Lewis, New College of the University of South Florida, Choice, 3/1/2002



"[P]rovides a powerful theoretical lens for understanding how technology, organizations, and institutions interact.... I strongly recommend this book to anyone seriously interested in the role of technology as both cause and effect of organizational and institutional change." —Stuart Bretschneider, Syracuse University, Public Administration Review, 11/1/2003



"[Fountain's] book is a thorough, well-integrated scholarly assessment of American government's administrative and managerial response to dramatic changes in information technology over the past two decades.... an important book that brings technology into the mainstream of public management theory." —Sharon S. Dawes, State University of New York at Albany, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10/1/2002



"This important study brings institutional theory and the adoption of Internet technologies by the modern state into sharper focus than any previous work....Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate collections in public administration, management, sociology, and political science." —E. Lewis, New College of the University of South Florida, CHOICE, 6/1/2007

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Book Description Brookings Institution Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.0in. x 0.7in.The benefits of using technology to remake government seem almost infinite. The promise of such programs as user-friendly virtual agencies and portals where citizens can access all sections of government from a single website has excited international attention. The potential of a digital state cannot be realized, however, unless the rigid structures of the contemporary bureaucratic state change along with the times. Building the Virtual State explains how the American public sector must evolve and adapt to exploit the possibilities of digital governance fully and fairly. The book finds that many issues involved in integrating technology and government have not been adequately debated or even recognized. Drawing from a rich collection of case studies, the book argues that the real challenges lie not in achieving the technical capability of creating a government on the web, but rather in overcoming the entrenched organizational and political divisions within the state. Questions such as who pays for new government websites, which agencies will maintain the sites, and who will ensure that the privacy of citizens is respected reveal the extraordinary obstacles that confront efforts to create a virtual state. These political and structural battles will influence not only how the American state will be remade in the Information Age, but also who will be the winners and losers in a digital society. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780815700777

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