ICTs, Citizens and Governance: After the Hype!


Meijer, A.J.,
Boersma, K.,
Wagenaar, P.

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ICTs, Citizens and Governance: After the Hype! aims to help researchers and practitioners to understand hypes about ICT and government without becoming cynical. Hypes can be functional in triggering processes of change, but one should be able to distinguish a ‘trigger’ from a realistic set of expectations. This book combines an analysis of the discourse (in terms of hypes) with an analysis of practices (in terms of stable routines and relational patterns). The relation between the discourse and resulting changing is complex, situational and interpretable in multiple ways but certainly merits our attention. To provide a serious analysis of hypes, the editors present a diversity of empirical material relating to technologies and government processes. The technologies vary from network infrastructures to CRM software to web services. Government processes range from service delivery to inspections and policing. The wide variety of technologies observed results in an assessment of realistic effects upon the various government processes. This publication provides an overview of hypes, backlashes and realistic assessments. The editors hope it will lessen the naïveté of readers who have blind faith in technological potential. At the same time, they hope to make serious scientists who discard hypes as being irrelevant more interested in the role these hypes play in the social construction of public administration in an information age.