Building the virtual state: information technology and institutional change
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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actors American analysis army automated behavior bureaucracy capacity central chapter Command and Control complex concept cooperation coordination costs cross-agency Customs Service database decisionmaking decisions economic electronic embeddedness Enacting Technology environment ernment Export firms flows formal functions Harvard Herbert Simon hierarchy implementation important individual industry information and services information systems information technology Innovation institutional institutionalized integration International Trade Data Internet interorganizational networks ITDS project logics Maneuver Control System Mark Granovetter Max Weber MCS2 ment NAFTA NATAP National Performance Review Network Forms networked computing norms Office operations organizational organizations percent performance programs perspective Podolny policymaking political ports potential public managers relationships Robert Putnam role rules sector Small Business Small Business Administration social capital staff standardization strategic structure tasks theory tion tional Trade Data System U.S. Army U.S. Customs Service United University Press users virtual agencies web portal web-based