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Local democratic values and e-government: barrier or promoter?: A case study of a multicultural Swedish municipality
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Community Informatics, ISSN 1712-4441, E-ISSN 1712-4441, Vol. 9, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to understand the significance of local democratic core values for the introduction of e-government reforms (public e-services) in a multicultural Swedish municipality with a strong tradition of developing democratic processes and responsiveness to citizen needs. We conclude that the democratic core values in the municipality have acted both as promoter and facilitator of public e-services. Despite the strong economic rationale of e-services, the local democratic values prevail and have advocated e-service developments. This illustrates how locally defined values have a fundamental role in legitimizing and defining the purpose of e-services in the community where they are implemented. However, we also conclude that public e-services, in their present form, could lead to a hollowing out of the local democratic values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Journal of Community Informatics , 2013. Vol. 9, no 1
Keyword [en]
E-Government; Public E-Services; ICT; Public Organization; Municipality; Democratic Values; One-Stop Government Offices
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-89663DiVA: diva2:608718
Available from: 2013-02-28 Created: 2013-02-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. En legitim (elektronisk) förvaltning?: Om IT-utveckling i kommunal förvaltning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>En legitim (elektronisk) förvaltning?: Om IT-utveckling i kommunal förvaltning
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen undersöker utvecklingen av en elektronisk förvaltning ur ett legitimitetsperspektiv. Det övergripande syftet är att analysera den reella och potentiella förändring som e-förvaltning innebär för den offentliga förvaltningens legitimitetsgrunder, både i form av hur e-förvaltning har formulerats som idé, och hur det konkret har gått till när e-förvaltning har implementerats i praktiken. Avhandlingen består av fem artiklar som undersöker olika aspekter av syftet, från idéerna bakom e-förvaltning på internationell nivå, till implementeringsprocessen på lokal nivå. Den övergripande analysen använder sig av så kallad pragmatisk institutionalism, samt perspektiv på hur legitimitet skapas och upprättshålls i förvaltningen. En fallstudie av en svensk kommun utgör det huvudsakliga empiriska materialet. Detta material kompletteras med en mindre studie av ytterligare en svensk kommun, samt dokumentstudier av den Europeiska Unionens policy för e-förvaltning. Avhandlingen lyfter fram fyra huvudsakliga slutsatser: (1) e-förvaltningsreformer bidrar till skapandet av en ny praxis, där den praktiska utvecklingen och tillämpningen av IT blir ett allt viktigare inslag i den studerade kommunens organisering och serviceutövning, (2) detta bidrar till en omorganisering av aktörsroller- och förhållanden. Ledande tjänstemän i kommunen övertar den strategiska styrningen av utvecklingsprocessen från lokala politiker, medan kommunens närbyråkrater kringgås genom att medborgaren förväntas ta ett större eget ansvar för interaktionen med förvaltningen, (3) legitimitetsgrunder såsom brukarinflytande och kundanpassning placeras därmed i förgrunden medan den politiska styrningen och bedömningen hamnar i bakgrunden, (4) dessa förändringar tyder på allt starkare inslag av en gör-detsjälv-logik, där legitimitet i genomförandeprocesser främst grundar sig i individens möjlighet till självbetjäning och självförvaltning via elektroniska kanaler.

Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the development of an electronic government from a legitimacy perspective. The overarching aim is to analyse the actual and potential processes of change and impacts of e-government on bases of legitimacy within public administration – both with regards to how the ideas behind e-government have been formulated as well as how e-government in practise has been realised. The thesis consists of five articles that examine different aspects of the overarching aim; from the ideas behind e-government on an international level, to the practical implementation process in local government. The overarching analysis uses an institutional perspective and perspectives on the creation and maintenance of legitimacy in public administration. An in-depth case study of a Swedish municipality provides the main empirical material for the analysis. In turn, the material is supplemented with a smaller case study of another Swedish municipality, as well as document studies of the e-government policy of the European Union. The analysis arrives at four overarching conclusions: (1) egovernment reforms contribute to new practises, in which the development and application of IT is becoming increasingly central for the local organisation and the provision of public services, (2) this contributes to a reorganisation of actor roles and relationships. Leading public officials shoulder the strategic steering usually confined to local politicians, whilst street-level bureaucrats are circumvented by citizens since citizens are expected to shoulder greater individual responsibility in their interaction with administrations, (3) in turn, certain bases for legitimacy are placed in the foreground, in particular user influence and customer adaptation, whilst political steering and evaluation are downplayed, (4) these developments point at the emergence of a do-it-yourself-logic, in which legitimacy is mainly based on creating sufficient preconditions for individual selfservices and self-government through the electronic channels of administrations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 80 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 589
Keyword
E-government, public administration, legitimacy, local government, municipality, public e-services, institutionalism, E-förvaltning, offentlig förvaltning, legitimitet, kommuner, e-tjänster, organisering, pragmatisk institutionalism
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98291 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-98291 (DOI)978-91-7519-517-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-11-07, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-07 Created: 2013-10-07 Last updated: 2013-10-07Bibliographically approved

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