Administering and Governing with Technology: The Question of Information Communication Technology and E-Governance

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Overall the community of experts, practitioners, and scholars focusing on and dealing with information communication technology (ICT) and e-governance sees them as positive developments. Citizens often also see them as helpful, facilitating their interactions with public services. In this perspective, ICT and, more specifically, e-governance, i.e. the use of ICT to assist the administration of public services and, in connection with it, governance and government practices at the local, national, regional and international levels, are viewed as contributing to the greater effectiveness, transparency, and credibility of public administration, governance and government functions. Against this background, this brief article does not mean to deny the virtues of ICT and e-governance. It is indeed difficult not to see the benefits brought by ICT applied to government and governance operations and services. Still, offering a bit of a contrarian view, it draws out some of the limitations or downsides of ICT in the context of government/governance. As such, it touches upon three main points.