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Digital Government:
Technology and Public Sector Performance
Darrell M. West

Winner of the 2006 Don K. Price Award, Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics Section of the American Political Science Association

Paperback | 2007 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691134079
256 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 2 line illus. 47 tables.
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Few developments have had broader consequences for the public sector than the introduction of the Internet and digital technology. In this book, Darrell West discusses how new technology is altering governmental performance, the political process, and democracy itself by improving government responsiveness and increasing information available to citizens.

Using multiple methods--case studies, content analysis of over 17,000 government Web sites, public and bureaucrat opinion survey data, an e-mail responsiveness test, budget data, and aggregate analysis--the author presents the most comprehensive study of electronic government ever undertaken. Among other topics, he looks at how much change has taken place in the public sector, what determines the speed and breadth of e-government adoption, and what the consequences of digital technology are for the public sector.

Written in a clear and analytical manner, this book outlines the variety of factors that have restricted the ability of policy makers to make effective use of new technology. Although digital government offers the potential for revolutionary change, social, political, and economic forces constrain the scope of transformation and prevent government officials from realizing the full benefits of interactive technology.


"A comprehensive, detailed, survey of e-government practices, this book is a significant contribution to the field."--Stuart Bretschneider, Syracuse University

"This well-written book nicely blends the diffusion theory of technical innovations with the comprehensive nature of the evolution of e-government."--M. Jae Moon, Korea University and Texas A&M University

"I've seen no other work that brings together this much empirical evidence on the general trend of government agencies' adoption of IT for their services."--Eszter Hargittai, Northwestern University.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables ix
Preface xiii
Chapter 1: Scope, Causes, and Consequences of Electronic Government 1
Chapter 2: Bureaucratic, Fiscal, and Political Contexts 22
Chapter 3: The Content of American Government Websites 44
Chapter 4: Explaining E-Government Performance 71
Chapter 5: The Case of Online Tax Filing 82
Chapter 6: Public Outreach and Responsiveness 101
Chapter 7: Citizen Use of E-Government 114
Chapter 8: Trust and Confidence in E-Government 129
Chapter 9: Global E-Government 140
Chapter 10: Democratization and Technological Change 165
Appendix I: Coding Instructions for Government Website Content Analysis 185
Appendix II: Global E-Government Rankings 191
Appendix III: E-Government Best Practices 194
Notes 201
Index 221

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