Archive for 2012

Call for papers: Digital Government and the Data Deluge

Helen Margetts and I will be co-chairing a panel titled "Digital Government and the Data Deluge" at the 2013 General Meeting of the European Consortium of Political Research (Bordeaux, 4-7 September). The abstract for the panel is below. Have a paper that will fit in? Submit your proposal through the ECPR website by February 1st. We're accepting 4-5 papers for presentation.

Title: "Digital Government and the Data Deluge"

Abstract: Internet-based platforms enable new forms of production, firm-client engagement, and data-driven decision-making, particularly through the generation and analysis of 'big data', drawing on non-traditional data sources. Typically tied into broader 'open government' and 'digital by default' agendas, governments around the world are attempting to capitalize on this potential, employing social media, releasing government data, and experimenting with big data and web-based co-production to improve services and policy making. While a number of highly enthusiastic, normative accounts describe these developments, we lack empirical data describing the drivers, processes, and outcomes of this latest wave of digital government in practice or the development of methods to study the structure of government or citizen-government interactions in these new contexts. Similarly, researchers have yet to explore the possible tensions between 'open data' and 'big data' agendas, or flesh out the implications that these initiatives have for models of public administration, government-citizen relations, and the shape and size of the public sector. This panel invites papers that address these empirical, methodological and theoretical gaps, providing much-needed attention to this emerging phase of digital era government.

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New paper: "Open Dialogue" and the Government of Canada's Use of Twitter

This week I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association in Edmonton. The paper looks at the Government of Canada's use of Twitter. First, the paper evaluates the extent to which government department and agencies use Twitter for democratic engagement, as promised by Government officials and in the recently announced "Open Dialogue" plank of the Government's Open Government strategy. The paper next reports on preliminary results from interviews with federal civil servants, exploring how well-established tenets of public sector bureaucracies can limit the scope for government-citizen engagement via social media.

You can download the paper here.

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