This volume explores the main elements of e-Democracy, as is usually termed the implementation of democratic government processes through electronic means. This “e” approach was initiated some years ago and it is still under development. Starting from the middle of the 1990s the rapid diffusion of on-line content and services ignited a true revolution in many sectors, including the interaction between citizens and their government. The pervasive role of “cyber” technology is stimulating changes in the way most people earn their incomes; varying the balance between our roles as consumers and producers; changing the way we educate succeeding generations and train ourselves; changing the fruition of the world’s cultural heritage; transforming the delivery of health care; altering the way we govern ourselves; changing the way we form communities; varying the way we obtain and communicate information; contributing to bridge some cultural or physical gaps; modifying patterns of activity among the elderly; and perhaps contributing to a greener world. This is not a complete list of changes, but highlights some of the most prominent and important effects of ICT on our society. This book is part of a collection of books devoted to the added value use of ICTs for citizens; the first volume introduces the fundamentals of technology and human factors in e-Citizenship, following volumes are devoted to a specific set of aspects and services targeting citizens. They present a view of a society changing under the influence of advanced information technology. Computers have been around for about half a century and their social effects have been described under many headings. The purpose of these books is to help in drawing and understanding a realistic scenario of what we can term e-Citizenry even if, as stated many times, “prediction is difficult, especially if it involves the future! ” Sometimes this term simply identifies members of the network, Internet users. These books identify as “e-Citizen” a Citizen surrounded by private or public administration’s digital services and the transition from his traditional role and behaviour to the new ones. The major part of the population has already started this journey from Citizens to e-Citizens, they already ask and receive certificates on line, book a medical service and receive the feedbacks on line or pay taxes and vote in this way. Anyway, this is a critical process involving opportunities and threats, benefits and drawbacks. In addition, there is still a gap to be bridged due to cultural behaviours, age and education. Starting from the first decade of the twenty-first century a relevant number of Governmental Agencies, Institutions and Private Enterprises spread all over the world both in industrialised and developing countries invested time and resources on e-Services. We are now in a position to draw some conclusions about this preliminary phase. Are such investments effectively useful and appreciated by citizens? Apart from technology what are the most relevant factors influencing their success or failure? Governments, Institutions and citizens are ready and willing e-Services? Are e-Services a real “tsunami” for governmental Institutions and agencies? Are citizens concerned about privacy issues and “cyber” security? This volume provides an insight about main technological and human issues to governance, government, participation, inclusion, empowerment and procurement all of them not forgetting ethical and privacy issues. These last aspects are undoubtedly relevant, everyone experienced in “ICT based innovation” knows that “It is not only a matter of technology”. The main aim of this work is to bridge the gap between technological solutions and successful implementation and fruitful utilization of the main set of e-Services totally or partially care of Governments. Different parameters are actively influencing e-Services success or failure: cultural aspects, organisational issues, bureaucracy and workflow, infrastructure and technology in general, users’ habits, literacy, capacity or merely interaction design. This includes: having a significant population of citizens willing and able to adopt and use online services; and developing the managerial and technical capability to implement applications to meet the needs of citizens. A selection of success stories and failures, duly commented on, will help the reader in identifying the right approach to innovation in governmental e-Services. The present volume is part of a collection of books, the first three volumes are: e-Citizens: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Citizenry, e-Democracy: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Society, e-Services: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Community, all of them published by Springer International 2018.

e-Democracy: Toward a New model of (Inter)active Society

Alfredo Ronchi
2018

Abstract

This volume explores the main elements of e-Democracy, as is usually termed the implementation of democratic government processes through electronic means. This “e” approach was initiated some years ago and it is still under development. Starting from the middle of the 1990s the rapid diffusion of on-line content and services ignited a true revolution in many sectors, including the interaction between citizens and their government. The pervasive role of “cyber” technology is stimulating changes in the way most people earn their incomes; varying the balance between our roles as consumers and producers; changing the way we educate succeeding generations and train ourselves; changing the fruition of the world’s cultural heritage; transforming the delivery of health care; altering the way we govern ourselves; changing the way we form communities; varying the way we obtain and communicate information; contributing to bridge some cultural or physical gaps; modifying patterns of activity among the elderly; and perhaps contributing to a greener world. This is not a complete list of changes, but highlights some of the most prominent and important effects of ICT on our society. This book is part of a collection of books devoted to the added value use of ICTs for citizens; the first volume introduces the fundamentals of technology and human factors in e-Citizenship, following volumes are devoted to a specific set of aspects and services targeting citizens. They present a view of a society changing under the influence of advanced information technology. Computers have been around for about half a century and their social effects have been described under many headings. The purpose of these books is to help in drawing and understanding a realistic scenario of what we can term e-Citizenry even if, as stated many times, “prediction is difficult, especially if it involves the future! ” Sometimes this term simply identifies members of the network, Internet users. These books identify as “e-Citizen” a Citizen surrounded by private or public administration’s digital services and the transition from his traditional role and behaviour to the new ones. The major part of the population has already started this journey from Citizens to e-Citizens, they already ask and receive certificates on line, book a medical service and receive the feedbacks on line or pay taxes and vote in this way. Anyway, this is a critical process involving opportunities and threats, benefits and drawbacks. In addition, there is still a gap to be bridged due to cultural behaviours, age and education. Starting from the first decade of the twenty-first century a relevant number of Governmental Agencies, Institutions and Private Enterprises spread all over the world both in industrialised and developing countries invested time and resources on e-Services. We are now in a position to draw some conclusions about this preliminary phase. Are such investments effectively useful and appreciated by citizens? Apart from technology what are the most relevant factors influencing their success or failure? Governments, Institutions and citizens are ready and willing e-Services? Are e-Services a real “tsunami” for governmental Institutions and agencies? Are citizens concerned about privacy issues and “cyber” security? This volume provides an insight about main technological and human issues to governance, government, participation, inclusion, empowerment and procurement all of them not forgetting ethical and privacy issues. These last aspects are undoubtedly relevant, everyone experienced in “ICT based innovation” knows that “It is not only a matter of technology”. The main aim of this work is to bridge the gap between technological solutions and successful implementation and fruitful utilization of the main set of e-Services totally or partially care of Governments. Different parameters are actively influencing e-Services success or failure: cultural aspects, organisational issues, bureaucracy and workflow, infrastructure and technology in general, users’ habits, literacy, capacity or merely interaction design. This includes: having a significant population of citizens willing and able to adopt and use online services; and developing the managerial and technical capability to implement applications to meet the needs of citizens. A selection of success stories and failures, duly commented on, will help the reader in identifying the right approach to innovation in governmental e-Services. The present volume is part of a collection of books, the first three volumes are: e-Citizens: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Citizenry, e-Democracy: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Society, e-Services: Toward a New Model of (Inter)active Community, all of them published by Springer International 2018.
Springer Heidelberg
978-3-030-01596-1
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