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Which technology to which challenge in democratic governance? An approach using design science research

Which technology to which challenge in democratic governance? An approach using design science... Information systems (IS) play an important role in contemporary society, but critical questions remain on their potential use and impact on democracy. This study aims to contribute to the discussion on which technology can be adequate to which major challenge of democratic governance, through the identification and pairing of challenges of democratic governance with specific information technologies with the potential to be used in applications related to this challenge. This perspective can be considered positioned in the confluence between IS, political science and public administration.Design/methodology/approachDesign science research, a research approach in IS, was used. The suggestion of a conceptual framework with pairs of challenges in democratic governance and information technologies was initially developed. In a subsequent phase, this framework was discussed and assessed through interviews with a panel of selected experts in e-government and IS, reaching a revised conceptual framework.FindingsResults suggest that the conceptual pairing of challenges in democratic governance with IS’s solutions such as artificial intelligence, systems integration or blockchain technologies, for instance, if used in a critical, transparent and accountable way, can play a role in capacitating the delivery of better public services and contribute to encouraging citizen trust and political participation. These results may contribute to open a methodological agenda dedicated to the selection of adequate IS resources to address specific challenges of democratic governance, as well as to help in the development of public policies in the area.Originality/valuePrevious studies on digital government offer important insights on the impact of information and communication technologies-enabled public governance tools for government openness, public service efficiency and user-friendliness, and for citizen political participation and societal mobilization. But the literature still lacks a systematic conceptual framework mapping and assessing the role of distinctive IS instruments in democratic challenge-solving and specifying functional relationships between specific technology and democratic outcomes. This paper aims to contribute to filling this analytical gap. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Which technology to which challenge in democratic governance? An approach using design science research

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6166
eISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/tg-03-2020-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Information systems (IS) play an important role in contemporary society, but critical questions remain on their potential use and impact on democracy. This study aims to contribute to the discussion on which technology can be adequate to which major challenge of democratic governance, through the identification and pairing of challenges of democratic governance with specific information technologies with the potential to be used in applications related to this challenge. This perspective can be considered positioned in the confluence between IS, political science and public administration.Design/methodology/approachDesign science research, a research approach in IS, was used. The suggestion of a conceptual framework with pairs of challenges in democratic governance and information technologies was initially developed. In a subsequent phase, this framework was discussed and assessed through interviews with a panel of selected experts in e-government and IS, reaching a revised conceptual framework.FindingsResults suggest that the conceptual pairing of challenges in democratic governance with IS’s solutions such as artificial intelligence, systems integration or blockchain technologies, for instance, if used in a critical, transparent and accountable way, can play a role in capacitating the delivery of better public services and contribute to encouraging citizen trust and political participation. These results may contribute to open a methodological agenda dedicated to the selection of adequate IS resources to address specific challenges of democratic governance, as well as to help in the development of public policies in the area.Originality/valuePrevious studies on digital government offer important insights on the impact of information and communication technologies-enabled public governance tools for government openness, public service efficiency and user-friendliness, and for citizen political participation and societal mobilization. But the literature still lacks a systematic conceptual framework mapping and assessing the role of distinctive IS instruments in democratic challenge-solving and specifying functional relationships between specific technology and democratic outcomes. This paper aims to contribute to filling this analytical gap.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 30, 2021

Keywords: Government; Democracy; Public services; Transparency; Participation; Information systems (IS); Governance; Design science research (DSR)

References