The Expanded Civic Space of E-Government: Where the State and Citizen Interact Digitally
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E-government architecture is conceptualized along two dimensions: the normative and the aesthetic. The normative dimension refers to the extent to which certain key norms or values are fulfilled or emphasized in web site architecture while the aesthetic dimension refers to whether certain technical features of what is considered good message design or high message quality are present. The normative tradition of public administration in combination with prior e-government research is used to construct evaluation criteria for assessing latent public values contained in government web site features and content. Information architecture, information presentation, and instructional message design literature are used to construct aesthetic criteria for determining the message character of web sites. Focus groups and a survey questionnaire are used to both challenge and triangulate the web site data analysis.
An argument is made for eliminating the distinction or dichotomy between the two modes of government action--traditional and that of e-government. A unification of the two is proposed as part of an overall strategy for addressing the restructuring and reorganization of extant institutional arrangements necessary to support an integrated approach to e-government and traditional service delivery. Caution is urged with respect to proposals for embedding government services and information within existing commercial and entertainment web sites lest democratic values be subordinated to financial interests.
- Doctoral Dissertations