Download Building the Virtual State: Information Technology and by Jane E. Fountain PDF

By Jane E. Fountain

The advantages of utilizing know-how to remake executive look virtually endless. The promise of such courses as uncomplicated " digital enterprises" and portals the place electorate can entry all sections of presidency from a unmarried web site has excited overseas consciousness. the possibility of a electronic kingdom can't be learned, in spite of the fact that, except the inflexible buildings of the modern bureaucratic kingdom switch in addition to the days. development the digital country explains how the yank public area needs to evolve and adapt to use the probabilities of electronic governance absolutely and reasonably. The ebook unearths that many matters desirous about integrating know-how and govt haven't been thoroughly debated or perhaps well-known. Drawing from a wealthy selection of case stories, the publication argues that the true demanding situations lie now not in attaining the technical power of making a central authority on the net, yet quite in overcoming the entrenched organizational and political divisions in the nation. Questions akin to who will pay for brand new govt web content, which corporations will continue the websites, and who will make sure that the privateness of voters is revered show the extreme stumbling blocks that confront efforts to create a digital country. those political and structural battles will impact not just how the yankee nation might be remade within the info Age, but in addition who would be the winners and losers in a electronic society.

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The enormity of these crises led the agency in 1995 to begin developing, as part of a larger modernization program, an integrated computer system for disaster relief. One new feature of the system is Automated Construction Estimating (ACE), which streamlines the delivery of aid to disaster victims: to save 36 BUILDING THE VIRTUAL STATE time, FEMA field inspectors transmit the results of home damage inspections (which serve as the basis for disaster awards) via handheld computers directly to the Disaster Field Office for data entry and transmission to headquarters.

Moreover, digital information is remarkably malleable, meaning it can be easily retrieved, stored, indexed, transmitted, and revised. In their current pioneering state, the Internet and the web together possess a cost structure radically different from that of any other mass media technologies. Their potential is available to nearly any interest group with access to the Web. It is not clear how the cost structure will change as the Internet is combined with other media and as its commercial potential is further exploited.

9 As part of the democratic process, ease of access is central to influence, but to date the use of the Internet for political participation remains biased in favor of the educationally and economically advantaged. As a medium that currently supports extremely low cost communication among millions, the Internet, and the access it provides to the web, differs markedly from other communications media. Its ability to enable many-to-many communication, or communication within and among groups of individuals, separates it from one-to-many (broadcast) media, including newspapers and magazines, television, and radio.

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