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Back to the bad old days, as civil service infighting threatens UK’s only hope for digital government

Back to the bad old days, as civil service infighting threatens UK’s only hope for digital government

Technology and the public sector have rarely been happy bedfellows in the UK, where every government technology project seems doomed to arrive late, unperform and come in over budget. The Government Digital Service (GDS) was created to drag the civil service into the 21st century, making services “digital by default”, cheaper, faster, and easier to use. […]

Alan Turing Institute and OII: Summit on Data Science for Government and Policy Making

The benefits of big data and data science for the private sector are well recognised. So far, considerably less attention has been paid to the power and potential of the growing field of data science for policy-making and public services. On Monday 14th March 2016 the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Alan Turing Institute […]

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Do Finland’s digitally crowdsourced laws show a way to resolve democracy’s “legitimacy crisis”?

There is much discussion about a perceived “legitimacy crisis” in democracy. In his article The Rise of the Mediating Citizen: Time, Space, and Citizenship in the Crowdsourcing of Finnish Legislation, Taneli Heikka (University of Jyväskylä) discusses the digitally crowdsourced law for same-sex marriage that was passed in Finland in 2014, analysing how the campaign used […]

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How do the mass media affect levels of trust in government?

There is much evidence to suggest that the more complex aspects of the relationship between openness and trust in government go unaccounted for in current attempts by public sector organizations to become more open and transparent. Greg Porumbescu discusses his article Assessing the Link Between Online Mass Media and Trust in Government: Evidence From Seoul, South Korea, published in Policy & Internet (5, 4), which finds evidence of a positive indirect relationship between citizens’ use of online mass media outlets and their levels of trust in government.

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Past and Emerging Themes in Policy and Internet Studies

What kind of research does the journal Policy & Internet publish? Editor Vili Lehdonvirta approaches the question from two angles; first, by examining the question empirically, through a brief thematic analysis of the articles published since its launch in 2009; second, by considering what kind of research the journal is likely to publish in the future, both in terms of what kind of trends can be seen emerging in policy and Internet research, as well as in terms of what challenges outlined in the journal’s original vision that continue to be pertinent today. Read the full editorial.

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The challenges of government use of cloud services for public service delivery

Cloud services hold the promise of rendering public service delivery and back-office operations more effective and efficient, by providing ubiquitous, on-demand access to computing resources. Beyond the compelling cost economies, cloud technology is also a promising platform for open government, interagency cooperation, and government innovation. However, Kristina Irion (Central European University and University of Amsterdam) says that what looks like an ideal match actually raises a range of unresolved issues, and national governments are faced with legal risks that would contest national data sovereignty.

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Technological innovation and disruption was a big theme of the WEF 2014 in Davos: but where was government?

The 2014 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) aimed to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to the profound political, economic, social and technological forces that are transforming our lives, communities and institutions. OII Director Helen Margetts reports her experience of the event and reflects on an absent guest from this feast of futurism — the nature of government in a rapidly changing world.

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