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The working out of modernization in the public sector: the case of an e-government initiative in Greece

Introna, Lucas, Hayes, Niall and Petrakaki, Dimitra (2010) The working out of modernization in the public sector: the case of an e-government initiative in Greece. International Journal of Public Administration, 33 (1). pp. 11-25. ISSN 0190-0692

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01900690903188750


It has become common place for governments to initiate electronic-government projects in order to reform public administration. This paper seeks to explore the ways in which an e-government project, as a potential mode of reformation, is established and made to work, and then, further, to account for some of its consequences for conventional public administration. To do so we draw upon a detailed empirical study of a Greek e-government initiative, the establishment of Citizen Service Centres (CSCs). CSCs represent a significant part of Greece's e-government strategy, which has sought to modernize public administration and make the provision of public services more efficient, accessible and responsive to citizens. Drawing upon Foucault's work on power/knowledge we show that the e-government initiative is established through various technologies of power that intend to discipline public sector staff towards a particular mode of working. We also illustrate that the establishment of these modernization practices is the outcome of considerable negotiation, improvisation and enactment as different occupational groups seek to collaborate (or not) across professional and institutional boundaries. Finally, we show and argue that rather than reforming the provision of public services, such e-government based modernization projects are more likely to reproduce, in more complex ways, the long established public sector practices it sought to change.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2010 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2011 12:40
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:07

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