Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Reconstructing the state through ICTs? A case of state-level computerization in the Indian public distribution system

Masiero, Silvia (2013) Reconstructing the state through ICTs? A case of state-level computerization in the Indian public distribution system. In: Marsden, Gary, May, Julian, Donner, Jonathan and Parikh, Tapan, (eds.) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development Full Papers: ICTD '13 - Cape Town, South Africa, December 7-10, 2013 (Volume 1). ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. ACM Press, New York, USA, pp. 113-122. ISBN 9781450319065

Full text not available from this repository.

Identification Number: 10.1145/2516604.2516606


This study focuses on the role of public sector ICTs in reconstructing the image of the state, as conceived by developing country citizens. Drawing on contemporary readings of the Gramscian politics of the governed, I look at the Indian Public Distribution System (PDS), a food security net based on subsidization of foodgrains to the poor, as it is locally computerized in the state of Kerala. My results, derived through an in-depth case study, confirm and dismiss theory at the same time: on the one hand, the state uses new technologies for reshaping its image, and indeed the very nature of its service provision. On the other hand, though, the loci of image formation that are found in citizens (direct experience, social networks, and political circuits) systematically escape control by governmental action, and seem to be only marginally touched by the ICT-induced reinvention of government. It seems, therefore, that the capacity of the state to reconstruct its image, through the usage of new technologies, is limited by the nature of the spaces of image formation which citizens experience in their daily lives.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 ACM, New York
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2014 17:08
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item