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Governments are rapidly adopting new information technologies as smart cities, cyberinfrastructure, technology, policy and social participation increases. The Routledge Handbook On Information Technology In Government is a unique text that provides a comprehensive range of information technology topics as they connect with current trends in e-government. Much of this material is simply not available in an integrated fashion, making this book both an excellent reference and education resource. 

Routledge Handbook On Information Technology In Government

Edited by

Yu-Che Chen and Michael J. Ahn




396 pages | 36 B/W Illus. | ISBN: 9781138925670


Reviewed By

Jeff Thurston

Governments around the globe are rapidly purchasing and replacing existing technologies with new innovations in information technology. Both hardware and software are involved in this trend, and infrastructure is also included that allows new technology to perform in ways previously not possible.

This Handbook explores:

  • Key emerging technologies (i.e., big data, social media, Internet of Things (IOT), GIS, smart phones & mobile technologies) and their impacts on public administration
  • The impacts of the new technologies on the relationships between citizens and their governments with the focus on collaborative governance
  • Key theories of IT innovations in government on the interplay between technological innovations and public administration
  • The relationship between technology and democratic accountability and the various ways of harnessing the new technologies to advance public value
  • Key strategies and conditions for fostering success in leveraging technological innovations for public service

 This book explores many of the questions and thoughts we have surrounding technology in government - including the concepts and processes involved. For that reason, it is quite unique in scope. Beginning with issues such as the suggested benefits of information technology in government, readers learn about the promises put forward using new technology. 

Issues related time, impacts, meanings and implications of citizen-government approaches are described and examined. Value oriententations and managerial decision making involved in the use of new technology is similarly explored. The development of suitable frameworks for building and extending networks to meet public needs are also provided. 

Social systems and public safety are also examined with respect to information technology. Big Data, mobile technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and information about the use of public spaces for technology are also presented. Case examples based in Kansas City and Taiwan are provided. Concepts surrounding e-Government are new and their implementation will necessarily involve issues of trust, funding and so on. This book describes these issues and some of the topics involved. 

At the same time innovation is taking place, new tools and technologies via open source and other open software interfaces is allowing citizens to participate in civic policy making and governance firsthand. Social media networks are also participating in these deliveries and this text resents material about this too. 

As might be expected, many challenges and issues remain on this topic as technology evolves and brushes against social expectations and ethics. Accordingly, topics related to these challenges are presented and discussed with respect to government technology and concepts to the wider delivery and interaction with open data issues is also included. It goes without saying that topics involving security and protection of sensitive data and technologies operating in these environments are also challenging, therefore, they are also outlined. 

Emergency networks will undoubtedly be part of the wider information technology approaches in most cities, as will hardware and software involving Smart City interactions and deployment. This book describes both situations and also examines cyberinfrastructure necessary for delivering these new innovative technology systems. 

In summary, I find this book very informative. It includes many topical subjects that simply are not found in most books. This book provides an excellent overall summary, and compiles a lot of world-class thinking about delivering information technology in to governments. For that reason is an excellent reference in addition to being a high quality text useful for civic and government studies where technology and techno-social issues are being discussed. 

This book can serve as the basis for beginning many discussions and for providing training and education in government information technology needs and approaches. In my view, this is essential reading and readers will learn a lot from it.