The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Issue
Volume 3 Issue 2, Issue on e-Democracy / Oct 2005  pp59‑98

Editor: Mary Griffiths

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Experimenting with Electronic Voting Registration: The Case of Belgium  pp59‑62

Bruno de Vuyst, Alea M. Fairchild

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Shaping Policy Discourse in the Public Sphere: Evaluating Civil Speech in an Online Consultation  pp63‑72

Christie Hurrell

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The Ethical Problem of Framing e‑Government in Terms of e‑Commerce  pp73‑82

Bernd Carsten Stahl

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This paper discusses one aspect of the relationship that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in business has with the use of ICT in government and administration. It argues that democracies rely on their ethical legitimacy and that framing e‑Government and e‑Democracy in commercial terms can jeopardise this legitimacy. For this purpose the paper distinguishes between e‑Government as service delivery and e‑Democracy as the more radical use of ICT for democratic deliberation and policy formulation. It argues that the commercial paradigm can support some of the moral values underpinning democracy but it can also have a negative effect on them by equating customers and citizens, by likening the political and the economic system and by promoting hidden agendas and ideologies. The conclusion argues that democratic decision makers need to pay attention to these relationships. Otherwise they not only endanger the success of e‑Government and e‑Democracy but may even threaten the basis of the moral legitimacy of democratic forms of government. 


Keywords: e-Government, e-Democracy, e-Commerce, legitimacy, ethics, morality


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A Prospective View of e‑Government in the European Union  pp83‑90

Clara Centeno, Rene van Bavel, Jean-Claude Burgelman

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Using Business Process Re‑engineering (BPR) for the Effective Administration of Electronic Voting  pp91‑98

Alexandros Xenakis, Ann Macintosh

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