W039
New mediators: culture, policy and practice in electronic governance and government

Convenors:
Thomas Wormald
Monika Rulfs (University of Bremen)
Chair:
Monika Rulfs
Discussant:
Tom Wormald
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
Wills LT G25
Start time:
21 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Practice and policy in the apparently global culture of electronic government and governance differ widely at the ethnographic level and point to the vital role played by mediating personalities.

Long abstract:

Ethnographic research in the field of new media in Europe and beyond has shown that processes of the development of computer and Internet technologies have been rich and complex, especially when examined ethnographically in different contexts and places. While the global interchange has been the subject of several studies, the local creative practice and the link between the global and the local clearly demand further research. The research journey in the field of ICT development leads from policy to practice through e-government and e-governance and acknowledges the vital role played by different personalities in the processes of e-governing. <br/>Papers based on recent ethnographic research about the practice of electronic governance are invited, with special emphasis on the people mediating new media processes. Themes the papers could additionally cover include the contrast between the emancipatory potential of new media technologies and the increased potential for state control they offer; the nature of processes of appropriation that take place when different groups and different kinds of groups use computers and the Internet; and the question of how, through processes of computer and Internet appropriation, ethnic and cultural identities are created, managed and sustained. This is especially the case when thinking about the significance of Europe and the way it is often constituted by media practitioners as a particular part of the world with certain dominant technological and cultural characteristics. <br/>This panel would be a double session with six to eight papers, each based on a different ethnographic context with the further possibility of including a theoretically based paper as introduction or conclusion.