e‑Governmentality: On Electronic Administration in Local Government


  • Katarina Giritli Nygren


e-Government, state management, public sector, critical discourse analysis, public administration, governmentality


As a consequence of the advance of information technology into the realm of public administration, we are now faced with a potential increase in efficiency of a scope and power not previously seen. The intentional use of information technology to modernise the public sector goes internationally by the name of e‑Government. While e‑ Government's greatest impact thus far has been to promote customer satisfaction, its guiding spirit is more ambitious, with the fundamental reorganisation of the entire public sector in its sights. The overall purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of how public administration at a local authority level adapts to impending e‑Government by considering the discourses that are manifested and how they are used to understand and legitimise electronic administration. The present study uses critical discourse analysis to shed light on those discursive orders that are revealed in the course of deliberations on electronic administration at the local government level. On the one hand, it is possible to see electronic administration as a refinement ‑ and a reform ‑ of a bureaucracy's techniques. On the other hand, it is equally possible to view it in the light of free market ideology.



1 Jan 2009