Professor Beth Simone Noveck
Governments worldwide are investing billions in technologies to create "electronic government," raising challenges for the design of public institutions and the process of political decision making and presenting an opportunity for enhancing citizen participation and self-governance. This course examines some of the seminal theoretical critiques of electronic democracy and electronic government and then applies these critiques to design appropriate legal frameworks and technologies for the public institutions in a digital age. Against the background of these theoretical analyses of the promises and pitfalls of electronically-enhanced democracy, students devise frameworks for implementing information and communication technologies to enhance citizen participation in four policy areas: electronic voting; eGovernment and the provision of citizen services; wired citizen juries; and the implementation of a national ID card system and citizen information database. Students work in project teams to prepare in-depth reports on the legal framework and technology design for specific problems in e-government, and then present these reports to policymakers and regulators. A paper is required.