In fluid and diverse political and socio-economical contexts, governments strive to contribute to the welfare of all their clients, regardless of age - (post)millennial or senior citizens), residence (urban or rural) or education (graduates or illiterates). They are asked to guarantee equal access, speedy delivery, and qualitative services and to stay competitive in markets that increasingly value flexibility and innovation (Sum and Jessop, 2013; Andersen and Pors, 2016). Whilst observing the changing expectations of how and when services are being delivered, governments are also expected to spend less, often relying on scarce and poorly motivated human resources. Finally, as a consequence of digitalisation, whilst remarkable advances are possible because of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and data analytics, governments are being asked to be cautious in handling personal data violations, fake news, and other unintended consequences of the e-revolution (Castells, 2010; World Economic Forum, 2017; Schou and Hjelholt, 2018; DESI Report, 2019).
We strongly encourage scholars and policy makers to join our sessions in Split and to reflect on one (or more) of the following questions:
1. How do governments deal with the structural change driven by digitalisation? To what extent do they update their reform strategies and instruments for ensuring good governance and with what visible outcomes?
2. How can governments make their clients trust them for the right reasons and governmental organisations trust each other to attain the common good?
3. What weight does digitalisation carry for the accountability of the reform processes and strategies it triggered and with what consequences for the overall transparency of the post-Weberian bureaucracies?
Successful applications should include a review of the relevant literature, a clear research question and methodologies, and briefly discuss the expected results. For policy papers, the overview of the policy problem, a short account of the existent alternatives and the proposed recommendations should ensure acceptance of the proposal.
All contributors invited to join our sessions will have the opportunity to discuss their papers with the chairs, appointed discussants and invited participants. The chairs expect that a number of papers will be invited to contribute to a joint-publication of the WG, dedicated to the challenges digitalisation brings for public administration reforms across the globe.
Andersen, Niels Åkerstrøm; Pors, Justine Grønbæk, 2016, Public Management in Transition: The Orchestration of Potentiality. Bristol: Policy Press.
Castells, M., 2010 , The Rise of the Network Society (Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture Volume 1), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
DESI Report (The Digital Economy and Society Index), 2019, European Commission, online at: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi (last access: June 30, 2019)
Schou, Jannick; Hjelholt, Morten, 2018, Digitalisation and Public Sector Transformations, Cham: Springer International Publishing, Palgrave MacMillan.
Sum, Ngai - Ling.; Jessop, Bob, 2013, Towards a Cultural Political Economy: Putting Culture in Its Place in Political Economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
World Economic Forum, 2017, Digital Transformation Initiative (in Collaboration with Accenture). Executive Summary, January 2017, online at: https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/WEF/PDF/Accenture-DTI-executive-summary.pdf (last access: June 30, 2019)