Smart Citizens, Smarter State

Smart Citizens, Smarter State

The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing

Book - 2015
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"Government 'of the people, by the people, for the people' expresses an ideal that resonates in all democracies. Yet poll after poll reveals deep distrust of institutions that seem to have left 'the people' out of the governing equation. Government bureaucracies that are supposed to solve critical problems on their own are a troublesome outgrowth of the professionalization of public life in the industrial age. They are especially ill-suited to confronting today's complex challenges. Offering a far-reaching program for innovation, Smart Citizens, Smarter State suggests that public decisionmaking could be more effective and legitimate if government were smarter - if our institutions knew how to use technology to leverage citizens' expertise. Just as individuals use only part of their brainpower to solve most problems, governing institutions make far too little use of the skills and experience of those inside and outside of government with scientific credentials, practical skills, and ground-level street smarts. New tools - what Beth Simone Noveck calls technologies of expertise - are making it possible to match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government. Drawing on a wide range of academic disciplines and practical examples from her work as an adviser to governments on institutional innovation, Noveck explores how to create more open and collaborative institutions. In so doing, she puts forward a profound new vision for participatory democracy rooted not in the paltry act of occasional voting or the serendipity of crowdsourcing but in people's knowledge and know-how"--Unedited summary from book jacket.
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780674286054
Branch Call Number: History 352.38 Nov


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Apr 08, 2016

Why does government make such clumsy use of technology? Why is government so closed to participation by citizens, including those who are skilled in technology? What can be improved and how?

This book discusses these questions. People who are interested in better government will find the book valuable and inspiring, though it has an academic style and reading it will require concentration and effort.

The author is a co-founder of and a TED speaker on open government.


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