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The Promise of All Things E? Expectations and Challenges of Emergent Electronic Government

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

The ambiguous nature of electronic government (e-government) has resulted in hype and confusion, with little systematic consideration of the expectations and limitations of taking government online. This paper seeks to examine the role of e-government in the United States as an evolving process that manifests itself in three distinct sectors: government-to-government, government-to-business, and government-to-citizen. Using this typology as an organizing principle, we show how information technology has the potential to enhance government accessibility and citizen participation. We also show how the move toward a market-focused conceptualization of government information and service delivery raises the potential for blurring citizen and consumer roles, possibly at the cost of a robust, informed, and engaged citizenry.


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