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Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy, Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy, 0817318771, 0-8173-1877-1, 978-0-8173-1877-2, 9780817318772, , Public Administration: Criticism and Creativity, Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy, 0817388761, 0-8173-8876-1, 978-0-8173-8876-8, 9780817388768, , Public Administration: Criticism and Creativity, Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy, 0817359885, 0-8173-5988-5, 978-0-8173-5988-1, 9780817359881, , Public Administration: Criticism and Creativit

Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy
Public Administration in the Information Age
by Akhlaque Haque

E Book
2015. 184 pp.
6 B&W figures
Price:  $24.95 d
Quality Paper
2020. 174 pp.
6 B&W figures
Price:  $24.95 s

Investigates public administration’s increasing dependence on technology and how its pervasive use in complex and interrelated socioeconomic and political affairs has outstripped the ability of many public administrators and the public to grasp the consequences of their choices
In this well-informed yet anxious age, public administrators have constructed vast cisterns that collect and interpret a meteoric shower of facts. Akhlaque Haque demonstrates that this pervasive use and increasing dependence on information technology (IT) enables sophisticated and well-intentioned public services that nevertheless risk deforming public policy decision-making and sees a contradiction inherent in a public that seeks services that require a level of data collection that in turn triggers fears of a tyrannical police state.
The author posits that IT’s potential as a tool for human development depends on how civil servants and citizens actively engage in identifying desired outcomes, map IT solutions to those outcomes, and routinize the applications of those solutions. This leads to his call for the development of entrepreneurs who generate innovative solutions to critical human needs and problems. In his powerful summary, he recaps possible answers to the question: What is the best way a public institution can apply technology to improving the human condition?
Engrossing, challenging, and timely, Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy is essential reading for both policy makers as well as the great majority of readers and citizens engaged in contemporary arguments about the role of government, public health and security, individual privacy, data collection, and surveillance.

Akhlaque Haque is a professor of government at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His scholarship has appeared widely in peer-reviewed journals, among them Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Social Science Computer Review, Public Administration Quarterly, and the International Journal of Public Administration.

Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy addresses a key question for today’s public administrators. The Janus-faced nature of emerging social media and IT breakthroughs are apparent. On one face, these technologies can both liberate societies and individuals and give citizens a more meaningful voice in public policy-making. On the other, the very same technology can stifle, monitor, and control individuals, agencies, and societies in unprecedented ways. Haque makes a clarion call for scholars and practitioners not only to be alert to the ‘two faces’ of technology but also to take steps to ensure that what de Tocqueville called ‘democratic administration’ triumphs over the field’s dominant focus on bureaucratic administration.”
—Robert F. Durant, author of Why Public Service Matters: Public Managers, Public Policy, and Democracy and editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy

“Akhlaque Haque has provided us with a long overdue work focused on the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a Democracy. He provides a critical linkage between the democratic traditions and values of public administration and the rapidly unfolding explosion of data and information that threatens to overwhelm the connection between citizens and their government. He ties the robust theoretical literature surrounding the dichotomy between practice and administration and infuses that research with the challenges resulting from rapid growth of data collection, analysis, and dissemination.”
—B. J. Reed, coauthor of Public Finance Administration and Budgeting for Public Managers

“Where will our technology lead us? Transporters or Cylons? This question makes for fascinating science fiction. However, until we get the transporters, we get places incrementally, one step at a time. We are on this journey every day. How we manage today’s information technology is very much a part of setting our long-term course. Public administrators have become the steward of vast amounts of data. This data has the potential to greatly improve effective decision-making and promote democratic governance. It also can expose every aspect of our history, habits, health, and heredity to those with enough power, money or hacking skill to obtain and exploit them. Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy implores us to make well-considered decisions regarding our stewardship of public data. The decisions we make today have immediate impact in our information-infused world. They mean even more as the precedents for life in tomorrow’s information-saturated world.”
—Mark C. Hoffman, director of the MPA Program at Grand Valley State University