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CAST: Canvass Audit by Sampling and Testing +An election audit trail can reflect an electoral outcome that differs from the semi-official outcome. If so, the winner should be determined by a full manual count of the votes as recorded in the audit trail. CAST is a statistical method for deciding whether to certify the outcome of a race, or to count the entire audit trail by hand. It has a known, prespecified chance of requiring a full hand count whenever that count would show an outcome different from the semi-official outcome. This limits the risk of certifying an incorrect outcome erroneously. CAST also allows some ballots to be selected for audit deliberately rather than randomly—“targeted” auditing. CAST require (i) the desired minimum chance that if the preliminary outcome disagrees with the audit trail, CAST will require a full manual count; (ii) the maximum number of audit stages permitted before a full manual count; (iii) the semi-official results by precinct or “batch;” (iv) limits on the number of valid votes for any candidate that could have been cast in each batch. CAST collects data incrementally: if the the semiofficial results overstate the margin by a sufficiently small amount in a sufficiently large sample, CAST says “certify.” Otherwise, CAST says “audit more batches and check again.” Eventually, either CAST says “certify,” or there has been a full hand count. CAST is a refinement and simplification of the method of Stark.
Citizen-Government Interaction and the Internet: Expectations and Accomplishments in Contact, Quality, and Trust +In addition to improving efficiency and transparency of government services, e-government may increase the frequency of interaction between citizens and government as well as improve perceptions of quality and trust in government more broadly. Analyses of citizen-initiated contact with government using Pew Internet and American Life Project survey data indicate that e-government has motivated citizen-initiated contact with government among some demographic groups and magnified existing gaps for others. Online citizen-initiated contact improves the quality of interactions with government; however, the findings here do not support the argument that e-government increases trust among its users. Findings are consistent with the goals of the American government in adopting and promoting e-government.
Cloud Computing and Information Policy: Computing in a Policy Cloud +Cloud computing is a computing platform that resides in a large data center and is able to dynamically provide servers with the ability to address a wide range of needs, from scientific research to e-commerce. The provision of computing resources as if it were a utility such as electricity, while potentially revolutionary as a computing service, presents many major problems of information policy, including issues of privacy, security, reliability, access, and regulation. This article explores the nature and potential of cloud computing, the policy issues raised, and research questions related to cloud computing and policy. Ultimately, the policy issues raised by cloud computing are examined as a part of larger issues of public policy attempting to respond to rapid technological evolution.
Communication Technology, Repressive Hierarchies and Defiant Networks: Is the State or Civil Society Winning the Information Race +Does the information revolution empower the coercive control of repressive regimes at the expense of social movements, or vice versa? More specifically, has the information revolution given rise to technology-facilitated protests, or iRevolutions? Numerous contemporary scholars, particularly those who subscribe to the political theory of pluralism, regard a vibrant civil society as essential for good governance and effective democratic consolidation. Political participation through street demonstrations and protest activities is seen as “providing a barrier to tyranny, a channel of public voice and accountability, and an important way of challenging and checking the unbridled power of repressive regimes” (Norris 2006). The political science literature provides two competing schools of thought on how the information revolution affects the relationship between states and civil society. The more popular school of thought maintains that the mass diffusion of information communication technologies (ICTs) has dramatically reduced the costs associated with networked communication, which should facilitate the mobilization, organization and coordination of protests. The second school of thought counters with the claim that a large number of repressive states have become increasingly savvy in their ability control and regulate the impact of the information revolution, and hence the possible incidence of protest events. These two contradictory trends have been likened to an information race, a cyber game of cat-and-mouse that harks back to the arms race dynamics of Cold War times.The purpose of this study is to develop a research plan to determine whether repressive states or social movements have the upper hand in the information race. To answer this question, we propose to carry out a large-N statistical analysis to test whether the diffusion of ICTs is a statistically significant predictor of protest events in authoritarian regimes. There are currently no other large-N quantitative studies available that assess the impact of ICTs on the frequency of protest events in repressive contexts.
Competition is Good: Side-Benefits of Competitive Districts +Recent scholarship has emerged challenging the conventional wisdom that competitive congressional districts are good for democracy. These theories are novel, counterintuitive and generally focused on aspects of representation and responsiveness. This paper critiques this literature on these grounds and develops an argument that competitive districts have numerous advantages that have been overlooked by this more recent scholarship. More specifically, competitive districts foster greater civic engagement by voters and media and serve to check corruption. Furthermore, non-competitive, homogenous districts rely on primary competition to ensure representation, when evidence suggests primary elections are hardly competitive and give strong advantages to incumbents.


Detecting Manipulation of Election Results: A Novel Test and New Data from Nigeria +Is it possible to detect manipulation by looking at electoral returns only? Drawing on work in psychology, we exploit individuals' biases in generating numbers to highlight suspicious digit patterns in reported vote counts. First, we show that fair election procedures produce returns where last digits occur with equal frequency, but lab experiments indicate that individuals tend to favor small numbers, even when subjects have incentives to properly randomize. Second, individuals underestimate the likelihood of digit repetition in sequences of random integers, so we should observe relatively fewer instances of repeated numbers in manipulated vote tallies. Third, lab experiments demonstrate a strong preference for adjacent digits, suggesting that non-adjacent digits should appear with lower frequency on fraudulent return sheets. We test for deviations in digit patterns using data from Sweden's 2002 parliamentary election and previously unavailable results from Nigeria's 2003 presidential election and find strong evidence that manipulation occurred in Nigeria.
Disrupting Global Governance: The Internet Whois Service, ICANN, and Privacy +The Internet's Whois service allows anyone to type a domain name into a Web interface and then receive the name and contact details of whoever has registered it. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) contracts make it mandatory to provide indiscriminate public access to this information. Data protection laws in Europe and other countries conflict with this ICANN policy, yet Whois has remained in place for a decade. This article offers an explanation for this puzzling contradiction. We use the concept of a default value to explain how the development of a technological system can change the institutional conditions under which rights claims can be realized. We also note that the Whois story poses problems for Daniel Drezner's theory of global governance. Despite disagreement between the two great powers, the ICANN regime provides effective global governance; Drezner's theory cannot explain how the rise of a technical system could produce a global shift in privacy policy and alter the bargaining power of Great Powers.


E-Government Provision of Aging and Disability Services in the U.S. and Other Countries: Global Needs and Global Inequities +This paper evaluates the availability and operation of Web-based information and referral resources for the U.S. Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) initiative in 43 participating states and equivalent online resources in other countries. ADRCs serve as a virtual source of information for services and service providers to satisfy the needs of the elderly and disabled population. Progress, performance, and accountability of Web-based services provided by the U.S. ADRCs were compared to the information and services offered through other countries’ equivalent online sources, to assist in plans for long-term care, retirement, and family-based caregiving. Theory-driven recommendations are made for resolving inequities in the global provision of services in this rapidly growing policy area.
European CyberIdentity +In this article, the motivations underlying the European Union's (EU) European top level domain (TLD) strategy will be described, complemented by an explorative analysis of the ideas, strategies, and predominantly economic justifications of the European Commission. Since business corporations are the main focus of the EU's Internet strategy, its factual use of TLDs as a means of corporate communications will be questioned in light of the political endeavor to create a European political (Internet) identity. International companies listed in the German stock indices were asked about their Internet communication strategies in order to evaluate dotEU in relation to other TLDs. This is an explorative/qualitative study on the companies' assessment of the EU's Internet business strategy and their own strategic outlook on Internet communication.


Facebook Reception: Examining User Generated Political Ads Online +With the inclusion of the Internet into Americans’ everyday lives come new outlets for political expression and strategic political behavior. Important among these avenues is the popular social networking site, Facebook. In recent years Facebook’s usership has soared, adding an astounding 30,000 users each day (Harper 2006). While many write off this type of site as pure entertainment or a mere pastime for college students, it is important to remember that even when politics is not explicit, in a “prepolitical domain” it is always a possibility (Dalgren 2005). Facebook users have various ways of expressing themselves politically and gaining politically relevant information, including supporting candidates and issues, interacting with representatives, engaging in debates with other Facebook users, obtaining polling information from within Facebook and nationally, and viewing news stories and video from ABC News’s political coverage of the 2008 elections. Due to the nature of the networking encouraged by Facebook, each time a user engages in one of these activities, his or her Facebook friends will be alerted to it on their homepage, known as the Newsfeed function on Facebook. The result is what could be considered a user-generated ad in support of a particular political candidate or issue. The question this study proposes to answer with survey data is who engages in creating and consuming such "ads." This study is a first step in understanding how user generated political advertisements may affect the changing political environment in the United States. If effective, they have the potential to change the manner and means of campaigns, as they will certainly be harnessed by candidates and issue advocates alike as a new means of getting the message out. Currently, however, their effectiveness exists outside the realm of campaigns, and has the potential to remove some degree of control that candidates have over their own messages. Whether these ads are seen to exert similar or different effects as those of traditional online advertisements, their growing importance in the online and political realms requires us to attempt to understand the manner in which they function.


Gender, Military Recruiting, and the Iraq War +The Iraq War is the US military’s first attempt to fight a protracted war in the absence of a draft, putting an unprecedented strain on the all-volunteer force. Wartime recruiting, in addition to being supplemented or supplanted by conscription, has traditionally focused on the conflict at hand as the central reason for recruits to enlist. It has also traditionally called on ideas about gender, using various models of masculinity to induce young men to serve. At the same time, the military branches have generally expanded their use of women in wartime, asking them to contribute to the war effort, in some cases to free men for combat. The Iraq War has, with a small but not insignificant degree of controversy, expanded military women’s exposure to and participation in combat. With combat no longer the exclusive province of men, how does the military attempt to appeal to women and motivate them to enlist, while keeping intact the ties between military service and masculinity that help to bring in the young men who are still the main focus of recruiting efforts? This paper examines how the armed forces have been trying to sell military service in wartime. While investigating the underlying bases of recruiting appeals, it pays particular attention to how gender functions as a signifier in recruiting materials. It finds that Iraq War recruiting has downplayed the war itself, occasionally making oblique reference to it in order to create the image of a protector and defender. The military, or at least the Army, implies that military service is about many things—war-fighting being only one among them—and that it can provide various types of tangible and intangible benefits. Ideas about gender still underpin military recruiting appeals, perhaps not always as overtly as in the past. Military ads rarely reach out to women as women, but masculinity still plays a key role in recruitment. Combat imagery is used to denote a masculine realm of challenge, excitement, and brotherhood, and some ads suggest that the military is a place where young men can grow fully into manhood. In general, in this advertising sample, women are a peripheral presence rather than an integral part of the military’s image. The Iraq War has expanded women’s military roles, but in the recruitment materials, their position has actually retracted. While women are performing combat-like roles in the field, military recruiting helps to keep combat male in the public imagination.
Government E-Commerce Adoption: A Study of Texas Counties +his article examines the adoption of electronic commerce or e-commerce in county governments. This study uses Texas as a case study of e-commerce adoption because it is the second largest state in the United States in terms of population. The existing literature on e-government has primarily examined the adoption of e-government and has not focused specifically on e-commerce usage in local governments, an important subset of e-government. This study attempts to determine the extent of shifting into stage two of e-government adoption, namely, online transactions. This article defines e-commerce as the subset of e-government that involves the exchange of money for goods and services purchased from governments. The study uses a survey of Texas county treasurers conducted in early 2005 of their e-commerce offerings. A Website content analysis was also conducted for county governments in Texas. The two most commonly offered e-commerce services that counties provide are online payment of property taxes and vehicle registration. The survey results and Website content analysis revealed that around a third of Texas counties had an e-commerce Website. For counties that had an e-commerce Website, improved customer service was the most commonly cited impact. The most frequently reported management barrier to e-commerce adoption concerns problems with transaction or convenience fees. Having an e-commerce Website was associated with being a large county government.


HandiVote: Simple, Anonymous, and Auditable Electronic Voting +We suggest a set of procedures utilizing a range of technologies by which a major democratic deficit of modern society can be addressed. The mechanism, while it makes limited use of cryptographic techniques in the background, is based around objects and procedures with which voters are currently familiar. We believe that this holds considerable potential for the extension of democratic participation and control.
How to Aggregate Knowledge in an Epistemic Democracy +Standard models of electoral preference-aggregating democracy and deliberative democracy have recently been supplemented by a conception of “epistemic democracy” focusing on the aggregation and management of useful knowledge (Anderson 2006). But how is knowledge best aggregated in a democratic decision-making system? Some discussions of democracy and knowledge (Sunstein 2007) have favored “Hayekian” prediction markets (in which many individuals’ independent beliefs about the course of future events are aggregated) over “Habermasian” deliberative institutions (which necessarily violate the criterion of independence). Prediction markets are often very successful in choosing correctly among multiple possibilities (e.g. predicting the outcome of elections), but they are poorly suited to to the task of agenda setting. An epistemic democracy that relied entirely on a prediction-market approach to decision-making would be vulnerable to elite capture via agenda manipulation. Classical Athenian democracy featured a mix of knowledge-aggregating institutions; indeed, Athenian self-government is better explained in the epistemic terms of knowledge aggregation than in the more familiar idiom of electoral preference-aggregation (Ober 2008). Some Athenian institutions (notably the agenda-setting Council of 500 and the citizen Assembly) were highly deliberative. Yet other insitutions (notably ostracism) functioned as predictions markets. Democratic “people’s courts” employed a hybrid decision-making mechanism, conjoining deliberative and prediction-market features. The stability and long-term success of Athenian democracy can be explained, at least in part, by reference to this sophisticated mix of mechanisms for aggregating useful knowledge dispersed across a socially diverse citizen body. The Athenian case suggests that contemporary versions of epistemic democracy will be impoverished to the extent that they reject either deliberation or prediction-market approaches to collecting and managing knowlege. Both independence-respecting or independence-violating approaches to knowledge aggregation ought to find a place in the emerging model of epistemic democracy. Anderson, Elizabeth. 2006. "The Epistemology of Democracy." Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology 3:8-22. Ober, Josiah. 2008. Democracy and Knowledge: Learning and Innovation in Classical Athens. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sunstein, Cass R. 2007. "Deliberating Groups versus Prediction Markets (or Hayek's Challenge to Habermas) " Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology 3:192-213.
Hungry Public Spheres: Debating the Categories of Food Politics +A veritable public sphere continues to develop around Jürgen Habermas' The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, originally published in 1962 and translated into English in 1989. Despite challenges from theorists of all stripes, the core analytical framework persists, as both a theoretical touchstone and a lens for empirical research. While this paper will discuss some of these permutations, its basic questions still relate to the Habermasian public sphere and the mechanisms by which this public sphere contests or counters the state. In order to investigate this mechanism, I wish to examine the phenomena of food publics and the nascent prominence of ethical concerns in food politics. Through a discussion of how food publics do and do not express Habermas’ concepts, it will be clear some of the limitations of the public sphere concept in a late capitalist society, and the necessity for continued thinking about the possibility of ethical and political action in a market society.


Implementing E-Government in Developing Countries: Its Unique and Common Success Factors +Many previous studies have shown what e-government means, or what success factors of e-government are. Yet, their focus has been mainly on developed countries as it was difficult to deal with e-government in developing countries that show meager development. While recent development of e-government in developing countries makes it possible to analyze its implementation and identify success and failure factors, empirical studies that examine unique requirements or conditions of e-government in developing countries are still scanty. In this study, by conducting a survey on success factors of e-government, targeting 109 ICT experts and public officers from 53 developing countries who participate in e-government projects of their countries, we tried to identify core success factors of e-government in developing countries and find unique meanings and implications for developing countries in achieving successful e-government. By the factor analysis, 6 success factors are identified: changes in work process, technical/human resources, organizational culture/values, vision/strategy/internal leadership, external/financial support, and laws/regulations/policies. The multivariate regression analysis shows that ‘changes in work process’ and ‘technical/human resources’ are the important factors. ‘External/financial support’ and ‘organizational culture/values are also determining factors recognized as unique challenges to developing countries. In conclusion, we found that developing countries need to satisfy certain unique requirements, while fulfilling some conditions that are similarly required for developed countries to achieve successful e-government.
Incrementalism, E-Government, and the Rate of Technological Change +There is scarcely a desk in public administration that does not have a computer. e-Government policies have not had the same ability to gain approval. Incrementalism and other factors cause only a reluctant acceptance of substantial e-Government innovation. This paper analyzes the forces that are promoting e-Government's implementation and those that are inhibiting more e-Government. Four forces are identified that are promoting more extensive e-Government. The political phenomenon that surrounds e-Government is a first factor encouraging more implementation. Politics for e-Government occurs from those directly affected by improved service delivery. People who are motivated to political activity—the IT oriented, organized interests with websites, and articulate members of online communities—become a political force for increasing the amount of e-Government. A second factor for more e-Government is the nature of bureaucracy. Bureaucracy can chose e-Government because of better service delivery possibilities. Building popular support for bureaucracy from bureaucratic constituencies can, also, result in more e-Government. An e-survey conducted by the paper's author explores how bureaucracy makes rhetorical attempts to build supports for itself with e-Government programs. How technology develops is a third force that makes more e-Government programs likely. IT's development over the last several decades has resolved all obstacles and likely is going to succeed against opponents of e-Government and accomplish more implementation. Fourth, behavioral and sociological implications of e-Government are factors for more programs. There is a belief the e-Government discourages dishonesty in government. e-Government is recognized as a powerful force that promotes social integration. These four forces all are working to create more pervasive e-Government. Government's resistance to e-Government is, however, substantial enough that some analysts of e-Government question whether the movement is likely to continue making appreciable gains. Decision making often follows incrementalism. Small changes from existing programs are encouraged by the public and decision making experts. Government is also not agreeable to giving up perceived responsibilities to mange IT's astounding rate of technological change. Analyzing possible e-Government programs for different situations find government reluctant to accept substantial innovation. Government uses purposeful asymmetry to give some support and still manage IT, a phenomena seen as questionable undesirable. There is little encouragement for research and development for substantial e-Government innovation.
Informing the Masses and Heeding Public Opinion: China's New Internet-Related Policy Initiatives to Deal with Its Governance Crisis +China's modernization has entered a crucial stage, and its communist government is facing a serious governance crisis. It has become imperative for the Chinese government to improve its governance performance. In 2008, Beijing initiated several Internet-related policies to increase its government's transparency and accountability. Those new policies include a adopting the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Open Government Information and b utilizing information technologies to increase communication between the government and the general public. However, these policies were not designed to “serve the people,” and instead are based on the Chinese Communist Party's need to increase its legitimacy. More importantly, there are various hurdles for the implementation of those policies. These hurdles include the communist government's weak political credibility, policy barriers in the legal perspectives, and digital divide and information disparities in China. This article concludes that China has a long way to go before it can claim that its government is transparent and accountable.
Internet Diffusion and the Digital Divide: The Role of Policymaking and Political Institutions +People want to be connected to each other. Most governments want to be networked within their agencies and connected with their citizens. Technology – and the Internet in particular – can help these relationships. There are, however, limitations on both. Some people do not want to be connected. Some cannot afford it. Others do not know how. While governments try to be efficient in the way they gather, store, catalogue and correlate data internally, they still may fall short for reasons of security, lack of resources, or a desire to keep certain things hidden. The attempt to make these connections is done through the diffusion of technology and is also known as bridging the digital divide, which is the gap between those who have an understanding of – and control over – these technologies and those who either want it and cannot have it or do not even know of its existence and potential. Governments, the private sector, international organizations and local activist groups have all had a hand in suggesting and implementing alternatives to the bridging of this divide.


Lessons for Government Adoption of Open Standards: A Case Study of the Massachusetts Policy +This article chronicles the historic process of Massachusetts becoming the first government to mandate an open standard for document formats. In 2005, Massachusetts mandated the use of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) as part of a transition to open standards. The article also analyzes the Massachusetts experience and develops a set of lessons learned. The first set of lessons includes a focus on the difficulties of being an early adopter and factors that influenced the adoption mandate. Governments seeking to mandate specific document formats need to be aware of these factors. A second set of lessons focuses on decisions in establishing a standards policy. These lessons emphasize a clear definition of open standards, whether to mandate an open standard, and for government to carefully consider the expected benefits and costs of a standards policy. Overlooking costs, such as legacy equipment and training costs, can lead to disappointing results. These lessons are applicable, not only for decisions regarding document formats, but also for open standards policies for other technologies.


Major Issues in Electronic Voting in the Context of the UK Pilots +This paper documents the major issues arising from the UK local authority e-voting pilots. The formal evaluation reports on all the UK e-voting pilots conducted in 2002, which provided actual case data. Identified issues are categorised into four high-level areas: legal, social, political, and voter education. Each category is presented and the major issues discussed. Verification of the initial findings is achieved through a web site review of the Local Authority web sites involved in the 2003 e-voting pilots.


North Korea's Internet Strategy and Its Political Implications +During recent years, the role of information technology in shaping politics and social movements in the digital age is drawing increasing scholarly attention. There is, however, little such literature on North Korea as the country remains almost completely cut off from the internet. Since the mid-1990s, the DPRK government has strategically developed its information and communication technology and has subsequently built a domestic intranet. Although North Korea keeps a minimal presence on the web, there are signs that the country is taking small steps to allow some social elites to take advantage of the internet in order to leapfrog its economic development. Indeed, a high-profile defector indicated that North Korea will most likely start allowing limited internet access in 2009. This paper examines North Korea’s intranet and internet policies and explores their political implications by drawing upon first-hand data from Korean sources and existing literature as well as by juxtaposing the North Korean case with other communist regimes such as China and Cuba in terms of their attempts to control and manipulate the internet. It shows that the DPRK government is likely to learn from the Chinese and Cuban experiences and adopt a “Mosquito-Net Model” in controlling the internet in an effort to attract foreign investment while keeping out information deemed threatening by the regime. The paper further argues that although the internet is sure to pose a serious challenge to the regime’s information control, its political impact in the absence of a civil society will likely remain limited in the current North Korean context.


One Size Fits All +One of the most important information policy questions that has yet to be answered is how, and by whom, the Internet will be governed. The U.S. has maintained a tight grip on governance since the inception of the Internet, but mounting and unified international pressure may very well result in the transitioning of governance duties over to an international body such as the United Nations. This international governance body is expected to attempt to implement a set of global information policies to address a number of information issues. By contrast, the current governance system overseen by ICANN controls a much smaller scope of Internet policies. This article argues that international Internet governance will likely fail in terms of its ability to elicit international agreement on information policies as a result of disparities among countries.
Online Campaigning in the 2007 Australian Election: Did the Web Deliver Votes +Studies of web use during elections have focused mainly on the content of websites and the major factors driving parties’ and candidates’ adoption of the technology. Evaluation of the electoral impact of web campaigns has been more limited. This paper builds on earlier work conducted by the authors to examine the electoral consequences of web use, focussing particularly on the consequences of web 2.0 applications, such as video sharing and social networking sites. Using the unique resources of national surveys of voters and election candidates conducted at in the 2007 Australian election, we identify a distinction in how both voters viewed, and candidates provided, web 1.0 and web 2.0 tools during the election campaign. Our findings confirm the significant electoral advantage that accrues to candidates who possess a personal website. Additionally, the results show significant electoral advantages for Green candidates who used web 2.0 campaign tools. These findings hold for both our analysis of voters and our analysis of candidates, suggesting robust results. Overall, our findings confirm the important role that the web plays in garnering votes in modern election campaigns, but that there is a complex interaction between the type of web tool in question and the type of party using it.
Online Debates in Oshkosh: Using the Blog to Promote an Engaged Electorate +In 2004, three organizations in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, embarked on an experiment in using the Internet to encourage public debate and civic engagement. They hoped that by sponsoring a series of online candidate debates using Web logs, or “blogs,” they could develop a new mechanism for political discussion that could provide benefits for voters, for candidates, and for the campaign process. This article describes the planning and execution of the online debates. It discusses a variety of indicators that were used to gauge the impact of the debates, including data gathered from the Internet using server analytic software, the results of an online survey, and interviews with candidates. Both candidates and voters saw benefits to the blog format, and there were indications that the blog format could enrich and improve local political discourse. Suggestions are made for future implementation of online debates.
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