cover of book

Surveillance, Transparency, and Democracy: Public Administration in the Information Age
by Akhlaque Haque
University of Alabama Press, 2015
Cloth: 978-0-8173-1877-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-8876-8 | Paper: 978-0-8173-5988-1
Library of Congress Classification JF1525.A8H368 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 352.3802854678

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.
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