Review: Beth Simon Noveck, Smart Citizens, Smarter State

Here’s my review of Noveck’s Smart Citizens, Smarter State.  I’ve also posted my review on Amazon.

Rejection of Open Internet Networks

In Smart Citizens, Smarter State, Noveck says governments are unable to use open Internet networks to bring about needed changes in their operations and policy outputs. She certainly is correct in making this observation.

Nevertheless, she believes governments can use the Internet for structural and procedural reforms, as well as for problem solving and citizen betterment, if “smart” people like herself and other “smart” people outside and inside governments (1) reject open Internet networks—or “crowdsourcing”, to use her word—and (2) use the Internet to “target” and “match” themselves; thus, targeting and matching of the “smart” by the “smart”. Then governments will become, as the title of the book has it, “smarter”. Again, she is correct; governments will be “smarter”. However, governments made “smarter” by the “smart” will merely be “smarter”, i.e., better or more efficient, as they continue to develop and implement essentially the same “smart” and inadequate policies. Imagine the harm that will occur as governments become better at doing what’s deficient.

About georgebeam

George Beam is an educator and author. The perspectives that inform his interpretations of the topics of this blog–-as well as his other writings and university courses -–are system analysis, behaviorism, and Internet effects. Specific interests include quality management, methodology, and politics. He is Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science; and, previously, Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
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