We are living in an era of digitization thus moving towards a digital government. The use of ICT in public-administration is beneficial and it is not mere a coincidence that the top 10 countries in e-government implementation (according to UN E-Government Survey 2016) are flourishing democracies. There has been a sharp rise in the number of countries using e-government to provide public services online through one stop-platform. According to the 2016 survey, 90 countries now offer one or more single entry portal on public information or online services, or both and 148 countries provide at-least one form of online transaction services. More and more countries are making efforts through e-government to ensure and increase inclusiveness, effectiveness, accountability and transparency in their public institutions. Across the globe, data for public information and security is being opened up. The 2016 survey shows that 128 countries now provide data-sets on government spending in machine readable formats. E-government and innovation seems to have provided significant opportunities to transform public administration into an instrument of sustainable development. The governments around the globe are rapidly transforming. The use of information and communication technology in public administration – combined with organizational change and new skills- seems to be improving public services and democratic processes and strengthening support to public policies. There has been an increased effort to utilize advanced electronic and mobile services that benefits all. Fixed and wireless broadband subscriptions have increased unevenly across regions, with Europe leading, but Africa still lagging behind. We have to focus on these substantial region disparities and growing divide. All countries agreed, in SDG 9, that a major effort is required to ensure universal access to internet in the least developed countries. The rise of Social media and its easy access seems to have enabled an increasing number of countries moving towards participatory decision making, in which developed European countries are among the top 50 performers. But, the issues of diminishing collective thinking and rising Individual thinking are some rising issues that we will have to deal with in the future. There are more sensitive issues like the new classification of citizens into literate-illiterate, e-literate and e-illiterate, that the governments need to look upon. It is a good sign that many developing countries are making good progress. Enhanced e-participation can support the realization of the SDGs by enabling more participatory decision making, but the success of e-government will ultimately depend upon our ability and capability to solve the contrasting issues raised due to this transition with sensitivity.
In this issue of SOCRATES we have discussed, this new era of Digital Government. We have focused on what we have learned from the past and the future we want. From discussions on the role of e-governance within the local government settings in a modern democratic state to the experience of an academia with online examination, we have tried to include every possible aspect of e-government.
Paper authored by Dr. Hoff Maarten, aims to outline the role of e-governance within the setting of a local government in a modern democratic state. It is agreed that a local governmental organization needs to be fit for the purpose of serving its citizens. Fits can be tested both through universally acknowledged principles, and drivers that suit modern on-demand organizations.
Paper authored by Mr. Alsaeed Abraheem and Dr. Carl, proposes a conceptual framework which captures the main factors (both enablers and barriers) influence and contributes toward a successful implementation of eServices in countries that have unstable status. The paper draws upon Osborn and Gaebler’s work, ‘reinventing government’, which identifies 10 principles of government transformation. This is used to examine eGov examples in the case of Syria along with previous work covering barriers and enablers to eGov activities within countries that have unstable status. The resulting derived conceptual framework provides a base to understand eGov activity for nations going through geopolitical uncertainty.
Paper authored by Mr. Saurabh Chandra highlights the initiatives taken by the Governments in India at various levels to modernise their processes and functions for delivery of information and services to the citizens, using the Information and Communication technology [ICT]. It also highlights E-Government uptake in different parts of the world, highlighting its need in India, as in developing countries like India, there is no comprehensive data on actual e-government uptake on a global scale.
Paper authored by Mr. Peter Asare-Nuamah and Mr. Darko Emmanuel Agyepong highlights the various legal policies and framework that support e-governance in Ghana as well as the challenges of implementing e-governance initiatives. The findings of the study indicate that several polices and frameworks support e-governance in Ghana but their implementations are burdened with social, cultural, political and legal constraints. The study provides some recommendations that are necessary to tackle the challenges of e-governance implementation.
Paper authored by Mr. Ojo Patrick highlights battling sub-Saharan African countries. The perspective in this paper is that the emergence of democratic governments in this region occurred through lopsided process which impacts on their governance structures. Consequently, the institutionalization of liberal democracy has been omitted; the absence of which creates gaps between aspiration for and struggle by African people for democracy on the one hand, and the actual performance of democratic governments on the other hand. The paper identifies structural deficiencies in the current pattern of governance as the political missing link in the value chain between democracy and development in the region. The paper recommends e-governance; an administrative process that guarantees good governance through accountability and transparency, as the necessary connecting link and panacea to bridging the observable existing gaps.
Paper authored by Dr. Nandita Kaushal highlights the Plausibility of E-Governance as a Public Service Delivery Mechanism in India. It argues that there is no doubt, wherever e-governance projects have been conceived, designed and implemented with due regard to the needs of the people there positive outcomes have been visible. However, it has to be acknowledged that most of the projects are facing multiple challenges which are reducing their success rate. It recommends serious consideration to all the issues which are hampering their efficiency. At the same time it suggests measures that must be taken up to maintain the human face of these initiatives.
Paper authored by Dr. Inderjeet Singh Sodhi reviews the achievements and progress of e-government in India. The paper briefly discusses various e-government projects in India. The purpose of the paper is to delve into policy and issue of the government of India in making e-government accessible to the common person. It briefly identifies the strategic issues for achievement of e-government. This paper derives a list of key strategic factors that are appropriate for planning, designing, development and implementation of e-government. The paper identifies the range of diverse problems, challenges and barriers planners and developers must face as they work in the e-government projects. The paper discusses prospects and future of e-government in India. The paper highlights the role of government to develop richer and deeper understanding of e-government.
Paper authored by Ms. Shreyasi Ghosh attempts to trace the essence of e-government in the modern era of Indian Public Administration today as another new paradigm shift is in the offspring and slowly becoming distinct from the amorphous shape of Public Administration in the Indian context with the ICT-blessed governance, or e-Governance.
Paper authored by Ms. Stuti Saxena probes the OGD platform using a qualitative and quantitative lens. This paper shows that OGD usage is popular among the end-users in terms of the number of views and downloads of the datasets. Future research might undertake the empirical investigation of the research hypotheses advanced in the paper.
Paper authored by Dr. Jyotirmoy W. Singh is developed by a contributor who has been a national and International online examiner for past six or more years. This paper is based on his experience. It seeks to compare the traditional mode of examination with that of the online examination in citing the mode of High School Leaving Examination of Board of Secondary Education Manipur and International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) examination as case studies.
I wish scholars and potential readers will find this issue useful. We will bring more special issues focused on e-government and other various dimensions of governance in the near future.
Prof. Manoj Dixit
Professor and Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Lucknow, Lucknow, India
Dr. Hoff Maarten Retired consultant/researcher, worked for the Government, Netherlands
Alsaeed Abraheem Ph.D. Researcher in the School of Computing, The University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Dr. Carl Adams, Researcher-School of Computing, Faculty of Technology, The University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Saurabh Chandra, Faculty, Dept. of Public Administration, University of Lucknow, India Editor-in-Chief S O C R A T E S, India
Peter Asare-Nuamah PhD Student Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences. University of Yaounde II, Soa Cameroon
Darko Emmanuel Agyepong Masters Student University of Ghana Business School Ghana
Ojo Patrick Doctoral Scholar Department of International Relations Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. Nigeria
Dr. Nandita Kaushal Assistant Professor Department of Public Administration University of Lucknow, India Editorial Assistant Dynamics of Public Administration, ISSN 0975-3907 India
Dr. Inderjeet Singh Sodhi Assistant Professor Public Administration S.S.Jain Subodh P.G.Autonomous College Jaipur, India
Shreyasi Ghosh Guest Faculty Bethune College, Kolkata (Govt. of West Bengal)Sarojini Naidu College for Women, Kolkata, Research Scholar Department of Political Science University of Calcutta, India
Stuti Saxena Research Scholar Dept. of Political Science Central University of Haryana, India
Dr. Wahengbam Jyotirmoy Singh Assistant Professor D.M. College of Teacher Education D.M. College CampusImphal Manipur,India
An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.
As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?
Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.
When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a “fringe” campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an Independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.
By the time Sanders’s campaign came to a close, however, it was clear that the pundits had gotten it wrong. Bernie had run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country. He had received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country, won twenty-two states, and more than 1.4 million people had attended his public meetings. Most important, he showed that the American people were prepared to take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America and the 1 percent.
In Our Revolution, Sanders shares his personal experiences from the campaign trail, recounting the details of his historic primary fight and the people who made it possible. And for the millions looking to continue the political revolution, he outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all—and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better. For him, the political revolution has just started. The campaign may be over, but the struggle goes on.
About the Issue
This Issue of Socrates contains selected scholarly articles from various scholarly disciplines. The entire issue has been divided into five sections.
The first Section of the edition Language and Literature contains scholarly Research Papers from English language and Literature, Hindi literature and Persian literature. The first research paper of this section and the edition deals with Feminism and endeavours to investigate the origin and development of this movement; and also pays tribute to the inextinguishable and daredevil spirit of innumerable women who tirelessly contributed in making the “new woman” a reality.
The Second paper which belongs to the scholarly discipline of Hindi Literature is a comparative analysis of two spiritual ideologies that prevails in India and different parts of the world. This sort of comparative study is rarely found in and which makes it an asset for the research literature.
The second section of this issue, Swedish History, contains a paper that presents Sweden’s most dignified and faithful Queen Dowager: Catherine Stenbock.
The third section of this issue, Politics, Law and Governance, contains various research articles on various scholarly themes. The first research paper of this section attempts to analyse Carl Schmitt’s and Agamben’s theories through this interesting tripartite relation among the political, sovereignty and exception which gives an interesting account to reconfigure sovereignty and its effects felt on Indian emergency of 1975-77 and anti-terror laws in recent times. Also in what ways it appears as a challenge to the centrality of law in a democracy. The second research paper of this section examines the Scottish enlightenment and involvement in this debate through James Mackintosh’s response to Burke this encounter of British and French enlightenment will illuminate our modern vision of human rights theories. The third research paper of this section is a research study in context of global security under the impact of globalization. The fourth research paper of this section deals with a universal problem popularly known as “Corruption”. This paper investigates the remedies of corruption as suggested by the great philosopher and teacher Kautilya in his masterpiece Arthashastra. The fifth research paper of this section deals with one of vibrant issues of free world “Human rights”.
The fourth section of this issue contains some of the best research papers from the scholarly disciplines of Commerce Management and Economics. These research papers are based on the original research carried out by author(s). The first paper of this section studies the relationship between BPR and Organizational Structure with special reference to State Bank of India. The second paper of this section raises evacuation issues. The third paper of this section studies the dimensions of customer service in supply chain management (SCM) of small and medium enterprises of Jammu region. The fourth paper of this section investigates the Effectiveness of Public Distribution System in Jammu & Kashmir. The fifth paper of this section paper examines the role of cooperative societies in economic development of Bangladesh. The sixth paper of this section studies green marketing and reveals its challenges and opportunities in rural India.
The fifth section of this issue represents the scholarly disciplines of Education. It contains a research paper which is based on an action research project to find out ways to improve student’s participation in the class.
The first section is Language & Literature- English.
The paper authored by Mehnaz Khan and Hasnain Mashood Ali applies Goffman’s model as a comprehensive approach to analyze the data to understand the role of health in identity formation. The findings examined within the context of ideological and cultural background and interpreted in the light of Althusser’s (1971) ideological framework. The paper concludes by stating that identity is the product of social relationships implicitly formed in the ideological background and is a source of motivation and expectations to transform one into social being capable of expressive control.
The paper authored by Amaladhas Dr J. analyses the consciousness that grew out of the unrelieved suffering and psychological traumas of a group of people who were subjected to overt and covert racism in the USA for about four centuries.
The second section of this issue is Psychology.
The Paper authored by Ioanna C. Bitchava, Paleologou Angie-M. P, Chrousos George P., Artemiadis Artemios K. and Darviri Christina is an innovative quasi-experimental study, whose core aim was not only to investigate the role of Stress and Stress-Management on the Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Health of first-year University Students during the transition period into the tertiary education system (especially in the contemporary Greek Society), but also to apply an innovative Stress Management Technique [based on the Ancient Greek Philosophy - with contemporary successful effects], Pythagorean Self-Awareness –comparatively to the worldwide "classic" Stress-Management Techniques – for the first time worldwide into this target-group, as well. This paper is an issue of great importance.
The third section of this issue is Sociology.
The paper authored by Neha Singh and Dr Neeraj Mishra explores the nuances that industrialization is mired with, in relation to the rivers, associated large infrastructure and rivers attributed sacredness. The paper uses the case of river Kshipra flowing in the city of Ujjain to explain the shifting attribution of ‘sacred’ from natural things like rivers to materialistic things like money. The paper discusses the change in the significance of river during a world famous festival of Hindus for holy dip Simhastha. The paper explains the shift in focus of Simhastha from holy dip to crowd control, space allocation, crass commercialisation and unchecked competition. It explains using the theory of sacred and profane of Durkheim and Eliade, how in the modern time's secularisation of religion and sacralization of secular has created the sacred/profane distinction which is making the rivers only the source for consumption forgetting their actual significance.
The fourth section of this issue is Politics, Law and Governance.
The paper authored by Dr Adesanya Olusegun Paul and Olominu Tomi explores some of the responsible variables are a mind-body problem, alternative thinking, and poverty to mention a few. These variables are the identified drivers of dimensions of insecurity and/or crises that are witnessed in both countries. Given this, the study demonstrates the role of the fugitive youths in the abating terror attacks at the frontiers and within some regions of Nigeria and Cameroun. Also, the study argues that priority should be accorded to the factors inducing fugitive youths to embrace anti-social/anti-societal behaviours, especially terrorism within the Nigeria and Cameroun.
The fifth section of this issue is Digital government/E-government/Electronic government/Online government. The paper authored by Alsaeed Abraheem and Dr Carl Adams undertakes a comparison of eGov strategies among countries at different levels of instability. It highlights the different approaches for implementing activities, and thus directs policy makers in highly unstable societies to important aspects and to embrace gaps during the implementation process. Consequently, the lessons learned by adopting best practice from different contexts enhances the process of activities’ development in an unstable environment. This paper aims to emphasise on the factors that influenced strategic planning in societies with different levels of stability to adopt eService successfully. This comparison study explores the eService strategies among three cases namely: eGov Strategy in Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The result reveals the approaches that each government had adopted in order to reach their eGov potential. Authors have applied the Reinventing Government approach by Osborne and Gaebler (1992) as a theoretical framework. By using their ten principles of transforming governments this provides understanding about the context and issues of providing eGov services within the three case studies and to what degree each case strategy has an influence on the activities implemented.
The paper authored by Dr Tetiana Fesenko and Dr Galyna Fesenko aims to outline the role of ICT in urban management. The digital segment is presented as significant for making cities sustainable, and for expanding access to basic services for large numbers of people. The matrix of ICT-tools in relation to sustainable cities development targets is developed. The comparative review of Digital City, Intelligent City, and Smart City is provided. The municipal e-government data of international ratings are analyzed with the special focus on aspects of online services management. The existing digital gaps between cities are pointed out in terms of e-governance maturity. It is proposed the maturity model of the municipal digital office, which it consists eight levels of the functional responsibility for urban online services development.