is remote administration possible with e-governance? Can Istanbul be governed by a Finn in future?
This research project is about the future of e-governance. It is a multidisciplinary research in the intersection of three disciplines: communication studies, political sciences and urban studies. I am trying to answer a question based on the observation of several parallel developments in the current global information society. These developments are: a/ More and more people are becoming e-citizens by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their communication with other citizens and representatives, and in fulfilling their rights and duties; b/ E-citizens are likely to replace their national identities with other types such as occupational identities. Nation-states are losing ground in relation to supra-national organisations and multinational corporations, through processes of increased mobility, the globalisation of labour, the presence of multinational staff of multinational corporations, and the existence of global cities. The role of the internet as public and private space, and its support for online communities, might appear reasons why e-citizens might feel less attached to their national identities; c/ Cities are gaining more political power with the rise of global networks and/or multi-stakeholder partnerships in local governance/city management models. More and more cities are using ICTs in their administration and in their communication with citizens and other stakeholders; d/ Two out of three main governance actors, namely the private and the civil sector have already globalised and denationalised. In the context of all these developments I will research whether the third actor, the public sector, might also ‘lose’ its national embeddedness (and identity) and if remote forms of administration would be possible in future. In my research I will be using concepts like e-government, e-governance, e-citizenship, global city, online communities, and communication, national identity and theories (critical) of neoliberalism. I will be using qualitative research methods such as a/ interviews with (e-)citizens, (e-)governors, executives of private and civil sectors that have been through the globalisation processes; b/ web pages analyses of local authorities of Istanbul and Helsinki, and of global private and civil sector actors; c/ an online experiment among young online citizens (a city management game to see if there are any changes in their preferences and expectations towards the governors, their attachment/detachment to/from their national identity before and after playing it). The research project will help to see if a city can be governed/managed by someone from another nationality and from another city in the future. It will contribute to academic discussions on e-government, e-citizenship, and e-governance.