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E-Government Policy in Italy: Constitutive, Distributional, or Symbolic?

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As an innovative, convenient, customer-oriented approach to delivering public services, e-government is usually considered a unitary object of analysis. In Italy there is a bipartisan agreement on the necessity of reinventing government, despite the e-government project's many dimensions. The aim of this article is to show - through the analysis of official documents and finance methods - the different facets of e-government policy. Its constitutive nature is underlined by the construction of new administrative structures and the creation of a new relationship between the institutions and the citizen. At the same time e-government is also a vehicle for the distribution of public funds, based on modes of resources attribution "by projects and commissions". A symbolic valence can be also identified: the new policy is often presented as an extraordinary opportunity for strengthening democracy and fostering development, despite the unfulfilled promises of the digital revolution.

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