Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing

By Beth Simone Noveck

Government "of the people, by the people, for the people" expresses an ideal that resonates in all democracies. Yet poll after poll reveals deep distrust of institutions that seem to have left "the people" out of the governing equation. Government bureaucracies that are supposed to solve critical problems on their own are a troublesome outgrowth of the professionalization of public life in the industrial age. They are especially ill-suited to confronting today's complex challenges.

Offering a far-reaching program for innovation, Smart Citizens, Smarter State suggests that public decisionmaking could be more effective and legitimate if government were smarter--if our institutions knew how to use technology to leverage citizens' expertise. Just as individuals use only part of their brainpower to solve most problems, governing institutions make far too little use of the skills and experience of those inside and outside of government with scientific credentials, practical skills, and ground-level street smarts. New tools--what Beth Simone Noveck calls technologies of expertise--are making it possible to match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government.

Drawing on a wide range of academic disciplines and practical examples from her work as an adviser to governments on institutional innovation, Noveck explores how to create more open and collaborative institutions. In so doing, she puts forward a profound new vision for participatory democracy rooted not in the paltry act of occasional voting or the serendipity of crowdsourcing but in people's knowledge and know-how.

"Smart Citizens, Smarter State" is a manifesto for a new way of governing. Digital technologies, Noveck argues, create abundant opportunities for governments to learn from their citizens and provide better services. Written with optimism and passion, this book brings the open source revolution to public administration.--Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School
I strongly recommend "Smart Citizens, Smarter State" to the new generation of scientists emerging at the interface of computing and public policy. Those with technology and hard sciences backgrounds would hugely benefit from a comprehensive understanding of government and policy domains in order to set new research agendas with significant potential for wider impact. At the other end of the spectrum, those with politics and social science backgrounds would find it very helpful for understanding the current technologies of expertise and the new trends in public decision-making, offering great promise for transforming the ways that governments should operate under the ongoing data revolution.--Zeynep Engin"LSE Review of Books" (06/03/2016)"
New peer-to-peer technology platforms have radically democratized how information spreads, how capital flows, and even how cabs get hailed in the twenty-first century. But our government itself remains a largely closed system, with relatively few opportunities for public engagement and collaboration. In this book, Beth Simone Noveck lays out a fresh and ambitious vision for a more democratized democracy, one in which our government takes full advantage of the Networked Age and the vast resources of its citizenry. Highly recommended!--Reid Hoffman, cofounder/chairman of LinkedIn and coauthor of "The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age"


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ISBN: 9780674286054

About the Hardcover

Publisher Harvard University Press
Publish date 11/02/2015
Pages 368
ISBN-13 9780674286054
ISBN-10 0674286057
Language English

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