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Title: The new Scottish politics of information : governance and information technology in the devolved Scotland
Author: Griffin, Paul
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis provides an analysis of the new Scottish politics of information. It examines the implications of information communication technologies (ICTs) for the reformation of Scottish politics within the new historical Scottish moment of devolution. This is related to the advent of ICTs and the possibilities they afford for a further extension of democracy in contemporary Scotland. This in turn is set amidst the concept of informatisation. This term denotes the ability of ICTs to produce new information networks, and the thesis explores the likely outcomes of such conditions within their Scottish context. We begin with an exploration of the tensions existing within a specific frame of reference (Scottish post-war politics), and end with an account of the new context and circumstances of the informatised political system. As such, the thesis details the post-war technocratic era, and traces the movement into democratic deficit and outwards into the new Scottish historical moment: the devolution arrangements of 1999, and onwards. The associating theme throughout is the search for a new politics of settlement. The future of this settlement is however, finely balanced and lies somewhere between a set of contradictory and oppositional political forces. The connecting principle is provided by the informatisation process, and electronic governance. These political technologies are a pivotal feature of the new Scottish politics of information, and the thesis illustrates their centrality within contemporary governance. The positioning of distributed technologies, and distributed informatisation, is a central component of the thesis. In turn, it is contrasted with the development of a centralised form of political computing: given expression throughout the thesis as the new Information Union. Put simply, the thesis explores the implications of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the reformation of Scottish politics within the new historical Scottish moment. It does so in the context of an opposition between two prevailing theories of the impact of information communication technologies on political life - the theories can be labelled Transformational Politics (Schwerin 1995) and Reinforcement Politics (Danziger et al 1982). The thrust of Transformational Politics is that there are new forms of interactivity which enable new forms of governance characterised by more widely distributed discourse, and new institutional forms such as social-political partnerships between government and community. The thrust of Reinforcement Politics is that the new technical forms of communication are used to further concentrate and control power by existing elites. Both these potentials are visible in the new Scottish Politics and this thesis charts the struggle between these tensions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JN1187 Scotland