Understanding the complexity of electronic government: Implications from the digital divide literature


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Digital Divide | e-Government




Theoretically and practically E-Government and the digital divide are intertwined social phenomena. Using sophisticated information technologies (IT) in government has little social value if citizens are not able to use services or interact in political processes in meaningful ways. Similarly, understanding the development and use of IT in government without incorporating a demand perspective would potentially lead to partial explanations of a complex social reality. This article argues that studies about E-Government and the digital divide, which have been relatively disconnected research areas, have important parallels and potential intersections. These parallels may be useful in understanding E-Government projects and policies in a more comprehensive way and, consequently, for developing effective digital strategies. The paper reviews trajectories in E-Government and digital divide research and suggests potential implications drawn from the digital divide literature for E-Government research and practice, including model and theory development, understanding users, and some determinants of demand.