February 25th, 2009
This entry marks a major turn in the theme of this blog. Hitherto, my main focus has been the nexus between IT and government, defined to include both politics and public service. Now I will be shifting to narrative, and I’ll explain why.
I began the blog in April 2007, a few months after the publication of Digital State at the Leading Edge, and was using it to observe, on a week by week basis, the continuing transformational impact of IT on politics and government. A lot has happened, particularly in the political arena (especially the Obama campaign) and in Web 2.0 applications to politics. I brought together my conclusions after almost three years of commenting and observing in a paper entitled Digital State 2.0, which will be published in a festschrift in honour of Carleton University public administration scholar Bruce Doern. When the manuscript has completed editorial review and before its official publication, I will post it on this website. It marks, at least for now, the end-point of a line of research that I’ve been working on since early in the decade.
As I was finishing Digital State, I applied for and received funding from SSHRC for a new and radically different research project on narrative and government. The research intends to show how the analysis, creation, and manipulation of narratives is a valuable skill for managers in both the public and private sectors. The research project grew out of courses on narrative and management that I have been teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The courses started out some years ago, rather naively in retrospect, along the lines of “management lessons from the movies and books.” This approach was na