E-Governance, International Cooperation and Security

E-Governance, International Cooperation and Security -...

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SSRC ITIC 2001 Work Paper E-Governance, International Cooperation and Security - New Millennium Challenges for a Small Country. Neki Frasheri SSRC ITIC Program Fellow - Summer 2001 1. Introduction Talking about Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and their impact on developing countries (DCs), about the information society, electronic-governance and potential “leapfrogs” of these countries into a prosperous future, all this is becoming a common thing for researches, journalists, politicians, and sociologists. Perhaps it is talked more about the possible futures and less about the present, and how this present may condition the future. One thing is sure - information and communication technology is changing the world, enriching and integrating communication means worldwide breaking all geographical and social borders. It is important to consider ICT as a key tool in the hands of humanity, and not as an actor playing a key role in the history. It is creating conditions for more economical and political freedom, which may lead to new movements and institutions for democracy [Joshi 1999]. We are at the beginning of a new technological revolution whose consequences is difficult to evaluate. The ICT impacts get shaped as result of the fusion of globalization, worldwide connectivity and knowledge networking [Choucri, 2000]. A revolution makes new power structures to arise over old ones; and always technology has been the catalyst, not the cause [Wriston, 1997b]. In the paper we make a criticism of different views on the supposed role of ICT for the future of human society. This criticism is seen from the point of view of a small developing post-communist country as Albania, hoping that the conclusions would throw some light for developing countries in general, especially those in a transition stage. We examine some aspects of international collaboration and security, where the ICT implemented in the public administration may have an important impact. Understanding the role of public administration and the structure of its interfacing with the public and NGOs is the next subject, to be followed by the discussion of e-governance issues. Based on these arguments, the development policies and practices are examined, including relations between public and private sectors. Following arguments of many authors, we identify or redefine some crucial factors that negatively impact the role of ICT in the development of the country, its relations with the international community, and ways to push forward its development. Of course DCs have big differences with western developed countries. But even between DCs themselves there are big differences, due to the geographical position, history and cultural heritage. Albania is a developing country situated in a good geographical position. For a long time it remained isolated from the rest of the world in a kind of total “communist self-colonial regime” (as defined by the journal Nature during the 1970s). During the last ten years it is undergoing a turbulent transition time switching from
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E-Governance, International Cooperation and Security -...

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