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Beijing Institute of Technology
Graduate Course code: 20-120401-002-21
Last updated on March 30,2011

Spring Semester 2011
Monday, 10:10 am to 12:00 pm; Friday, 2:00 pm to 3:50 pm
Classroom: Graduate Teaching Building 516


Dr. Ya Li
Associate Professor
Department of Public Management, School of Management & Economics
Phone: 6891-8546
E-mail: liya@bit.edu.cn
Office hour: Friday 3:50pm to 5:00pm

Course Description

In this graduate level course we will explore current practice of electronic government and the related issues for improving effective and efficient governance and service delivery. It focuses on management aspects rather than computer technology aspects.

The course consists of three parts. In the first part, after the introduction of basic concepts and theoretical framework of e-government, we will discuss E-government practices both in China and in the outside world from a comparative perspective. Part II will focus on some issues related to the development of e-government, which are especially crucial to China. These topics include government boundary and its functions, government knowledge management and process design, open and transparent government, and public participation and e-participation. Moving beyond traditional electronic government practices, the third part will shift the focus to the emerging Gov 2.0, which highlights the application of social media tools or platforms in public sectors.

The course will unfold along a mix of two threads: theoretical thread and practical thread. As for the theoretical thread, students need to read literatures to touch the research frontiers of this field. As for the practical thread, students will explore various government websites, conduct a site visit and a few guest speakers will be brought to class to discuss practices and challenges in the real world.

Acknowledgement: The design of the third part of this course (week 7 and week 8) was inspired by Prof. Ines Mergel (Maxwell School of Syracuse University) and her course “Government 2.0: The Interactive Web in the Public Sector” (Spring 2011). Most reading materials for week 7 and week 8 are borrowed from her course. I am grateful to Prof. Ines Mergel for her generous support to this course.

Grading and Courses Assignments

Class participation 20%: Students are expected to attend all class sessions and be on time. All readings must be prepared before class. Active discussion in class is expected. The site visit is requisite.

Assignment and presentation 40%: Each student is expected to make a presentation during class, reporting the assigned reading materials or learning content to the whole class. Presentation will be 35-45 minutes. The student is also expected to answer questions raised by other students and the instructor and lead the follow-up discussion.

Final project 40%: Students will be required to write a research paper (8000-12000 Chinese words). The topic of research paper can be one of the follows: (1) Choose a government agency and discuss its functions and e-government strategy; (2) China’s Government 2.0 applications; (3) A related research paper which is of interest to student and approved by professor. A one-page research proposal is due on April 15th 2011 at the beginning of the class. Students will have 30 minutes each to present their final research papers in the last week.

Note: Assignment and research paper must be typed on A4 pages with 5 point Song font, single-spaced and default margin settings.

Course Policies

Respect: Please treat everyone in the class with respect. Students enjoy freedom of speech in classes. Be tolerant and respect different ideas. No cell phone rings, no excessive private conversations, no other distractive practices.

Academic integrity: Please do assignments on your own. Cite others’ work appropriately and correctly. All kinds of plagiarism and cheating will result in a grade of “fail” for the course. If you don’t know exactly what is plagiarism, please visit http://www.plagiarism.org for details.

Late assignment: Please keep the deadline for the submission of the research paper. Each day of delay will lower your grade by 5 points.

Class absence: Please contact instructor in advance in case of emergency. Two class sessions are the most one student can be absent. Class absence (1 or 2) will lead to lower your grade.

Be professional: Please prepare all your presentations and research paper as professionals.

Weekly Topics and Reading Materials

All reading materials will be provided by the instructor.

Week 1 Introduction (March 14 and 18)
Assignment 1: Visiting government websites (see recommended website list, due on March 21)

Week 2 Government and Government Websites: A Comparison (March 21 and 25)
Student presentation 1: Two websites (March 21)
Student presentation 2: Literature reading report (March 25)

Reading Materials:

  •  Xia Li Lollar. 2006. Assessing China’s E-Government: Information, Service, Transparency and Citizen Outreach of Government Websites. Journal of Contemporary China 15(46): 31-41.
  •  Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, and Basilio Acerete. 2006. E-Governance Developments in European Union Cities: Reshaping Government’s Relationship with Citizens. Governance 19(2): 277-302.
  •  Subhajit Basu. 2004. E-Government and Developing Countries: An Overview. International Review of Law Computers & Technology 18 (1): 109-132.
  •  Sharon S. Dawes. 2008. The Evolution and Continuing Challenges of E-Governance. Public Administration Review 68(special issue): S86-S102.

Week 3 Doing Right Things: Government Functions and E-government (March 28 and April 1)
Student presentation 3: Literature reading report (March 28)
Assignment 2: Select one government agency in China (at any level) and its counterpart in US to compare their functions. (One page, due on April 1, at the beginning of the class)

Reading Materials:

  •  Edward H. Crane. 2003. CATO Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 108th Congress. Chapter 28 Department of Education. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute: 295-303.
  •  Edward H. Crane. 2003. CATO Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 108th Congress. Chapter 46 Department of Energy. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute: 477-489.
  • 宁南. 巨人国资委. 商务周刊, 2005(2). Ning Nan. 2005. SASAC the “Giant”. Business Weekly 2005(2). (in Chinese)

Week 4 Doing Things Right: Government Processes and E-government (April 4 and 8)

Student presentation 4: Literature reading report (April 4)
Guest Speaker: Ma Lin (Peking University, April 8)
Assignment 3: Site visit (Due on April 11, will discuss it in next week)

Reading Materials:

  •  Frederick W. Taylor. 1911. Principles of Scientific Management. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. New York and London, Harper & brothers.
  •  Cyril Northcote Parkinson. 1957. Parkinson’s Law and Other Studies in Administration. Chapter 1 Parkinson's Law or the Rising Pyramid. Cambridge: The Riverside Press: 2-13.
  •  李习彬, 李亚. 政府管理创新与系统思维. 第13章. 北京: 北京大学出版社, 2002: 199-226. Xibin Li, and Ya Li. 2002. Government Management Innovation and Systems Thinking. Chapter 13. Beijing: Peking University Press: 199-226. (in Chinese)
  •  Ya Li and Xibin Li. 2003. A Three-Phase Design Methodology for Complex Social Systems. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 20(5): 445-452.
  •  Michael H. Zack. 1999. Managing Codified Knowledge. Sloan Management Review 40(4): 45-58.
  •  Business process reengineering. Wikipedia. [Accessed on April 9, 2008]
  •  中央电视台“新闻调查”. 服务型政府. 2007年10月14日播出. http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2007-10-15/155614090886.shtml. [Accessed on October 15, 2007] CCTV News Probe. Service-oriented Government. Broadcasted on October 14, 2007. (Transcript in Chinese)
  •  Alfred Tat-Kei Ho. 2002. Reinventing Local Governments and the E-Government Initiative. Public Administration Review 62(4): 434-444.

Week 5 Openness, Transparency and E-government (April 11 and 15)
Student presentation 5: Literature reading report (April 11)
One-page research proposal is due on April 15.

Reading Materials:

  •  闫喆. 美国信息公开法制体系. 2005. Zhe Yan. 2005. Disclosure of Government Information: A Review of American Acts. Working Report. Beijing Institute of Technology. (in Chinese)
  •  中华人民共和国政府信息公开条例. 2007. Regulation of the People's Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information. 2007 (in Chinese)
  •  王锡锌. 我国公共决策专家咨询制度的悖论及其克服——以美国《联邦咨询委员会法》为借鉴. 法商研究, 2007(2): 113-121. Xixin Wang. 2007. Breaking the Controversy of Expert Consultation: Learning from the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Study in Law and Business 2007(2): 113-121. (in Chinese)
  •  DoD. 2010. Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2010. U.S. DoD Report.
  •  Micah M. Sifry. 2010. “You Can Be the Eyes and Ears”: Barack Obama and the Wisdom of the Crowds. In: Open Government – Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice (Lathrop, D. & Ruma, L. eds). Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media Inc.: 115-122.
  •  Open Government Initiative. http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.

Week 6 Public Participation and E-participation (April 18 and 22)
Student presentation 6: Literature reading report (April 18)

Reading Materials:

  •  Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres. 2006. Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement. IBM Center for The Business of Government.
  •  Xiaohu Wang. 2001. Assessing Public Participation in U.S. Cities. Public Performance & Management Review 24(4): 322-36.
  •  Renée A. Irvin and John Stansbury. 2004. Citizen Participation in Decision Making: Is It Worth the Effort? Public Administration Review 64(1): 55-65.
  •  Ann Macintosh. 2004. Characterizing E-Participation in Policy-Making. In: Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
  •  陈祥荣. 国外电子参与模式研究. 江西行政学院学报, 2006, 8(3):78-80. Xiangrong Chen. On Overseas E-participation. Journal of Jiangxi Administration Institute 8(3): 78-80. (in Chinese)
  •  杨峥. 电子参与对公共政策制定的影响研究. 第1章, 第2章. 北京理工大学本科学位论文, 2008. Zheng Yang. 2008. E-participation in Policy Making: Progress, Impact and Prospect. Chapter 1 and 2. Thesis of Beijing Institute of Technology. (in Chinese)
  •  杨峥. 电子参与实践事例综述. 工作报告, 2008. Zheng Yang. 2008. International E-participation Practices: An Overview. Working Report. Beijing Institute of Technology. (in Chinese)

Week 7 Social Media Application in Public Sectors (April 25 and 29)

Student presentation 7: Literature reading report (April 29)
Assignment 4: Visiting gov2.0 websites (see recommended website list, due on April 29)
Guest Speaker: Li Peng (Sina.com, April 25) Microblog in China and Its Public Sectors Application

Reading Materials:

  •  Danah. M. Boyd, and Nicole B. Ellison. 2007. Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13(1), article 11. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html.
  •  Tim O’Reilly. 2009. Gov 2.0: A Promise of Innovation. In: State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards (GØtze, J. and Pedersen, C. B. eds.). Bloomington: AuthorHouse: 29-32.
  •  Tina Nabatchi, and Ines Mergel. 2010. Participation 2.0: Using Internet and Social Media Technologies to Promote Distributed Democracy and Create Digital Neighborhoods. In: The Connected Community: Local Governments as Partners in Citizen Engagement and Community Building (Svara, J. H. and Denhardt, J. eds.). Alliance for Innovation White Paper: 80-87.
  •  Stephen F. King, and Paul Brown. 2007. Fix My Street or Else: Using the Internet to Voice Local Public Service Concerns. ICEGOV2007, December 10-13, 2007, Macao.
  •  Ines Mergel. 2010. Government 2.0 Revisited: Social Media Strategies in the Public Sector. PA Times 33(3): 7, 10.

Week 8 Social Media: A Catalyst for Social Change? (May 2 and 6)

Student presentation 8: Literature reading report (May 2)

Reading Materials:

  •  Peter Wallsten. 2009. Retooling Obama's Campaign Machine for the Long Haul. LA Times, January 14, 2009, http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/14/nation/na-obamaarmy14.
  •  Marko Papic, and Sean Noonan. 2011. Social Media as a Tool for Protest. STRATFOR Global Intellegence. http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110202-social-media-tool-protest.
  •  Malcolm Gladwell. 2010. Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted. The New Yoker, October 4, 2010. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell.
  •  Alan Rosenblatt. 2010. Which Revolution Will Be Twittered? Huffingtonpost, October 2, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-rosenblatt/ which-revolution-will-be-_b_747515.html.
  •  U.S. Department of State. 2009. Secretary Clinton Announces Civil Society 2.0 Initiative to Build Capacity of Grassroots Organizations. Available online http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/nov/131234.htm

Week 9 Wrap up and Final Presentation (May 9 and 13)
Presentation sequence will be set on May 2.