The Internet and Public Policy

Helen Z. Margetts, Oxford University


This article looks at the role of the Internet in policymaking, identifying potential policy effects of widespread use of the Internet by citizens, firms, governments and voluntary organizations. It considers how the Internet and Internet-enabled social change might impact upon each of the four 'tools' of government policy nodality, authority, treasure and organization and how it might impact upon the mix of tools that policymakers select. It suggests a number of values normally associated with the Internet innovation, trust, openness and equity that might be expected to emerge in policy trends. It discusses the implications of Internet-driven change for public policy research, pinpointing some key methodologies that will become increasingly important; generation of large-scale transactional data; network analysis and experimental methods. The article argues that we cannot understand, analyse or make public policy without understanding the technological, social and economic shifts associated with the Internet a task that the journal Policy & Internet is poised to undertake.

Recommended Citation

Margetts, Helen Z. (2009) "The Internet and Public Policy," Policy & Internet: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 1.
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