My name is Jesper Schlæger. I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lund University, and Associate Professor at Sichuan University, School of Public Administration. My current research topics include comparative public administration, e-government, electronic monitoring, public values, and urban management in a comparative perspective. This website includes a personal presentation and links to current research publications.
This book looks at how information and communication technology and e-government influences power relations in public administration in China. It highlights the role of technology in combating corruption, and clarifies the interplay between ideas, institutions and technologies in shaping the foundation for organisational change. Using fieldwork based case studies, the book provides an incisive view into the working processes of the Chinese administration previously inaccessible to research. It challenges the high expectations for the transformative potential of information technology, and is thus a contribution to the debate on Chinese reforms.
How does digital monitoring affect government capacity to implement public administrative reforms? Digital monitoring can be understood as a means to address the information asymmetries in principal-agent relations. This book chapter traces the mechanisms that drive processes of tecnology-mediated organizational reform. The underlying question is whether the party-state is able to enhance transparency, efficiency and effectiveness and reduce corruption within the bureacracy, as this could lead to increase legitimacy of the regime.
How does the Chinese government’s adoption of microblogs affect local governance and social contention it is tasked to manage? This case study explores the extent to which government microblogging could serve as: (1) a battering ram to spearhead reforms; (2) a virus bringing unexpected consequences; and (3) a reinforcer of authorities’ existing power, that is, politics as usual. After studying a Chinese municipal government’s microblogs (weibo 微博) in depth from the perspective of local governance, we find that official microblogs do not in the short run lead to organizational change. Instead, Chinese local government microblogs function largely as ‘beta-institutions’ experimenting with ways to interact and negotiate with their microblog publics and microblog service providers and aimed at improving social management and political legitimacy. Local governments are also evolving gradually from service providers to ‘service predictors’ with enhanced capabilities to deliver individualized services and institute state surveillance via commercial service providers. These developments warrant further studies of the long-term implications of microblogs as part of the government information ecology.