This article adopts an interpretive approach to investigate how local policy-makers portray and justify their own visions of digital governance initiatives at the municipal level. Our investigation focuses on smart city projects submitted by various Belgian municipalities in the framework of the ‘Intelligent Territory’ call for proposals initiated in 2019 by the Walloon Region. We use Boltanski and Thévenot’s theory of orders of worth and combine quantitative and qualitative content analysis to categorize the different justifications elaborated by municipal governments. The empirical results point to the polysemic nature of the smart city concept and highlight the diversity of opportunities offered by smart city policies according to municipal policy-makers. Overall, our study contributes to the understanding of the varieties of interpretations underpinning the construction of digital governance initiatives. It therefore supports the argument according to which there is no one-size-fits-all approach to smart city policies as local policy-makers may attribute different meanings to them and may formulate place-based ICTs solutions to what they perceive as the most pressing problems of their territories.

Interpreting digital governance at the municipal level: Evidence from smart city projects in Belgium / Giovanni Esposito, Andrea Terlizzi, Massimo Guarino, Nathalie Crutzen. - In: INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE SCIENCES. - ISSN 0020-8523. - ELETTRONICO. - 90:(2024), pp. 2.301-2.317. [10.1177/00208523231167538]

Interpreting digital governance at the municipal level: Evidence from smart city projects in Belgium

Giovanni Esposito;Andrea Terlizzi;
2024

Abstract

This article adopts an interpretive approach to investigate how local policy-makers portray and justify their own visions of digital governance initiatives at the municipal level. Our investigation focuses on smart city projects submitted by various Belgian municipalities in the framework of the ‘Intelligent Territory’ call for proposals initiated in 2019 by the Walloon Region. We use Boltanski and Thévenot’s theory of orders of worth and combine quantitative and qualitative content analysis to categorize the different justifications elaborated by municipal governments. The empirical results point to the polysemic nature of the smart city concept and highlight the diversity of opportunities offered by smart city policies according to municipal policy-makers. Overall, our study contributes to the understanding of the varieties of interpretations underpinning the construction of digital governance initiatives. It therefore supports the argument according to which there is no one-size-fits-all approach to smart city policies as local policy-makers may attribute different meanings to them and may formulate place-based ICTs solutions to what they perceive as the most pressing problems of their territories.
2024
90
301
317
Giovanni Esposito, Andrea Terlizzi, Massimo Guarino, Nathalie Crutzen
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1308341
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