Information Technology, Local
Government, and the State: The Diffusion of New Technologies
This chapter examines the patterns of interplay and cooperation between public and private actors in the development and diffusion process of new technologies, primarily information technology (IT) in Sweden. This process has included new forms of cooperation between the local and state authorities as well as between local governments and private businesses. As these new technologies have rapidly become perceived as a key sector of local business development, local governments have quickly created IT development strategies. However, unlike most previous programs of economic development, including local and state governments, this process appears to have been driven from the local level with the state responding to local demands.
This chapter reports data from a national survey conducted in 1995 covering all local governments in Sweden. The diffusion of IT has created new patterns of local-state interaction that both increase local authorities’ leverage on state policies for economic development but also, to some extent, make local governments more dependent on economic and administrative support from the state.
DEVELOPMENT: A NEW PARADIGM?
Local and regional economic development strategies in many countries have taken an important and significant turn during the past few years. There is a strongly increased emphasis on acquiring new technologies