24th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o 2023)

Together in the unstable world: Digital government and solidarity

Gdańsk, Poland, 11-14 July 2023

The Digital Government Society (DGS) will hold the 24th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research – dg.o 2023 – in Gdańsk, Poland, with a special focus on digital government and solidarity. The conference main organizer is the Department of Informatics in Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland.

Crisis upon crisis, from pandemic and war to climate change to democratic breakup, government institutions face rapidly changing service demands, unpredictable geopolitical environment, and challenges to their own legitimacy. They cannot address such crises alone without mobilizing adequate social response, even supported by advanced technology. In turn, such a response requires citizens to feel (and act upon) their responsibility toward each other, e.g., changing one’s attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles for collective well-being. It requires solidarity – the recognition that “we are all in this together”. While different notions of “we” produce different variants of solidarity – universal, civil, social, or political, all variants are about relationships, intentionality and sacrifice.

What the COVID-19 pandemic taught us is that the efficacy of any technical solution deployed to fight the pandemic, e.g., public messaging, policy innovation, regulatory action, technology platform, needs to be accompanied by a positive social reaction: social distancing, self-quarantine, self-protection restrain, community volunteering, and other expressions of social solidarity. But the pandemic also taught us that common threats and fear could both unite and disunite, leading to feelings and acts of greater solidarity or polarization. Public messaging amplified by social technology can balance or counter-balance such discourses. But technology can also help strengthen solidarity and social cohesion by fostering e-democracy, providing a voice to traditionally excluded groups, promoting equitable resource distribution, etc.

The conference aims to put the concept of solidarity at the center of the digital government debate. To this end, it focuses on how digital government can enhance solidarity and, conversely, how solidarity can enhance the efficacy of digital government in responding to global crises and local constituency demands.

The dg.o conference series is an established forum for presentation, discussion, and demonstration of interdisciplinary research on digital government, ICT and public administration, political participation, civic engagement, technology innovation, applications, and practice. Each year the conference brings together scholars recognized for the interdisciplinary and innovative nature of their work, their contributions to rigor of theory and relevance of practice, their focus on important and timely topics and the quality of their writing.