Academic contribution to knowledge is constantly evolving and in this issue we present a set of articles that cover a number of contemporary e-government debates, in this case open data, algorithms, e-participation and network leadership. This issue also contains a provocative analysis of the relationship between technology and the ‘deep state’, and explores how technology can be deployed in defense of democracy and democratic values. Alongside these articles this issue also includes a country report and a book review. Combined, these publications demonstrate the intellectual contribution of Information Polity – they present strong empirical analyses of new developments, enhanced theoretical insight, as well as provoking new debates and ideas.
Whilst academic research continues apace academics do not live forever. In the previous issue of Information Polity we presented an obituary for Professor Chris Bellamy and now we present a personal remembrance for Professor Ignace Snellen and Professor Chris Bellamy written by Professor John Taylor, the former Editor-in-Chief of Information Polity. Ignace Snellen is a founding father of our field of research and one of the first see the profound impact that new technologies would have on the public sector. He was also the Phd supervisor of one of the current Editors of this journal (Albert Meijer) and provided many valuable insights into the PhD of the other (William Webster). We have known Ignace Snellen as a dedicated academic with an enormous knowledge of the field and an ability to always offer insight and thoughtful analysis. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Information Infrastructure and Policy, the journal that evolved into the journal we now call Information Polity. Most importantly, Ignace was a very loyal and sociable person who was passionate about his subject area and committed to the development of young scholars. We are most thankful to John Taylor for writing this in memoriam.
The best academic work often involves connecting profound insights developed by great scholars over a period of time and relating them to contemporary developments and initiatives. So, whilst we have lost two goliaths of academic thought about interrelationship between technology and public administration, their ideas live on, embedded in the continual development of academic thought. In this sense, this issue of Information Polity offers new empirical and theatrical insight, and also honors two giants that have developed the fundamental understanding of our field.
Professor Albert Meijer
Professor William Webster