This ground-breaking study provides a balanced investigation into the significance of the so-called 'information age' to contemporary government. It examines available perspectives on the relationship between information and communication technology and social change, and applies them to the organization and practice of governing and governance in the UK. In particular, it assesses current debates on the New Public Management, the reinvention of government, the new public consumerism and 'electronic democracy' in the light of these perspectives. It explores policy stances towards the 'information superhighway' andthe likely effects on future public services.The authors believe that the capabilities associated with information and communication technologies are of immense potential significance for government. At the same time, the authors adopt a critical stance towards the assumption that information-age technology will lead directly and quickly to dramatic or radical change. A key theme of the book, therefore, is the power of existing governmental institutions and traditions and how these shape and contain technologically-supported innovation. It is in developing this theme that the book makes its major theoretical contribution to public administration and management.