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Interpreting the trustworthiness of government mediated by information and communication technology: lessons from electronic voting in Brazil

By Chrisanthi Avgerou, Andrea Ganzaroli, Angeliki Poulymenakou and Nicolau Reinhard


The electronic voting system of Brazil is understood to be widely trusted by the citizens of the country and international observers. More precisely, it is seen as a trustworthy mechanism of producing election results that accurately represent the choices of the electorate. In this article, we discuss briefly the concepts of trust and trustworthiness, and focus to examine the formation of beliefs regarding the latter. We argue that the belief of trustworthiness is only partly attributable to the perception of the merits of the technical system and its enactment procedures. In our case study we found that the institutional actors responsible for the elections—the Superior and the Regional Electoral Courts—have played a key role in the formation of the belief that the electronic elections are trustworthy. We therefore conclude that, unlike common assumptions about the potential of e-government in developing countries to restore trust in government institutions that are considered untrustworthy, the production of trust in government services mediated by information and communication technology relies on citizens' perceptions of their trustworthiness

Topics: HE Transportation and Communications, JL Political institutions (America except United States), T Technology (General)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1002/itdj.20120
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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