Offentlig digitalisering fra drømmefabrik til policykoordination

Jonatan Skovgaard Basby

Student thesis: Master thesis


Present thesis explores how the Danish Agency for Digitization has come to act as a meta-coordinator on substantial transversal policy development outside the political domain of its parent ministry, the Ministry of Finance. The point of departure is the assumption that this emerged through the interlinked dynamics of the discourse of digitization and the institutionalization of the agenda of digitization. Thus, I have examined the development of these in two separate analyzes, applying the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe, with regards to the conceptual formation of digitization in the public sector, in the first and Multiple Streams-theory, as an explanatory frame for organizational formation of the agenda , in the latter. Firstly, I find that the conception of digitization has undergone substantial transformations since 1991, from initially denoting a vague-yet-positive potentiality best pursued locally, to being conceived as very narrowly connected to enhancing efficiency and eventually coming to signifying a transition without necessarily predetermined means or aims, but inscribed on a centralized ‘common’ decision-making structure. Secondly, I find that the aggrandizement of the organization of the agenda can be explained through its ability to being positioned as the solution to expenditure control problems perceived by the Ministry of Finance, as well by providing a governance structure minimizing overt dissent whilst still enhancing compliance from the municipalities and other ministries involved in transversal reforms. I venture to discuss the success of the Agency of Digitization as a product of a dual hybridization of discourse and governance, which has permitted the Agency to overcome the paradoxical double bind of expectations inherent to its task, but emphasizing the ability to provide budget controls in its interactions with the Ministry, and the creative and qualitative potential of digitization in interactions with third parties. This, ability is enabled by the significance of the institutional positions which the Agency has strategic pursued and gained through the execution of its tasks pertaining to coordination of governance policy.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages93
SupervisorsJustine Grønbæk Pors