In general rhetoric and myth play important roles in policy making. Myths may inspire collective action but may also mystify and blur views on reality. In this paper we identify, analyze, and reflect on the myths underlying the e-government programs of Australia, Canada, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. We found that in all national policies myths of technological inevitability, a new and better government, rational information planning, and empowerment of the intelligent citizen can be discerned. Although the mobilizing powers of these myths are acknowledged, we conclude that existing empirical studies have generated little support for the inescapable telos of these myths, which makes canvas cleaning effects of e-government initiatives less likely.
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