Digitalisation and Law: The More Things Change – the More They Stay the Same

  • Mirko Pečarič University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Administration
  • Polonca Kovač University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Administration
  • Lan Umek University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Administration
  • Dejan Ravšelj University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Administration
Keywords: digital era, public governance, law and IT, content analysis, Collingridge’s dilemma


Based on the notorious fact of our era digitalisation, this paper is focused on the probability of relations between the notions of law and digital era government (DEG), as they are found in the scientific literature. Out of the total of 3917 articles that were identified in the Scopus database as relevant in DEG research, 77 of them were further considered due to their connectedness between legal notions and notions of DEG. Results show a very modest presence of law in DEG literature. Based on this, the paper confirms Collingridge’s dilemma of control and gives answers on the cross-disciplinary interconnection of law and IT, how digital dimensions and technology are addressed in the law, and whether the latter pursues modernisation or just reflects existing public governance principles. However, results based on a literature review may not be always aligned with the practical effects of digitalisation in society.


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