My central interest in returning to my dissertation is in what happens in public policy settings when computers (formally, ICTs or information and communication technologies) are deployed in new ways, specifically whether the adoption of new technologies transforms the policy process itself. We have a long experience with the application of computer technology in government settings, but questions continue to arise. And the question itself has transformed: from an era of e-government a decade ago when the questions were principally managerial and technical, the issue is now framed in terms of new Web 2.0 technologies and whether they represent transformational technologies (Mergel, Schweik and Fountain, 2009).
As my doctoral program prior to 2003 was a “special arrangement – interdisciplinary Ph.D.” program, there was no set departmental requirements that determine the format and content of the candidacy examination. To get through this process, I had to invent and defend the proposal for what the ‘comps’ would look like.