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L’émergence des problèmes publics à l’ère du numérique

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Cet article explore les relations entre technologies numériques de l’information, les TIC, et politiques publiques, et plus particulièrement le rôle de ces technologies dans la construction des problèmes publics. Celles-ci sont de plus en plus présentes dans toutes les sphères des sociétés humaines, y compris dans la conduite des affaires publiques. Comprendre comment les TIC peuvent favoriser ou au contraire étouffer l’émergence d’un problème public est essentiel pour les décideurs politiques. En effet, il peut être vital pour les citoyens que représentent les décideurs politiques de s’emparer de certains problèmes publics (amiante, réchauffement climatique, …). Mais si une situation aussi périlleuse soit-elle ne se transforme pas en problème public, il y a de fortes chances qu’aucune politique publique ne s’en préoccupe. La transformation d’une situation en problème public est une étape indispensable à l’inscription d’un problème sur l’agenda public et à l’éventuelle construction d’une politique publique. Or, peu de recherches académiques ont traité de ce sujet. Afin de mieux comprendre comment les TIC peuvent influer sur l’émergence des problèmes publics, nous présenterons tout d’abord le cadre théorique dans lequel se situe cette analyse. Ensuite, une revue de la littérature nous permettra d’élaborer une classification des différentes voies d’influence des TIC sur l’émergence des problèmes publics. Enfin, nous nous pencherons sur ce qui reste encore un impensé de l’analyse des politiques publiques : celui de la non-émergence des problèmes publics. Nous soulignerons alors le rôle des TIC dans la captation des attentions privée et publique favorisant cette non émergence.

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