This article is concerned with developing a theoretical approach to understanding agendas for information age government, such as that set out in the British Government's recent document, government.direct. It begins with showing why government.direct implies radical institutional change based on more flexible information flows less constrained by organizational boundaries. It then assesses the value of two prominent responses to the challenges offered by government.direct. It deals firstly with the problems posed by managerialist calls for reengineering the processes of government and then discusses the growing interest in 'governance', defined here as 'the management of self-governing networks'. It argues that, to be truly helpful in understanding the demands of agendas such as government.direct, networking approaches to understanding governance must be refocused from a concern with policy level relationships between political actors onto issues involved in the merging of organizational and informational capabilities, capabilities which are, moreover, deeply embedded in existing institutional arrangements. The article concludes by suggesting a possible approach to analyzing the politics of information in government.