Cover image for The global course of the information revolution : recurring themes and regional variations
The global course of the information revolution : recurring themes and regional variations
Hundley, Richard O.
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, 2003.
Physical Description:
xliv, 174 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Reading Level:
1650 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


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ZA3225 .G56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Advances in information technology are heavily influencing ways in which business, society, and government work and function throughout the globe, bringing many changes to everyday life, in a process commonly termed the "information revolution." This book paints a picture of the state of the information revolution today and how it will likely progress in the near- to mid-term future (10 to 15 years), focusing separately on different regions of the world-North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. xix
Tablesp. xxi
Summaryp. xxiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xli
Abbreviationsp. xliii
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
We Addressed a Wide Range of Questionsp. 2
Globalization and the Information Revolution Are Closely Linkedp. 4
Some Topics We Did Not Address--Deliberatelyp. 5
The Course of This Effortp. 5
This Reportp. 6
Much Has Happened Since We Began This Effortp. 7
Notesp. 8
Part I. Recurring Themes
Chapter 2 New Technology Developments Will Continually Drive the Information Revolutionp. 11
It Is Useful to Distinguish Among Developments in Technology, Products, and Servicesp. 11
Some Technology Developments Can Be Foreseenp. 12
Product Developments Will Allow Information Devices to Be Ubiquitous, Wearable, and in Continuous Contactp. 13
Services Developments Will Greatly Extend Access to, and the Usefulness of, Information Systemsp. 14
Markets Will Decide What Possible Products and Services Become Actual and Widespreadp. 18
Some Tensions Arising from These Developments Will Affect the Growth and Spread of IT-Related Products and Servicesp. 20
A Period of Information Technology Consolidation Is Both Likely and Healthyp. 21
Notesp. 22
Chapter 3 The Information Revolution is Enabling New Business Models That are Transforming the Business and Financial Worldsp. 25
Many New Business Models Are Arisingp. 25
Notesp. 30
Chapter 4 The Information Revolution is Affecting Mechanisms of Governance and Empowering New Political Actorsp. 35
Some Traditional Mechanisms of Governance Are Becoming Problematicp. 35
New Governmental Mechanisms Are Being Enabledp. 36
New Political Actors Are Being Empoweredp. 36
The Information Revolution Could Over Time Change the Role of the Nation-State: The Jury Is Still Outp. 37
Different Nations Will Take Different Approaches to Dealing with These Changesp. 39
The Events of 9/11 May Lead to Increased Governmental Intervention into IT Developmentsp. 39
Notesp. 40
Chapter 5 The Information Revolution Both Shapes and is Shaped by Social and Cultural Values in Significant Waysp. 45
The Information Revolution Is Being Enabled by Technology but Driven Primarily by Nontechnical Factors, Including Social and Cultural Factorsp. 45
Digital Divides Within and Between Nations Will Persist, but Their Future Scope, Duration, and Signifiance Are Subject to Debatep. 46
Ability to Acquire and Use Knowledge Will Be Critical for Success in the Information Society: Developing Human Capital Appropriately Is Keyp. 47
Globalization, Boosted by the Information Revolution, Will Continue to Have Multivalenced Social and Cultural Effectsp. 49
Will IT-Enabled Globalization Lead to Greater Homogeneity or Greater Heterogeneity in Sociocultural Terms? The Answer is "Yes" to Bothp. 50
The Information Revolution Raises Significant Social-Cultural Questions for Which Well-Grounded Research Answers Are Unavailablep. 50
Notesp. 52
Chapter 6 Many Factors Shape and Characterize a Nation's Approach to the Information Revolutionp. 55
Some Factors Are Causativep. 55
Other Factors Are Effects, Not Causesp. 60
Notesp. 63
Part II. Regional Variations
Chapter 7 North America Will Continue in the Vanguard of the Information Revolutionp. 71
The North American Economy and Society Are Well Positioned to Meet the Challenges of the Information Revolutionp. 71
North America Will Exploit These Advantages to Continue in the Vanguard of the Information Revolutionp. 72
The Dot-Com Crash and Telecom Implosion May Slow the Pace of IT-Related Developments in North America, but Only Temporarilyp. 73
The Events of 9/11 May Lead to Increased Governmental Intervention in IT Developments in North Americap. 73
North America Will, in General, Deal Well with the Stresses Generated by the Information Revolutionp. 74
Notesp. 75
Chapter 8 The Information Revolution is Following a Somewhat Different and More Deliberate Course in Europep. 77
Europeans Place More Emphasis on Wirelessp. 77
The Information Revolution in Europe Is Developing in a Different Climatep. 78
The Course of the Information Revolution in Europe Is Somewhat Differentp. 80
Will, or Must, Europe Become More Like America? Maybe Yes, Maybe Nop. 81
Some Europeans View American Dominance as Part of the "Dark Side" of the Information Revolutionp. 82
Notesp. 82
Chapter 9 Many Asia-Pacific Nations are Poised to Do Well in the Information Revolution, Some are Notp. 85
Asia-Pacific Nations Vary Greatly in Their Information Revolution Posturesp. 85
The Impact of the Information Revolution on Politics and Governance in the Asia-Pacific Region Varies Widely from Nation to Nationp. 91
What Does the Future Hold for the Asia-Pacific Region?p. 93
Notesp. 96
Chapter 10 Latin America Faces Many Obstacles in Responding to the Information Revolution: Some Nations Will Rise to the Challenge, Others Will Notp. 103
Today Most Latin American Nations Are "Also-Rans" in the Information Revolution, as They Are in the Global Economyp. 103
Latin American Nations Can Be Divided into "Leaders," "Successful Outliers," and the Restp. 104
Latin America Faces Many Obstacles in Exploiting Opportunities Offered by the Information Revolutionp. 107
What Does the Future Hold for Latin America? Probably More of the Samep. 108
Notesp. 109
Chapter 11 Few Middle Eastern and North African Nations Will Fully Experience the Information Revolution, Some May Miss It Altogetherp. 113
IT Penetration Is Generally Low in Most MENA Nationsp. 113
MENA Nations Can Be Grouped into Three Categories Regarding the Information Revolutionp. 114
The Social Implications of the Information Revolution for the MENA Nations Could Be Wide-Rangingp. 116
Few MENA Nations Will Fully Exploit the Information Revolution, Causing This Region to Fall Even Further Behind OECD Nationsp. 116
Notesp. 120
Chapter 12 Most Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa Will Fall Further Behind in the Information Revolutionp. 125
There Are Extreme Disparities Among African Nations; As a Result, Few Statements Apply Universallyp. 125
In Africa, Mass Media Predominate over Point-to-Point Communicationp. 125
Compared with the Rest of the World, Africa Is Falling Behindp. 126
Africa's IT Problems Are Not Primarily Technical: They Involve Factors of Culture, Competence, Capital, and Controlp. 126
There Are, However, Positive Indications That the Information Revolution Is Moving Forward in Africap. 129
External Factors May Indirectly Impede IT Growth in Africap. 130
Notesp. 131
Part III. Some Additional Topics (A Brief Look)
Chapter 13 Geopolitical Trends Furthered by the Information Revolution Could Pose Continuing Challenges to the United Statesp. 135
The U.S. Economy and Society Are Well Poised to Meet the Challenges of the Information Revolutionp. 135
There Are Likely to Be Many Losers or Laggards Elsewhere in the World, Some of Whom Could Become Seriously Disaffectedp. 135
The Information Revolution Better Enables Disaffected Peoples to Combine and Organize, Thereby Rendering Them Powers That Must Be Dealt Withp. 136
The Existence of These Disaffected (and Organized) Losers or Laggards Could Lead to Trends in the World That May Challenge Vital U.S. Interestsp. 136
These Trends Would Pose Continuing Challenges to U.S. Interestsp. 137
Notesp. 137
Chapter 14 What Future Events Could Change These Projections?p. 139
Future "Killer Apps," Unclear at Present, Will Determine the Precise Nature of IT-Driven Transformationsp. 139
Many Things Can Slow Down or Speed Up the Pace of IT-Driven Transformationsp. 140
Future Geopolitical Events Could Adversely Affect How Different Nations and Regions of the World Farep. 140
No Matter What Happens, the Degree to Which IT Ultimately Changes the World Is Unlikely to Changep. 140
Notesp. 141
Chapter 15 The Information Revolution is Part of a Broader Technology Revolution with Even Profounder Consequencesp. 143
Advances in Biotechnology and Nanotechnology Will Also Greatly Change the Worldp. 143
There Are Many Synergies Between IT and These Other Revolutionary Technologiesp. 144
The Consequences of the Biorevolution Will Be Especially Profound and Quite Controversialp. 145
As with the Information Revolution, the Bio- and Nanorevolutions Will Play Out Unevenly Throughout the Worldp. 145
Notesp. 145
Appendix Participants in the Rand/Nic Information Revolution Conferencesp. 147
Referencesp. 163