Saturday, April 15, 2006

More on the Political Economy of ICT

The other day, I posted on this topic. Here are some more papers, that I have since discovered on the topic:

Rural Telecenter Impact Assessments and the Political Economy of ICT of Development (ICT4D)
From the Introduction: There are critical problems with evaluating telecenters: "First, telecenters reside in a nebulous space between entrepreneurial ventures and development projects. This means a multiplicity of indicators are required to assess the project – both qualitative and quantitative. Second, impact occurs across scales, from the individual, community, regional, national to international, which requires a geographical lens. Third, telecenter projects are a form of human development infrastructure, for which evaluation is highly time-dependent. In evaluating telecenters, we thus face the same problems as we would with educational systems or social development infrastructure. Synthesizing our own field experience with other evaluation and metrics techniques, we propose a local-based pre-evaluation and impact assessment tool for telecenter kiosks."
Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami and Joyojeet Pal, Paper BRIEWP164, Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, 2005. (PDF, 57 pages.)

The Political Economy of International Communications: Foundations for the Emerging Global Debate about Media Ownership and Regulation
The authors "examine the changing balance of public and private control over media and telecommunications in the global political economy, patterns of concentration and investment in the overall communication sector, and possibilities for improving the contribution of media and telecommunications to development in different parts of the world." They "begin by discussing global media and then turn to telecommunications. They conclude with some general proposals on how media, telecommunications and new information technologies could be more systematically used to improve the situation of disadvantaged groups and nations."
Robert W. McChesney, Dan Schiller, UNRISD, December, 2003.

The Political Economy of Privatization and Competition: Cross-Country Evidence from the Telecommunications Sector
Abstract: "Using a new data set of the telecommunications sector on privatization (1981-98 for 167 countries) and competition policies (1990-98 for roughly 50 countries), this Paper investigates the political economy determinants of privatization and liberalization in the telecommunications sector. Building on the framework of a generalized private interest theory, we derive hypotheses on how the characteristics of private interest groups and political structure affect policy changes in the telecommunications sector. We pay particular attention to how the effects of interest groups on policies vary from more democratic to less democratic countries. We find reasonably strong evidence in favour of the generalized interest group theory. Countries with stronger pro-reform interest groups (the financial services and the urban consumers) are more likely to reform. But countries are more likely to maintain state-owned monopolies in the sector when such a governance mode yields a higher pay-off for the governments - when the telecommunications sector has higher profitability and when the fiscal deficit is higher and cannot be more easily financed by borrowing from the financial market. Democracy appears to affect the pace of reform by magnifying the voices of interest groups and by moderating politicians' discretion. telecommunications." Li, Wei, Qiang, Christine Zhen-Wei and Xu, Lixin Colin, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 2825, June 2001.

The Political Economy of the Internet and E-Commerce
Draft book chapter by Henry Farrell, George Washington University, undated, to be published in Political Economy and the Changing Global Order (third edition), eds. Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey R.D. Underhill (Oxford: forthcoming).

Internet Governance: The Struggle over the Political Economy of Cyberspace
This it a brief article by By Madanmohan Rao published in OnTheInternet, January/February 1999.

Political Economy of the Internet
This is a facet of the Connect.Educause.Edu website on our topic.

The Political Economy of Telecommunications Reform in Developing Countries: Privatization and Liberalization in Comparative Perspective
This is a review of the book by the same title by Ben A. Petrazzini published by Praeger in 1995. The review is by James Biedzynski and is published in the Journal of Third World Studies, Fall 1997. (There is a charge to read the full review.)

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