Chapter 1: Introduction: Regulating Telecommunications and Enforcing the Information Society in Europe
3802_GovernTelecoms/Chap 1 22/8/02 8:53 am Page 1 1. Introduction: Regulating telecommunications and enforcing the Information Society in Europe Jacint Jordana Researchers often encounter difficulties in analysing public policy, however the telecommunications field poses an additional hurdle: the breakneck pace of technological, social and economic change in the sector over the last few decades. Such a rapid transformation makes it very difficult to analyse the phenomenon in depth, discuss hypotheses or indeed attempt an intellectual debate regarding its fundamental features. Nevertheless, it is precisely this challenge which makes this field of research so exciting. There are few recent examples of such a rapid and radical change in policies occurring on a global scale. Studying telecommunications policy change is not only an intellectual task worthy of public policy analysts but also concerns a sector which fuels world economic development and has become a driving force behind globalisation and social change. This introductory chapter contains four sections. The first covers the themes analysed and the contributions contained in the book. A brief guide is provided on the transformations of the telecommunications sector in Europe during the 1990s, which are discussed in detail by the contributors to this book. The following section sets out the analytical problems associated with trying to explain this enormous transformation. One of the main concerns of the authors in this volume is to analyse the specific features of the phenomenon in Europe and the national variations exhibited. The contributors have adopted different theoretical approaches for this purpose...
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