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Internationalizing the Internet

The Co-evolution of Influence and Technology

Brung-Keun Kim

This compelling book focuses on the global formation of the Internet system. It contests the common belief that the Internet’s adoption was inevitable and instead examines the social and economic processes that allowed to it to prevail over competing standards and methods for achieving a global information infrastructure.
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Chapter 7: Co-Evolution: Localization of the Internet System

Brung-Keun Kim


7.1 INTRODUCTION The ‘population of dynamics’ of development of the Internet system was examined in Chapter 6, where it was argued that the global expansion and localization of the Internet appear to have been influenced by economic, cultural and regional factors. Technological and social learning in the localization of the Internet system appear either to be locked into the existing system or facilitated by competing technologies. The Internet system has been localized through the choice of ICTs made by the advanced economies. There is little evidence of convergence in terms of access to the Internet between rich and poor countries, but there are differences in Internet system development among the advanced economies. This chapter analyses the development of the Internet system as the outcome of localization across countries in relation to economic, cultural and regional factors. Factors that might influence localization of the Internet can be summarized, on the basis of the theoretical analysis in Chapters 2 and 3 and the empirical findings in Chapters 4 and 5, as follows. Localization of the Internet system is likely to be influenced by the dynamic interactions between a country’s economic, social and cultural characteristics and its science and technological systems. Development of the Internet, not surprisingly, is related to telecommunications and computer systems because of their technological interrelatedness, but the Internet has two features that make it distinctive from other technological systems. It was invented and developed to facilitate communication through the use of computers and telecommunications for the...

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