The Security–Business Nexus
Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder
Chapter 7: The Digital Divide
Robert A. Isaak INTRODUCTION September 11, 2001 was a terrorist reaction to American troops in Saudi Arabia and to a US-dominated globalization of the world economy made possible by the information technology (IT) revolution. This revolution served to widen the wealth gap between the United States and Europe as well as between the developed and developing countries. The question is whether or not the 09/11 transformation of the international system had the eﬀect of freezing these inequalities in place, given the increased theoretical access to the Internet from all places in the world due to globalization. The dot.com-led economic boom in the United States preceding 09/11 permitted the Americans to have a cheaply subsidized, learning-by-doing collective experience that spread access to the Internet to the majority of the population and taught thousands of young entrepreneurs and millions of teenagers and college students the basic technologies and e-thinking required for Internet-based business and entrepreneurship. And just as other developed countries, such as those in Europe, started to come on board, 09/11 threatened to freeze the process, drying up venture capital and slowing down the motivation and tolerance for risk-taking required to transform national economies into global e-competitors. For the latecomers, the e-transformation of their economies appeared suddenly to be more diﬃcult both economically and psychologically. So while the e-revolution spread through globalization, the critical follow-up ﬁnancing and investment in both businesses and educational institutions slowed down, giving disproportionate competitive advantages to e-businesses and cultures already established. Despite exceptions such...
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