Linkages and Connections: A Framework for Research in Information and Communication Technologies, Regional Integration, and Development
Mary Jane C. Parmentier
This article examines the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and regional integration as a pathway to socioeconomic development in Africa and South America. Both regions share a colonial legacy often characterized by stronger economic ties to the developed world than within the regions. In recent decades, regional organizations have been involved in efforts to strengthen the infrastructure for ICTs, as well as the enhancement of economic and political integration as strategies to achieve development. However, the literature continues to show distinct research agendas that unwittingly overlook the connections between these areas. This article proposes a theoretical framework combining research on integration, ICTs, and development. It provides a brief analysis of each region and its ICT initiatives, the potential impact on regional integration, and how this relates to development. We suggest possible applications of the framework to identify and research the processes of integration and expected outcomes of development. Copyright 2009 by The Policy Studies Organization.
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