Bridging the Digital Divide? Prospects for Caribbean Development in the New Techno-Economic Paradigm
Publication date: 1 January 2010
Information communications technologies (ICTs) are generally viewed as the new vehicle to redress developmental problems. Rigobert assesses the value of such claims by analyzing the structure and workings of the global political economy (GPE) and its impact on, and prospects for developing countries in the current techno-economic context. Rigobert uses a case study of the Caribbean to illustrate the challenges and opportunities faced by small-island developing states (SIDS) in the new techno-economic paradigm. Hence, the book addresses the central problem of the digital divide and whether emerging ICTs offer any real economic opportunities for the Caribbean region. The main contention of the book is, do ICTs represent the new locomotive for peripheral development, or are they likely to widen the gap between rich and poor countries?
The digital divide debate is situated within the historical techno-economic development discourse. Technological development is itself a product of, and determined by a wider politicoeconomic context, hence the book investigates how these politico-economic arrangements inform the structure of the international division of labor (IDL). It operationalizes a World-Systems approach (WSA) in examining the nodes in which the new economy is being established. The fundamental challenge for developing countries, like those of the Caribbean is to overcome the underlying historical, political, economic and socio-cultural factors that confine them to a peripheral role in the IDL.