Wednesday, October 28, 2009

US power and shift

The authors note that the US dominates ICTs and has much influence over international policy and governance. However, they predict that by 2025, the US will not longer be in the leadership position due to various factors, including the emerge of China in the world markets. Chinese engineers, Chinese firms and global leaders are evidence that China is assuming a global leadership position. The US is currently the leader because it has the largest investment base, is the leader in software and will remain in the top 3 global markets across all types of ICT markets. The US is also the leading producer of value-added content (entertainment).

They state that power is the influence and an ability to set an agenda, but it does not explain the why or what countries see. “Power does not explain what the powerful seek—multilateral cooperation or a coercive empire, for example. Neither does power explain the organization of decision making and action (market governance) shapes how preferences and influence are transformed into decisions.” The authors say that the decision process itself affects outcomes. If the US has indispensiable power, how will this change not only their power and influence, but the roles that other nations play?

The authors state a third shift in global governance is under way and that the time is ripe to confront significant internal changes, reorganize domestic governance and restructure global governance in various powerful markets. They write that we cannot assume each technology calls for a specific set of laws or regulations, but the success of tech type can lead to subsequent governance decisions.

So, as more innovations proliferate will their be yet another type of governance needed? I assume that regulations will continually be changing, not only because of the emergence of new technologies and new actors, but also because of the different interests by nations, individuals and organizations. The process will change, but the needs will most likely stay similar. It will only get more complicated because of innovations and the array of actors. I don't know if the US will falter in in its leadership role by 2020, but it does seem that they will no longer be the only ones dominating. It will be interested to see if China does take a more prominent leadership position or if another country steps up and somehow becomes influential.

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