The Future of the Information Revolution in Latin America

Proceedings of an International Conference

by Gregory F. Treverton, Lee Mizell

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Reports the results of a conference held to chart the future course of changes brought about by the revolution in information technology (IT) in Latin America. Although there are vast differences among Latin American nations, they face many similar problems. Their governments, though relatively important users of IT, have taken a "fiscal" rather than a "consumer" viewpoint, so that IT products remain expensive. E-commerce has been hampered by people's lack of credit cards and the lack of infrastructure for delivering purchases, and there are few Internet start-up companies because of a lack of financing. However, the successful experience of some nations, such as Costa Rica and several of the island states, has shown that it is not necessary to create IT products to use them effectively. NAFTA gives Mexico a special set of connections to the United States, including in IT. Mexico weathered the financial crises of the 1990s better than other regions because it was so closely tied to a booming U.S. economy. Although desires for national or regional autonomy will persist in Latin America, autonomy should not mean disconnecting but rather trying to structure connections to the global economy in a way that will provide maximum advantage to the nation and its citizens.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

    Summary and Reflections

  • Acknowledgments

  • Part One

    Description of Proceedings

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Surveying the Latin American Infrastructure

  • Chapter Three

    The Economic and Business Dimension

  • Chapter Four

    Information Revolutionaries

  • Chapter Five

    Small Group Discussion: Economic and Business Dimension

  • Chapter Six

    The Political Dimension

  • Chapter Seven

    The Societal Dimension

  • Chapter Eight

    Small Group Discussion: Political and Societal Dimensions

  • Chapter Nine

    Looking Forward

  • Part Two

    Appendixes

  • NOTE: The appendixes are only available in the hard copy version.

  • Appendix A

    Conference Agenda

  • Appendix B

    Conference Attendees

  • Bibliography

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