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Advances in information technology are heavily influencing ways in which business, society, and government work and function throughout the globe, bringing many changes to everyday life, in a process commonly termed the "information revolution." This book paints a picture of the state of the information revolution today — in its technological, business and financial, governmental, and social and cultural dimensions — and how it will likely progress in the near- to mid-term future (10 to 15 years). It focuses separately on different regions of the world-North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to these regional variations and projections, the authors look in depth at recurring themes in information technology's impact around the world, including, for example, its influence on business models and its relationship with social and cultural value systems. The research presented by the authors is the result of a multiyear, multidisciplinary effort of RAND and the National Intelligence Council.

Table of Contents

  • Summary

  • Preface

    All Prefatory Materials

  • Chapter One


  • Part I

    Recurring Themes

  • Chapter Two

    New Technology Developments Will Continually Drive the Information Revolution

  • Chapter Three

    The Information Revolution Is Enabling New Business Models That Are Transforming the Business and Financial Worlds

  • Chapter Four

    The Information Revolution Is Affecting Mechanisms of Governance and Empowering New Political Actors

  • Chapter Five

    The Information Revolution Both Shapes and Is Shaped by Social and Cultural Values in Significant Ways

  • Chapter Six

    Many Factors Shape and Characterize a Nation's Approach to the Information Revolution

  • Part II

    Regional Variations

  • Chapter Seven

    North America Will Continue in the Vanguard of the Information Revolution

  • Chapter Eight

    The Information Revolution Is Following a Somewhat Different and More Deliberate Course in Europe

  • Chapter Nine

    Many Asia-Pacific Nations Are Poised to Do Well in the Information Revolution, Some Are Not

  • Chapter Ten

    Latin America Faces Many Obstacles in Responding to the Information Revolution: Some Nations Will Rise to the Challenge, Others Will Not

  • Chapter Eleven

    Few Middle Eastern and North African Nations Will Fully Experience the Information Revolution, Some May Miss It Altogether

  • Chapter Twelve

    Most Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa Will Fall Further Behind in the Information Revolution

  • Part III

    Some Additional Topics (A Brief Look)

  • Chapter Thirteen

    Geopolitical Trends Furthered by the Information Revolution Could Pose Continuing Challenges to the United States

  • Chapter Fourteen

    What Future Events Could Change These Projections?

  • Chapter Fifteen

    The Information Revolution Is Part of a Broader Technology Revolution with Even Profounder Consequences

  • Appendix

  • Supplemental

    Supplementary Materials

The research described in this report was sponsored by the National Intelligence Council. The research was conducted in RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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