Cover: The Information Revolution in Asia

The Information Revolution in Asia

Published 2003

by Nina Hachigian, Lily Wu

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This report discusses the information revolution in the Asia-Pacific region and its likely course over the next five to ten years. Key questions addressed in this report include the extent to which the information revolution has taken hold of markets in this region, the political implications of the information revolution for Asian governments, the variations between individual countries, and the prospects for further information-technology-related developments in the region. The authors address two questions about the effect of the information revolution on the economies of the Asia-Pacific region: (1) To what extent do Asian countries and markets use IT, and (2) to what extent do they produce IT software and hardware? The authors determine that Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan are today both major users and producers of IT. Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand are large users but not producers, whereas Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand produce large quantities of technology products but are not big users. In examining the effect of the information revolution on politics and governance in Asia, the authors present a varied picture. IT has contributed to political change in liberal democracies and one-party dominant states alike and will play a large role in any political transitions that occur in wired countries. Although e-government has the potential to usher in significant change in the relationship between government and citizens, most such shifts will be only gradual.

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 supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND 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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