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This work sheds light on Russia’s role in the global Information Revolution. It examines the sources, dynamics, and consequences of Russia’s increasing use of and reliance on information and communications technologies (IT) to improve the performance of its government institutions, to modernize business and industry and stimulate economic growth, to broaden information access and sharing of ideas, and to enhance quality of life for Russian people. The findings reported here are drawn from a RAND Corporation research project conducted in Russia from 1999 to 2005, which included interviews with more than 90 individuals who are knowledgeable about IT trends. The author examines Russia’s emerging IT sector, how business and industry in Russia are seeking to use IT to enhance productivity and profitability, the impact of IT on government operations, and the course of the Information Revolution in Russian society. A conclusion that emerges is that while the Internet, cell phones, and e-mail have greatly impacted the lives of many Russians, an Information Revolution in Russia’s government, economy, and society — such as many of its supporters have anticipated and hoped for — remains in the future.

The research described in this report was sponsored primarily by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and was conducted under the auspices of International Programs within the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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