developmental nation state
Title: Nation States, Networks of Flows and ICT-Enabled Development: Learning from Jordan
Authors: Chris Westrup and Saheer Al-Jaghoub
Pages: 37 pp.
Series: Manchester Centre for Development Informatics Working Paper 33
Publisher: Development Informatics Group, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
Date published: 2008
Date accessed: 18/06/2009
Type of information: research publications
On-line access: yes (pdf, MS Word)
This paper argues that information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled development needs to be conceptualised within a dialectic process of globalisation where, on the one hand, the flows of capital, commodities and information are expanding and accelerating while, on the other, nation states are essential components in providing the infrastructures for production, regulation and consumption of these flows. For countries with developmental strategies, this has led to the emergence of developmental network states where a networked polity of private/public agencies are central to glocal processes linking the global movement of capital, commodities and information with local circuits of capital, labour and infrastructure.
Institutions of a developmental network state have to negotiate a series of dilemmas centred on over-autonomy vs. over-embeddedness on the one hand and the capability to sustain and develop through time and space. These concepts enable an analysis of the role of states engaged in ICT-enabled developments and require a network-based approach based on multi-scalar analysis.
Jordan and REACH, its programme of ICT-enabled change, are analysed. Jordan is shown to be a recent developmental network state with REACH being paradoxically over-embedded and over-autonomous – indicative of the difficulties for a post-colonial country in creating a network polity. The mediation of glocal processes in REACH shows how important a variety of non-market mechanisms are to the working of ICT-enabled development and their absence can help explain early problems with REACH failing to achieve its targets for ICT foreign direct investment.