J. P. Singh is Assistant Professor at the School of International Service, American University.
Beginning with an exploration of the Internet's most important values, including universality, free expression, and open access, as well as its promise as a democratizing force, Spinello considers how we can most effectively preserve those values and fulfill that promise while curtailing the social harms that vex Internet users. How do we arrive at the right mixture of technology and policy so that the Internet does not lose its promise as a liberating technology? In examining this question, Spinello evaluates such architectures of control as filters and rights management protocols, which attempt to keep out unwanted information and protect intellectual property, respectively. He explores how these and other technologies can be designed and used responsibly so that online social order can be sustained with a minimal amount of government intervention.
Policymakers and regulators will learn that cookie-cutter solutions derived from rich-country experience do not always work in countries that are poor, yet democratic and pro-market. Practitioners will be interested in the sections on universal service, technology convergence, and the implications for reducing costs and improving the quality of both basic telephone services and IT-enabled services. In particular, Indian technology workers in Silicon Valley should find this book indispensable. Investors will gain valuable knowledge about this potentially huge market. Scholars' preconceived ideas may be nudged aside as their knowledge base is enhanced and their research agenda expanded. Whereas some of the book's conclusions support current thinking, such as the need to begin a sequence of reform with a regulatory system in place and the need for dominant-carrier regulation, other conclusions challenge the conventional wisdom. Contributors make a cogent case for reformulating the balance of power between regulators and policymakers, introducing competition at the local level rather than through large franchises, and replacing public subsidies with cross-subsidies of universal service. Provides a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the problems of telecommunications reform in all their complexity.
While urging developing countries to participate in trade, the North offers empty deals to "partners" that it regards as unequal. Using a mixed-methods approach, J. P. Singh exposes the actual position beneath the North's image of benevolence and empathy: either join in the type of trade that developed countries offer, or be cast aside as obstreperous and unwilling. Singh reveals how the global North ultimately bars developing nations from flourishing. His findings chart a path forward, showing that developing nations can garner favorable concessions by drawing on unique strengths and through collective advocacy. Sweet Talk offers a provocative rethinking of how far our international relations have come and how far we still have to go.
Focusing on the confrontation between global politics and symbolic creative expression, J. P. Singh shows how, by integrating themselves into international markets, entertainment industries give rise to far-reaching cultural anxieties and politics. With examples from Hollywood, Bollywood, French grand opera, Latin American television, West African music, postcolonial literature, and even the Thai sex trade, Singh cites not only the attempt to address cultural discomfort but also the effort to deny entertainment acts as cultural. He connects creative expression to clashes between national identities, and he details the effect of cultural policies, such as institutional patronage and economic incentives, on the making and incorporation of art into the global market. Ultimately, Singh shows how these issues affect the debates on cultural trade being waged by the World Trade Organization, UNESCO, and the developing world.