Leapfrogging Development?: The Political Economy of Telecommunications Restructuring

SUNY Press
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Telecommunications restructurings are now seen as important barometers in the shift among developing countries toward market-based economies. They are often posited as helping developing countries “leapfrog,” or accelerate their pace of development, and “connect” with the world economy. This book shows that most states in developing countries are unable to resolve the myriad pressures they face in restructuring important sectors like telecommunications to effect accelerated or “leapfrogging” development.

The scope, pace, and sequencing of restructuring varies according to how different types of states respond to micro sub-sectoral pressures or to macro-level pressures from coalitions of groups. After examining seven generalizable cases (Singapore, South Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Myanmar), the book examines India as an in-depth “most likely case.” Leapfrogging Development? proposes a unique framework that shows how groups and coalitions articulate development preferences and how different types of states respond to or shape these preferences.
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About the author

J. P. Singh is Assistant Professor at the School of International Service, American University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781438420158
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This visionary book presents an interdisciplinary and cogent approach to the issue of Internet governance and control. By examining five critical areas in which the tension between freedom and control is most palpable--fair competition and open access, free expression, intellectual property, privacy rights, and security--Spinello guides the reader on a tour of the emerging body of law and public policy that has attempted to control the anarchy of cyberspace. In so doing, he defends the credo of Internet self-regulation, asserting that the same powerful and flexible architectures that created the Internet as we know it today can be relied upon to aid the private sector in arriving at a workable, decentralized regulatory regime. Except in certain circumstances that require government involvement, self-regulation is not only viable but is a highly preferred alternative to the forced uniformity that centralized structures tend to impose.

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Telecommunications reform in India is complete, according to policymakers there. They have done everything correctly in their efforts to transform a state-run monopoly into an independently regulated sector in which private companies compete with government-owned and operated providers. And yet, India lags behind nations whose telecom sectors provided comparable levels of service a decade ago. What went wrong? Dossani and his contributors argue that the classic textbook solutions are insufficient to produce a healthy telecom industry in India, which needs to improve regulatory design, introduce competition in a single phase instead of gradually, implement innovative funding models, and choose appropriate technologies in order to improve access to universal service. Containing valuable lessons for the telecommunications industries in Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other countries taking formerly state-run industries private, this book constitutes a valuable resource for policymakers, regulators, practitioners, scholars, and overseas investors.

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Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.

The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?

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- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world. 
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