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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter extends a critical perspective on the economic impact of the Internet to the study of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for development, concentrating on the effects of the Internet on the lives of some of the poorest people and most marginalized communities. The distinction between absolute and relative poverty is central to an understanding of the role of technology, and the Internet in particular, in development. Furthermore, the implications of the relationships between the Internet and ‘development’ are assessed in terms of development as economic growth, development as social equality, and development as political freedom. The Internet has been shaped and developed explicitly by the commercial interests largely of US capital. The success of the Internet in delivering development objectives depends very much on how such objectives are defined.

Keywords: ICTs, Internet, development, economic growth, social equality, political freedom

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