|• Government and the economy|
|• The role of government in relation to IT|
|• National and regional approaches to IT|
|• Globalization, information technology and government|
Here we consider the issue of how far government does, and should, affect the use and development of information technology. The role of giant international firms in IT, such as IBM, Microsoft and Toshiba, will be considered, as well as the dependency of other major international players (from Coca-Cola to NATO) on IT and global networks. Finally, we consider how far the use of information technology by multinational enterprises can be regulated by national governments.
Government interventions that affect the information technology industry are only a special case of a whole host of interventions by governments in economic matters. The economic policies and attitudes of governments affect the economy as a whole, which in turn constitutes the environment for the IT industry. We begin, therefore, with a general discussion of the role of governments in influencing the economy by way of background to a much more detailed discussion of their impact on IT.
To what extent can the government affect economic success? There are three main schools of thought, with different implications both for the economy in general and action towards the IT industry: socialist/nationalist interventionism, free market/monetarist and Keynesian/mixed economy.
Most governments, historically, have not hesitated to intervene in the economy - especially to safeguard industries regarded as strategically vital (like IT). Beside this, socialist or communist governments may regard