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[liberationtech] Special issue on ICT and Development - International Journal of E-Politics- Vol. 3, Issue 3

Yosem Companys companys at
Tue Jun 5 22:38:17 PDT 2012

The International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) is an official publication of
the Information Resources Management Association. It is published: quarterly
in Print and Electronically by IGI Publishing, Hershey-New York, USA

ISSN: 1947-9131 EISSN: 1947-914X


The Role of Politics in Telecentres: Cases from South Africa

Einar Braathen (Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR),
Norway) Heidi Attwood (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) Julian May
(University of the Western Cape, South Africa)

What has been the role of politics within and around the community
telecentres (TCs)? The background is the depoliticized international
discourse that has accompanied ICT4D policies. The focus is on multi-purpose
TCs run by non-governmental organizations, equipped with computers and
internet connectivity, tasked to implement public ICT-to-the-poor policies.
Specifically, the article discusses the differences of technical-social
functionality of such TCs within the same country and policy context. The
assumption is that empowerment, particularly of the local operating
organization and its personnel, is a key factor. The strategy is to combine
stakeholder and power analysis to assess the extent of empowerment by
exploring a multi-dimensional framework for understanding power relations.
Four TCs in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, were studied over a two-year period
of repeated visits of intensive fieldwork of participatory observation and
interviews. The research found that big differences existed between the TCs
in terms of empowerment. Changes in power relations are necessary, although
not sufficient, conditions for a community TC to function in the way
desired. Moreover, three stages of empowerment are suggested, highlighting
the Operating Organization, the TC manager/staff and the TC users,
respectively. The article concludes by reflecting on the
analytical-theoretical framework for power relations.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

To read a PDF sample of this article, click on the link below.


Using ICT to Strengthen the Voices of the ‘Poor’ Without Asking Who Will

Charlotte Scarf (University of Sydney, Australia)

This paper uses a case study of the ‘Open Knowledge Network’ to explore the
political value of ‘information and communication technology for
development’ (ICT4D) projects that promote the creation and exchange of
‘local content’ in poor communities. These initiatives are distinguishable
from the vast majority of digital content initiatives that aggregate and
adapt ‘global content,’ which project implementers consider relevant to the
needs of target beneficiaries. They are guided by the assumption that active
participation in the Information Society is a crucial component of human
development, which is closely tied to citizenship and political agency. From
this starting point, ICTs are seen as political vehicles for strengthening
the voices of the poor, rather than positioning them as passive recipients
of mediated messages from above. This paper argues that the political value
of these projects will be limited if they focus too strongly on generating
local content without addressing the question of demand.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

To read a PDF sample of this article, click on the link below.


The Effect of Politics on ICT4D: A Case of Econet Wireless’s Struggle for a
License in Zimbabwe

Sam Takavarasha (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe)
John Makumbe (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe is the best contemporary example of how politics can affect
economic development. Equally as significant, and yet under studied, is the
effect of politics on Information and Communication Technologies for
development (ICT4D). In this case study of government of Zimbabwe’s five
year battle to prevent Econet Wireless from operating a mobile phone
network, the authors present the fear for the conviviality of ICTs as a
reason why dictatorial states often restrict free use of ICTs and how this
can inhibit its role in fostering development. Using a combination of
aspects of Thomas Hobbes’ political theory and Sen’s capability approach the
authors show how passions like fear for the power of ICTs in private hands
and the appetite for proceeds from the telecoms sector fuelled a five year
legal battle that was eventually won by Econet. A framework for assessing
the motives behind restrictive political action and the concomitant erosion
of political freedoms which inhibits free ICT use and investment in the
sector is also presented.

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

To read a PDF sample of this article, click on the link below.


Interview with Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar, Indian Institute of Management,
Ahmedabad, India

Antonio Díaz Andrade (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)  Cathy
Urquhart (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

To obtain a copy of the entire article, click on the link below.

To read a PDF sample of this article, click on the link below.


Mission of IJEP:

The mission of the International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) is to define
and expand the boundaries of e-politics as an emerging area of
inter-disciplinary research and practice by assisting in the development of
e-politics theories and empirical models. The journal creates a venue for
empirical, theoretical, and practical scholarly work on e-politics to be
published, leading to sharing of ideas between practitioners and academics
in this field. IJEP contributes to the creation of a community of e-politics
researchers by serving as a “hub” for related activities, such as organizing
seminars and conferences on e-politics and publication of books on

Coverage of IJEP:

The International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) focuses on three major topic
areas: the politics of information technology function and its role within
organizations, the politics of virtual communities and social networking
communities, and the role that electronic media plays in community activism
and party politics at the local, national, and international levels. Within
these major areas, specific topics of interest to be discussed in the
journal include (but are not limited to) the following:

•       E-voting and electronically enabled e-government
•       Impact of globalization on the political role played by the IT unit
within organizations
•       Impact of race and gender on electronically enabled political
•       Party politics and social activism
•       Politics of diffusion of change within organizations
•       Politics of social networking communities, including: learning
communities, customers' communities, e-dating communities, gaming
communities, support group communities, etc.
•       Politics of the IT function and role in organizations
•       Politics of virtual communities and social networking communities
•       Politics of geographically based virtual communities
•       Use of electronic media for surveillance manipulation and harassment
•       Use of electronic media in industrial and labor relations
•       Utilization of electronic media for governance and politicking at
the municipal, state, national, and international levels
•       Utilization of electronic media for political debate, information
sharing, political decision making, and fundraising

Interested authors should consult the journal's manuscript submission

All inquiries and submissions should be sent to:
Editor-in-Chief: Celia Romm Livermore at ak1667 at

Celia Romm Livermore (PhD)
Editor-in-Chief - International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) Wayne State
University - Detroit, MI, 48202, USA Personal e-mail address:
ak1667 at IJEP site:
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