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Thursday, April 9, 2015

State, Society and Information Technology in Asia: Alterity between Online and Offline Politics

State, Society and Information Technology in Asia: Alterity between Online and Offline Politics, edited by ALAN CHONG and FAIZAL BIN YAHYA. UK: Ashgate, January 2015). ISBN: 978-1-4724-4380-9

Many maintain that the arrival of computers networked across sovereign borders and physical barriers is a liberating force that will produce a global dialogue of liberal hues but this book argues that this dominant paradigm needs to be supplemented by the perspective of alterity in the impact of Information Technology in different regions. Local experts draw upon a range of Asian cases to demonstrate how alterity, defined here as a condition of privileging the hitherto marginal and subterranean aspects of a capitalist world order through the capabilities of information and communications technologies, offers an alternative to the paradigm of inevitable material advances and political liberalization.
Calling attention to the unique social and political uses being made of IT in Asia in the service of offline and online causes predominantly filtered by pre-existing social milieus the contributors examine the multiple dimensions of Asian differences in the sociology and politics of IT and show how present trends suggest that advanced electronic media will not necessarily be embraced in a smooth, unilinear fashion throughout Asia. This book will appeal to any reader interested in the nexus between society and IT in Asia.
About the Editor: 
- Alan Chong is Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. 
Faizal Bin Yahya is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

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