Electronic Highways in Southeast Asia: Liberality, Control, and Social Change

Electronic Highways in Southeast Asia: Liberality, Control, and Social Change

Loong Wong (University of Canberra, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-875-8.ch003
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Abstract

New information and communication technologies (ICTs), it is argued is transformative, and governments all over the world have sought to incorporate it into their development desideratum. It is clear that ICTs have transformed social, economic, and political practices and this certainly is true for Southeast Asia. In the context of Southeast Asia, it is particularly salient for it provided avenues for new political movements and expressions in the face of predominantly authoritarian regimes. Via the new ICTs, people were able to communicate freely and oppositional forces could be readily mobilized. This assertion of political rights threatened the status quo and the ruling political elites’ hold on power. This was compounded by a crisis in public confidence as Southeast Asian economies found themselves caught in the maelstrom of a financial crisis precipitated by the loss of investment confidence and crony capitalism. As the crisis intensified and spread, its political fallout became clear. Governments have to accommodate and make way for social, economic, and political changes. In this chapter, the author seeks to examine

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