The Promises and Challenges of Digitalization and Development in Major Emerging Markets

By Laura C. Mahrenbach - 01 November 2018
Image Credit: KamiPhuc via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Observers have noted we are now in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” whereby new digital technologies and big data both offer the potential to address longstanding developmental challenges and simultaneously raise questions about traditional modes of governance and production. This new pattern of change is especially relevant for emerging and developing economies. How can data and digitalization provide new approaches to stubborn development problems? What challenges do governments face in pursuing such efforts? And what are the global governance dimensions within these processes?

In this essay, I answer these questions, examining the opportunities and challenges of digital- and data-led development in Brazil, India and China. The main research finding is that emerging markets are using their growing resources and diplomatic clout to pursue data-led development strategies at home and abroad. Their experiences provide valuable lessons for similar efforts in the Global South and highlight how global governance can assist actors in achieving the promise of digitalization and development.

To read the rest of the EGG Essay, please click here.

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