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The Politics of Technology in Africa
Communication, Development, and Nation-Building in Ethiopia


  • Author: Iginio Gagliardone, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the University of Oxford
  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316629246

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About the Authors
  • As more Africans get online, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are increasingly hailed for their transformative potential. Yet, the fascination for the possibilities of promoting more inclusive forms of development in the information age have obfuscated the reality of the complex negotiations among political and economic actors who are seeking to use technology in their competition for power. Building on over ten years of research in Ethiopia, Iginio Gagliardone investigates the relationship between politics, development, and technological adoption in Africa's second most populous country and its largest recipient of development aid. The emphasis the book places on the 'technopolitics' of ICTs, and on their ability to embody and enact political goals, offers a strong and empirically grounded counter-argument to prevalent approaches to the study of technology and development that can be applied to other cases in Africa and beyond.

    • Offers a unique examination of the development of information and communication technology in Ethiopia
    • Explores elements of history, international relations and African studies to present a balanced examination that is accessible to readers from all backgrounds
    • Develops theories that can be adapted to study technological innovation and development in Africa and beyond
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'For anyone interested in the complexities and contradictions of ICT for development in Africa, this book offers a fresh approach to the topic. I recommend this book to researchers engaged in national or comparative research as it offers a strong empirical model for how to conduct this kind of research without losing sight of the larger implications.' Melissa Tully, Information Technologies and International Development

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316629246
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Technopolitics, communication technologies and development
    3. Avoiding politics: international and local discourses on ICTs
    4. A quest for hegemony: the use of ICTs in support of the Ethiopian national project
    5. Ethiopia's developmental and sovereign technopolitical regimes
    6. Resisting alternative technopolitical regimes
    7. ICT for development, human rights and the changing geopolitical order
    8. Conclusion

  • Author

    Iginio Gagliardone, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the University of Oxford
    Iginio Gagliardone teaches Media and Communication at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and is Associate Research Fellow in New Media and Human Rights at the University of Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has spent years living and working in Africa, including for UNESCO. His research focusses on the relationship between new media, political change, and human development, and on the emergence of distinctive models of the information society in the Global South. He has extensively published in communication, development studies, and African studies journals, and his work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, and Italian.

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