Digital DNA: Disruption and the Challenges for Global Governance

ISBN : 9780190657932

Peter F. Cowhey; Jonathan D. Aronson
296 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Aug 2017
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Innovation in information and production technologies is creating benefits and disruption, profoundly altering how firms and markets perform. Digital DNA provides an in depth examination of the opportunities and challenges in the fast-changing global economy and lays out strategies that countries and the international community should embrace to promote robust growth while addressing the risks of this digital upheaval. Wisely guiding the transformation in innovation is a major challenge for global prosperity that affects everyone Peter Cowhey and Jonathan Aronson demonstrate how the digital revolution is transforming the business models of high tech industries but also of traditional agricultural, manufacturing, and service sector firms. The rapidity of change combines with the uncertainty of winners and losers to create political and economic tensions over how to adapt public policies to new technological and market surprises. The logic of the policy trade-offs confronting society, and the political economy of practical decision-making is explored through three developments: The rise of Cloud Computing and trans-border data flows; international collaboration to reduce cybersecurity risks; and the consequences of different national standards of digital privacy protection. The most appropriate global strategies will recognize that a significant diversity in individual national policies is inevitable. However, because digital technologies operate across national boundaries there is also a need for a common international baseline of policy fundamentals to facilitate "quasi-convergence" of these national policies. Cowhey and Aronson's examination of these dynamic developments lead to a measured proposal for authoritative "soft rules" that requires governments to create policies that achieve certain objectives, but leaves the specific design to national discretion. These rules should embrace mechanisms to work with expert multi-stakeholder organizations to facilitate the implementation of formal agreements, enhance their political legitimacy and technical expertise, and build flexible learning into the governance regime. The result will be greater convergence of national policies and the space for the new innovation system to flourish.


Prologue: Regional Innovation Clusters and Global Economic Governance
Part I: The Evolution of Innovation Systems and of the Information and Production Disruption
Chapter 1: National Innovation Systems
Chapter 2: Information and Production Disruptions: The Digital Platform Cluster System?
Chapter 3: Two Cases and Policy Implications
Part II: Global Governance in a Technologically Volatile Environment
Chapter 4: Designing International Governance for the IPD: The Bargaining Challenge
Chapter 5: Strategy and International Governance Regimes
Part III: Creating a Trusted Digital Environment in an Era of Quasi-Convergence
Chapter 6: Global Policy for the Cloud
Chapter 7: Cybersecurity as a Governance Challenge
Chapter 8: Data Privacy
Appendix to Chapter 8: Possible Regime Principles
Part IV: Conclusion
Chapter 9: Creating an International Governance Regime for the Digital Economy

About the author: 

Peter F. Cowhey is Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego; Jonathan D. Aronson is Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Professor of International Relations, University of Southern California

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