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Title: Building a knowledge-based economy : using ICTs for development and the role of the national state: a case study of Jordan
Author: Al-Jaghoub, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 958X
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2004
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The knowledge-based economy, in which knowledge and ICTs play a key role in achieving development in all parts of the society, has become seen in recent years as a means to achieve development. The argument made by many development agencies, academics and international organisations is that ICTs can contribute directly to economic growth and / or development by providing access to knowledge, which is seen to consequently transform the country to a knowledge-based economy. This research critically examines the experience of a developing country - Jordan - seeking to use ICTs to become a knowledgebased economy and achieve development. It looks at the role of the state in such an initiative in a globalising world. This is done by focusing on the processes by which such initiatives are being implemented through the theoretical lens of the role of the state in a globalising world. In particular, the REACH initiative in Jordan, a private/public partnership to build an export-oriented software / IT services industry, is studied and analysed. REACH shows that the process of using ICTs to build a knowledge-based economy is a complex process, in which the role of the state is central. However, at least at this stage, not all parts of the state are involved. Some state actors are directly concerned with building partnerships with the private sector and dealing with the requirements of global actors such as MNCs and international organisations. It is found that in Jordan, state actors appear to be providing the conditions that may be necessary to achieve competitiveness for the ICT industry in global markets. This seems to' be causing the state to be redefined as a competition state, which seeks to promote economic activities that will make firms and sectors located within it to be competitive in international markets. This redefinition can be seen in a number of the characteristics of the competition state that the state in Jordan seems to reflect. REACH also shows the involvement of a number of external actors, such as USAID consultants, who seem to have significant influence in shaping the recommendations of REACH. However, the role of the state can be more crucial and goes beyond providing conditions for competitiveness and underpinning markets. The state in Jordan is trying to provide conditions needed to use ICTs for widespread socioeconomic development, an area in which markets will most likely fail. In this case the state is bringing in partners that include governments, NGOs and organisations to provide funding and expertise to build such initiatives. It is also found that actions to achieve competitiveness have their implications in different areas. A competition state has flexibility to deal with some of these issues by setting policies, albeit these policies seem to be circumscribed within the framework of neo-liberal policies, which underline the competition state. Implementing ICT -led development programmes in Jordan shows that this is a complex process that requires extensive effort, resources and planning. The end results of which are still unclear and this should be noted by other countries wishing to follow Jordan's example.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available