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[Nettime-nl] Twente: conferentie over ICT in ontwikkelingslanden (15 juni)

From: merlyna lim <>
Subject: Call for Participation: Conference on SOCIO-TECHNICAL CHANGE:
Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 19:40:03 +0700

Dear colleagues,

Hereby I invite you to attend the conference announced below. I try to
provide you a general information on the conference here, but if you need
more detailed information you can email me directly in, or email the conference organizer in (Alexander Smeitz) or look at our website:

Hope to meet you all there.

best regards,
Merlyna Lim

Call for Participation in a Conference on:


Vrijhof Building (Amphi-theater), University of Twente, The Netherlands,
June 15, 2001

The conference will provide a forum for the exposure of the preliminary
results of the project's research and the comparison of these results with
those of similar research elsewhere.

There are two main types of comparisons that we would like to draw out. The
first is a comparison between processes of societal construction in
different technological regimes. In this respect, the comparison of the
satellite and the Internet is central. Whereas the satellite is a technology
that follows a pattern of laboratory innovation and top-down diffusion, the
Internet is a 'configurational' technology in which innovation takes place
throughout the diffusion stage and involves a wide range of social actors.
In a developing country like Indonesia, this difference is particularly
important since it can determine whether local actors can be innovators
rather than just mere consumers. It may also determine the relative level of
control that the government can exert over information flows. The second
type of comparison focuses on the differences between processes of societal
construction of technology in developed countries and those in developing
countries. Such differences are evident in expectations about the prospects
for shaping technological change, in agenda-building strategies, in
processes of decision-making, as well as in the broader set of political and
economic constraints that directly shape technological aggregation and

By drawing out these comparisons and discussing them in detail we aim to
enrich theories of socio-technical change. Factors shaping socio-technical
change that have been overlooked or under-analysed in case studies of
technologies in developed countries will receive particular attention. This
because such factors often appear with greater impact and clarity in the
context of developing countries, making their analysis more revealing.

In addition to this broad goal, we also have a more limited topical goal
which is to add a much needed chapter to stories that describe
socio-technical developments in the telecommunications and informatics
sectors. While statements abound about the 'information gap' and about
'globablization' very little empirical research has been conducted on the
biographies of globalizing information and communication technologies
outside the developed world.

This conference will provide an occasion to discuss some of the research in
this domain.

 How do 'ideographs' (Van Lente, 1993) or ideologies relating to technology
and social change (e.g. nationalism, development, modernization,
backwardness, etc.) differ in developing and developed countries? What are
the mechanisms whereby these overarching ideas and ambitions come to shape
socio-technical change?
 Given that technologies are shaped by actor-networks (Latour, 1987), what
types of actor-networks are important in different countries (e.g.
firm-based, university-based, family-based, etc.)? What are the mechanisms
whereby the different actor-networks shape socio-technical change? What are
the strengths and weaknesses of these different actor-networks in acting as
agents of socio-technial change?
 How do technologists' agenda-building strategies differ in developing and
developed countries? How do they differ between technological regimes (e.g.
satellite vs. Internet)? Which strategies are effective in the respective
 To what extent are developments in information and communications
technologies 'global' and to what extent are they 'local'? How does the
relative localism or globalism differ between such 'old' technologies as
telegraphy, telephone, and the satellite, and such 'new' technologies as the
 What can SCoT theories contribute to discussions conventionally concerned
only with the 'impact' of technology on society? For example, what can SCoT
say about the roles that the media and information technology play in the
development of a country's national identity and in the process of

The conference will be held at the Vrijhof, Campus of University of Twente.
Please arrive between 9.00 am and 10.00 am (the opening will start at 10.00

10.00 a.m. Opening Representative of the board of the rector
10.30 a.m. Presentation of research project Dr. Joshua Barker
11.30 a.m.      Break
11.45 a.m. Case: Internet
                Indonesia: Merlyna Lim
                Venezuela: Dr. Hebe Vessuri
                Trinidad: Prof. Don Slater
                China: Prof. Eric Harwit
01.15 p.m. Lunch
02.30 p.m. Case: Satellite
                Canada: Prof. Bart Simon
                Indonesia: Dr. Sonny Yuliar
04.00 p.m. New agenda for research Dr. Joshua Barker
        Presentation of postion paper Prof. Arie Rip
        Comments on position paper Prof. Wiebe Bijker & Prof. Emanuel de
05.45 p.m. Closing ceremonies and drinks

Location and Accomodation (look at our website)

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