Research Paper – Nationalism, ICT Policy, West Africa

Nationalism in the Internet Architecture Policy of Western Equatorial Africa



This essay addresses the puzzle of how nationalism affects the deployment of internet architecture policy for these five countries. In particular, it examines how the institutions that support the creation and enforcement of internet policy draw on cultural concepts of nationality and internationalism, and how these compare to the practice of establishing an internet architecture. Questions it must answer along the way include how to understand nationalism in this context, what the primary institutions are in this context, and what the relationships between states, institutions, and populations are, regarding internet policy across the region. It shows that nationalism appears in the creation of policy and the stated scope of institutions that support and regulate the internet, largely driven by cultural factors. However, technologies themselves hold a less direct relationship to these factors. The physical architecture and practices of implementation remain separated from nationalist ideology, but the patterns of diffusion, adoption, and restructuring that take place political and financial terms do have a lasting effect on technology’s role in culture.

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