Beyond harmonization: ICT policymaking in regional economic communities

Carleen F. Maitland, Annemijn Van Gorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Regional economic communities, which are growing in numbers and size, play an increasingly important role in information and communication technology (ICT) policymaking. As seen through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory, such systems should strive to generate adaptive policies through adaptive policymaking processes that position them to respond to rapid technological change. To date, however, regional policymaking has been overly concerned with policy harmonization as an outcome, possibly to the detriment of other important goals. Despite this bias, upon closer examination, one finds that regional communities do foster adaptivity through their roles in the formation of epistemic communities, capacity building, and resource pooling. These activities contribute to variation, interaction, and selection, all key processes for adaptation. It is this degree of adaptivity, and its required balance between policy harmonization and competition, that should be the basis for analyzing the effectiveness of regional policymaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
JournalInformation Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Political Science and International Relations


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