Past Program

Jul 07 - Jul 14, 1998

The Social and Political Implications of the Internet

Session 358


The information revolution and the global expansion of the Internet have implications for humankind that are as dramatic and far-reaching as the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century. Both advancements have become essential to the growth of national and international economies, and to building democracies. The Internet also promises a new global dialogue and holds immense educational potential. Its impact on the world’s youth will shape human development in the next century.


The purpose of this session is threefold: to explore the history of the development of the Internet; to examine the current human, cultural, societal, and political impacts of the Internet; and to achieve a better understanding of ways in which the Internet will continue to change, enhance, and further the development of humankind. The session will bring together Internet specialists, sociologists, historians, policymakers, and educators, as well as experts on human behavior and development. Participants will examine how the Internet will expand global communication and awareness, and the impact this expansion will have on peoples, nations, and cultures. The weaknesses and limitations of the Internet will also be addressed, as well as its interrelationship with the process of democratization.