Digital Media as a Catalyst for Political, Cultural, and Economic Change in the Asia-Pacific Region

The digital information technology (IT) revolution currently underway is profoundly reshap- ing economic activity, influencing politics, and transforming societies around the world. It is also forcing a reconceptualization of the global and local: many of the technologies, platforms, and fundamental disruptions are global in nature, but national or local contexts critically influence the uses and effects of IT.

The Asia-Pacific region provides a fascinating array of countries for examination of the political, economic, and sociocultural effects of digital media on the modern world. Economies range from developing to advanced. Governments include varied democracies as well as one-party regimes. The press enjoys relative freedom in some countries, undergoes limited constraints in others, and is tightly controlled in a few. Populations range from dense to sparse, and from diverse to relatively homogenous.

Held September 12–13, 2013, in Kyoto, Japan, the fifth Stanford Kyoto Trans-Asian Dialogue focused on the catalyzing effects of digital media for change in the Asia-Pacific. Four major themes were addressed:

  1. Digital Media versus Traditional Media
  2. Digital Media and Political Change in Asia
  3. Social Change and Economic Transformation
  4. Digital Media and International Relations