Digital Empires: The Global Battle To Regulate Technology

Oxford Univ. Sept. 2023. 600p. ISBN 9780197649268. $39.95. LAW
International trade law expert Bradford (Columbia Law Sch.; The Brussels Effect) explains that China, the EU, and the U.S. are all vying as rival “digital empires,” eager to shape the global digital order to advance their influence, interests and values. Each empire advances a distinct vision of how the digital world should work and be regulated. For example, the book notes that China pursues a state-driven digital authoritarianism; the U.S. a market-driven surveillance capitalism; and the EU a liberal democratic individualism. But they are hardly alone in exercising far-reaching digital power. Large technology companies such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft rival the power of nation-states. And so, Bradford explains, the battle to govern the shape and soul of the digital world takes on multiple dimensions amid struggles between governments and tech companies.
VERDICT An accessible, informative, instructive, and adroit analysis of the forces that are shaping choices and defining technology’s future promises. For policymakers, this is an essential read.
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