Information Technology Project

Announcing a 1999-2000 Meeting Series on Sovereignty in the Digital Age

Jan 01, 2001

The dynamic economic growth fueled by the information revolution can continue only if the right public policies are in place and if the private sector is willing to provide leadership. That will require effective business-government cooperation domestically and U.S. leadership in the key international organizations responsible for determining the rules and structure of the emerging digital economy.

At a Woodrow Wilson Center meeting, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin addressed the "profoundly important dichotomy … between the sovereignty of nations, on the one hand, and the dynamics of the transnational economy, on the other hand." Secretary Rubin's important observation highlights the dilemma for policy-makers. The information revolution will have a major impact on most human institutions and offers almost unlimited economic possibilities. And yet, the borderless nature of cyberspace conflicts with the traditional goal of states to preserve their national sovereignty.

The Woodrow Wilson Center has inaugurated a monthly lecture and seminar series, Sovereignty in the Digital Age, that will explore the efforts of states to deal with this policy dilemma – that is, balancing national sovereignty with the need for new international rules. The meetings aim to contribute to that important policy debate by providing a forum for participants from government, business, and other professions to discuss current policy concerns ranging from financial and regulatory issues to legal structures and privacy.

The Information Technology Project is sponsored by the Center's Division of International Studies, directed by Robert Litwak, former Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council. The Project Chairman is Les Simon, former Director of Public Affairs at IBM and currently a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The series Coordinator is Michael Vaden, Project Associate in the Division of International Studies.

About the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The Woodrow Wilson Center is a nonpartisan institute for advanced study that takes no position on policy issues. Established by Congress in 1968 as the official memorial to the nation's twenty-eighth president, the Woodrow Wilson Center's special mission is to honor the legacy and ideals of Woodrow Wilson by promoting research and dialogue on issues that link the world of scholarship and the world of public affairs. The Center achieves this mission through sustaining a community of residential Fellows in Washington, through sponsoring a regular program of meetings on international affairs and the humanities and through disseminating the results of its research to a broad audience.