Progress on the global digital divide: an ethical perspective based on Amartya Sen’s capabilities model

  • William Wresch
Original Paper


This paper examines evolving technological capabilities in developing countries. Counts of web sites indicate that some progress is being made in some of the world’s poorest countries, but the numbers show even with this progress, the gap between developed and developing countries is actually growing. So has there been progress in closing the global digital divide? The significance of web sites to provide access to necessary medical information, local cultural information, and the general visibility of the developing world is described and the current environment evaluated. The moral situation created by the current status is reviewed using ethical theories proposed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. By reviewing one vehicle for information transfer—the web site—the author hopes to highlight the importance of this vehicle and to present a general overview of the progress that is being made around the world.


Human Development Report World Wide Web Amartya Sen Cultural imperialism International comparisons ICT Medical information Cultural information Capability justice Millennium Development Goals 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshOshkoshUSA

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