How Western Europe Embraced Information Technologies

James W. Cortada

in The Digital Flood

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199921553
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980406 | DOI:
How Western Europe Embraced Information Technologies

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This chapter surveys the way computing spread across all of Western Europe from World War II to the early years of the twenty-first century, analyzing the patterns of adoption, results of economic conditions, government policies, role of national champions, rise of European computer industries, and effects on Europe’s self perception of its future as an Information Society. It compares economic and industry results to those of North America and Asia, and contrasts diffusion with that of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. It is the first comprehensive overview of the role of computers in Western Europe available, and it describes the characteristics of Wave One adoption across two dozen countries.

Keywords: Western Europe; diffusion; computers; information technologies; Nordics; telecommunications; Cold War; Wave One; national champions; IBM

Chapter.  20843 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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