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Language, power and Internet communication

Language, power and Internet communication


This comparative work emphasises the importance of context. In a global setting, a contrast is drawn between supply-side obstacles to Internet use, which characterise poorer developing countries, as against demand-side obstacles to use, which reflect the limits of diffusion in prosperous countries. Since many countries are at an intermediate point in the take up of Internet use, data have been collected on the changing population of Internet users in 13 post-Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union from 2001 to 2005.

A major study was undertaken on trans-national Internet communication in which one party has a bi-cultural understanding and uses English as a foreign language while the other is a native English-speaker who assumes, not entirely correctly, that there is a shared understanding. The result is an asymmetrical system of communication in which, contrary to Joseph Nye’s theory of soft power, the non-native Anglophone will benefit more.

Key Information

Project dates:
January 2000 - April 2005

All Publications

Working papers



Professor Richard Rose

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford