Workshop: Digital Transformation in East Asia

Prof. Dr. Philipp Staab (ECDF/HU Berlin) gives a keynote speech on "Digital Capitalism" at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn on November 6, 2020. The lecture is part of the international workshop "East Asia and the Digital Transformation-Impacts on Economy and Society", which will take place on November 6 and 7.

The international workshop aims to elucidate the concepts of digitalization in East Asia and to examine the systemic transformations and continuities in the economy and society through comparative analysis. Progressing digitalization pervasively accelerates communications across all areas of human life. This could lead to several issues confronting East Asian societies and other nations represented in the discourses on the “Digital Transformation”.
Digitalization is clearly not a linear and pre-programmed technical transformation. Rather, it is driven by the economic and industrial policies of industrialized countries aiming to support efficient production coordination and thus reduce transaction costs. In consequence, digitalization has impacts on socioeconomic and sociopolitical structures, such as the design of technological and organizational alternatives and new networking between production systems and humans, as well as decision processes in work policy and restructuring processes in company and society.

Our common awareness of this research is an understanding of digitalization as spatio-temporally differentiated; on that basis, we seek to locate “Digital Transformation” within historical-diachronic developments and topographic-synchronic variations in industrial countries of East Asia. The aim is to identify the path-dependent preconditions for digitalization, by identifying institutional complementarities in certain periods as well as essential factors of the transition dynamics of the socio-technical configurations. Identifying the impacts of digitalization on the society and economy such as reorganization of production and distribution strategies, precarization of work life, we aim to shed light on the following questions through our workshop:

1) What is the status quo of the research on digitalization and its social and economic consequences in your country?
2) Which topics and research fields are flourishing or most controversial?
3) In that debate or to your own judgement: Are there parallel developments with digitalization and the socio-economic system choices or is one preceding or producing the other?
4) What are the advantages and disadvantages of the digitalization? Can you think of any socioeconomical or sociopolitical threats, which may accompany the path of digitalization in your country?

This workshop is organized by the Institute of Orient and Asian Studies, University of Bonn within the framework of the research project "Digital Transformation and the Changing World of Work in East Asia. Economic and Social Issues" funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the Federal State of the North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW) as part of the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the States. This research project investigates socio-technological change in East Asia from a comparative perspective with a focus on digitalization and the world of work since the 1950s.