The Soviet Digital Frontier: A Study on the Digital Policy of Former Soviet States




Pelosi, Frank III

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With today’s rise of the Internet, former Soviet states must address practical and ethical questions surrounding digitization and the internet’s use. Unlike other countries throughout the world, former Soviet states must balance their controversial past of strict censorship and underdevelopment with aspirations for a digital future. This thesis compares the digital policies of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Estonia to determine what factors foster an expansive digital infrastructure in the former Soviet Union. As a chapter, each case study is divided into subsections, focusing on political, economic, and cultural elements of each nation’s respective digital policy. Qualitative evidence, such as governmental statements, initiatives, digital business developments, and online cultural movements are all discussed in their respective subsections. An additional subsection examines each country’s relationship with Russia and a Soviet past manifests itself in the digital realm. This thesis comprehensively examines domestic policy, economics, national history, and communications in a comparative framework. While each component of digital policy plays an important role in the national digitization of former Soviet states, this thesis ultimately concludes that cultural components of digital policy drive successful digitization.



political science, history, slavic studies, communications, comparative politics, international relations, The Soviet Union, The Internet, Digital Policy, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia