- Edited by Sean S. Costigan, MIT CogNet and The New School, USA, and Jake Perry
From the "Facebook" revolutions in the Arab world to the use of social networking in the aftermath of disasters in Japan and Haiti, to the spread of mobile telephony throughout the developing world: all of these developments are part of how information and communication technologies are altering global affairs.
With the rise of the social web and applications like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, scholars and practitioners of international affairs are adapting to this new information space across a wide scale of issue areas. In conflict resolution, dialogues and communication are taking the form of open social networks, while in the legal realm, where cyberspace is largely lawless space, states are stepping up policing efforts to combat online criminality and hackers are finding new ways around increasingly sophisticated censorship. Militaries are moving to deeply incorporate information technologies into their doctrines, and protesters are developing innovative uses of technology to keep one step ahead of the authorities.
The essays and topical cases in this book explore such issues as networks and networked thinking, information ownership, censorship, neutrality, cyberwars, humanitarian needs, terrorism, privacy and rebellion, giving a comprehensive overview of the core issues in the field, complemented by real world examples.
Contents: Foreword, Kenneth H. Keller; Preface; Part I: Cyberwar: a real and growing threat, Nat Katin-Borland; From an analog past to a digital future: information and communication technology in conflict management, Daniel Wehrenfennig; Marching across the cyber frontier: explaining the global diffusion of network-centric warfare, Tim Junio; Viewpoint: cyberterrorism: cyber 'Pearl Harbor' is imminent, Emily Molfino; Viewpoint: protecting Google: is an attack against Google an attack against the US?, Nat Katin-Borland; Viewpoint: invisible threats, Jake Perry. Part II: Web 2.0 and public diplomacy, Hannes R. Richter; Call for power? Mobile phones as facilitators of political activism, Fabien Miard; ICT infrastructure in two Asian giants: a comparative analysis of China and India, Venkata Praveen Tanguturi and Fotios C. Harmantzis; Information (without) revolution? Ethnography and the study of new media-enabled change in the Middle East, Deborah L. Wheeler; The political history of the internet: a theoretical approach to the implications for US power, Madeline Carr; US identity, security, and governance of the internet, Ryan Kiggins; Information and communications technologies and power, Jeffrey A. Hart; Social media and Iran's post-election crisis, Lida Khalili Gheidary; Viewpoint: combating censorship should be a foreign policy goal, Hannes Steen-Thornhammar; Viewpoint: an alternative prospect on cyber anarchy for policy-makers, Eddie Walsh. Part III: Digital divide: the reality of information haves and have-nots, Natalya Svenjensky; Using ICT research to assist policy-making and regulation: the case of Namibia, Christoph Stork and Tony Vetter; Leveraging information and communication technologies for global public health, Shriya Malhotra; Knowledge ecologies in international affairs: a new paradigm for dialog and collaboration, Sean S. Costigan and Chris Pallaris; Environmental politics: how information and communication technology have changed the debate, Erica Dingman; Viewpoint: privacy – there's not enough and it's shrinking fast, Hannes Steen-Thornhammar; Viewpoint: information overload: real and growing by the minute, Natalya Sverjensky; Viewpoint: PageRank and perceptions of quality, David Millman; Viewpoint: citizen change: how technology and new media have turned us all into digital freedom fighters, Anthony Lopez; Viewpoint: old and new media: picket fences till the end, Sujit Bhar; Postscript, Sean Costigan and Jake Perry; Index.
About the Editor: Sean S. Costigan directs MIT CogNet and teaches information technology at The New School, and Jake Perry is an independent scholar.
Reviews: 'Cyberspaces and Global Affairs comes at a critical point in time in international relations where the effects of new communication technologies and their effects are unfolding before our very eyes. The Middle East and North Africa are a living laboratory of the effects that new communication technologies can have on the system of international relations, plus the Colour Revolutions that swept through Eastern Europe and Central Asia. There are a diverse number of chapters and authors, which is relevant to students, academics, policy-makers and practitioners alike. This is an urgent subject that needs addressing, and this is a good step in bringing the required attention that it deserves.'
Greg Simons, Crismart, Swedish National Defence College, Sweden
'This excellent anthology stands apart from many other assessments of the relationship between information technology and society. Contributors offer uncommon insights about theory and policy, lucid prose styles, awareness of pertinent literature, and appropriate skepticism toward received wisdom. Chapters devoted to IT and its impact on military thinking and organization are especially pertinent to modern policy making dilemmas. The book is highly recommended for expert and lay readers interested in the nexus between public policy and information technology.'
Stephen J. Cimbala, Penn State University, Brandywine, USA
'A welcome contribution […] to this growing literature is this mighty 27-chapter co-edited tome. The authors indicate that they intend to produce ‘a primer on information technology and international affairs, to be read by scholars, student and lay people with an interest in this emerging and increasingly salient field’, and they have certainly achieved their aim… Cyberspaces and Global Affairs may well appear a little daunting because it ranges across the subject’s vast landscape; but in spite of its breadth, there is great depth in the thoughtfully selected chapters…'
The Round Table
'Information technology is changing the way we view territory and having a far reaching impact on global affairs. This book is a commendable and comprehensive attempt to map those changes and to evaluate the increasingly dominant role technology plays in our political, economic, social and cultural lives. It also addresses some important questions, such as whether there is a growing divide between the global haves and have-nots in computer technology, whether the world is truly benefiting from technological change and whether technology is enhancing or harming societal cohesion.'
New Zealand International Review
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