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.
Sean S. Costigan directs MIT CogNet and teaches information technology at The New School, and Jake Perry is an independent scholar.
'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 '