Information Power: International Affairs in the Cyber Age
34 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2001
Date Written: November 2001
Modern information and communication technologies are reshaping the environment in which foreign policy and international relations are conducted. According to conventional wisdom the information revolution has increased the influence of non-state actors and undermined the authority of the nation-state. While there is mounting anecdotal evidence supporting this trend, the nature and scope of the transmission belt between technological change and political outcomes remain largely unexplored.
This paper provides a framework for assessing the impact of the information revolution on power structures in international affairs. The ability to control information access is increasingly becoming a source of power. Shifting information between different access categories can be a deliberate policy tool, or the unintentional consequence of changes in the control of information infrastructures. The latter phenomenon has, in recent years, often taken the shape of a "denationalization" of state-controlled information infrastructures, facilitating shifts in information power away from state actors.
Keywords: Information Technology, Intergovernmental Relations, International Security, Nonprofit Sector
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