Sovereignty Online: Learning from Spatial Theory and the Chinese Case
25 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 10, 2011
This paper proposes several ways in which the theory and operationalization of sovereignty in the study of international relations is complicated by the transnational nature of the internet and the architecture of online networks themselves. Basing the analysis in theories of space drawn from critical theory, it analyzes which aspects of sovereignty are more or less affected by internet use, arguing that theories of social space can inform concepts of territoriality in IR. The paper uses the Chinese case as an example throughout, illustrating that existing practices of government and societal actors inside and outside China represent a constantly shifting field for understanding political territoriality in the era of widespread internet use.
Keywords: sovereignty, internet, china, international relations, territoriality, spatial theory
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