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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Fixing Social Media’s Grand Bargain

by Jack M. Balkinvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, October 15, 2018

To regulate social media, we should focus on its political economy: the nature of digital capitalism and how we pay for the digital public sphere. This political economy creates perverse incentives for social media companies—encouraging them to surveil, addict, and manipulate their end users and strike deals with third parties who will further manipulate them. Treating social media companies as public forums or public utilities is not the proper cure, but social media companies, whether they like it or not, do have public obligations. This essay focuses on one approach to dealing with the problems of social media: new fiduciary obligations that protect end user privacy and counteract social media companies’ bad incentives.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

No Eclipse

by LTC Marcus Ferraravia Analysis
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

An American crisis of confidence, augmented by effective Chinese propaganda, has driven the narrative of the end of the “American Century,” replaced with a Chinese one. An analysis of such metrics as demography, social stability, geography, the environment, economics, military strength and capability, and soft power belies the concept of American decline and shows that China is beset with substantial internal and international challenges that indicate continued United States dominance in world affairs.

Essays

The Missed Opportunity of Technological Breakthrough in Putin’s Russia

by Michael McFaulvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Russians are richer today than they have ever been in their thousand-year history. Today, Russians enjoy a GDP-per capita of $11,900, down from a 2013 peak of $16,000, but moving in the right direction again. Between 2000 and 2008, Russia’s GDP grew by 83%, productivity grew by 70%, Russia’s share in the world economy grew fourfold, from 0.6% to 2.7%, real wages increased by 3.4 times, and real pensions increased by 2.8 times.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Tech Firms Are Not Sovereigns

by Andrew Keane Woodsvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

It is increasingly common to hear that the sovereigns that reign over the Internet are Internet firms—the companies that set user policies and wield enormous influence over the day-to-day functioning of the Internet. The user base of these firms can be larger than many countries. They have foreign policy teams and have even engaged in experiments with user-driven self-governance. In many ways, they look like states. But firms are not sovereigns.  Some public-facing Internet firms may find it expedient to resist some states, some of the time on some issues. But this does not mean that Internet firms are a serious and lasting threat to state sovereignty. Treating them as such is a distraction from the real problem: determining how and with what limits states—sovereign nations—ought to be able to achieve their aims online.

Essays

Technology and Governance in Russia: Possibilities

by Stephen Kotkinvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

This paper will ruminate in a highly preliminary way on the possibility of change in Russian governance as a result of disruptions in technology.  No such momentous changes are on the horizon at the moment.  That said, history moves in surprising ways, and unintended consequences are the norm.  Technological disruption, too, usually brings change in unforeseen directions.  Whatever happens, it will not happen the precise way we might anticipate.  

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Advanced Persistent Manipulators And Social Media Nationalism

by Clint Watts via Aegis Paper Series
Monday, September 17, 2018

Social media platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity for influencing populations. Citizens in Western democracies spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms and—as their virtual connections increase in number and intensity—they’ve begun to form social media nations affecting real-world national security.  Moving forward, social media, as an industry, will face a range of advanced persistent manipulators (APM) seeking to infiltrate, harness, and shape the perspectives of social media nations. The challenge of APMs will create an enduring threat to user trust and confidence in social media platforms.

Essays

Emerging Technologies And Their Impact On International Relations And Global Security

by Ivan V. Danilinvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Looking at international relations and security (IR&S) and foreign policy (FP) issues through the eyes of an innovation studies researcher presents a dialectic challenge. On the one hand, it is always restricted by the natural lack of knowledge about IR&S theories and facts; on the other, it may reveal some hidden tendencies on the crossroads between technology and IR&S/FP. In the case of emerging technologies, this problem is further aggravated by the fact that most of them are in the relatively early stage of development.

Essays

New Challenges In Global Politics: A Russian Perspective

by Igor Ivanovvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The world is going through a very complicated and dangerous period in its development. One does not need to be an expert on global politics or have access to exclusive sources of information to arrive at this obvious conclusion–all you have to do is flick through the latest issue of a newspaper or watch the news on TV.

Essays

The Influence of Current Demographic Processes on International Relations and International Security: The Russian Take

by Anatoly Vishnevskyvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

One of the key developments in 20th and 21st century history has been the demographic revolution, or demographic transition, which radically changed the course of fundamental demographic processes involving the birth rate, mortality and migration. Demographic change affects the international situation both directly and indirectly, through the social processes experienced by all societies which embrace this change.

Essays

Russia and the Solecism of Power

by David Hollowayvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Nearly every discussion about Russia raises three questions: Who is to blame?  What is to be done?  And where is Russia heading?  This paper focuses on the third question, though the other two cannot be ignored entirely. Now is a particularly appropriate time to ask where Russia is headed, for the world is undergoing profound and rapid transformation at several levels. We are witnessing dramatic technological changes. These processes of change and transformation – technological, economic, demographic, and climatic – present great challenges for governance at all levels.  

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