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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.  

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Platform Justice

by Danielle Citron, Quinta Jurecicvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The role of dominant content platforms like Facebook and Twitter in facilitating Russian election interference in the 2016 US presidential election has precipitated a backlash against “big tech,” and now the pendulum is swinging toward greater regulation of platforms for what their users say and do. Read the Lawfare post here.

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From the Iranian Corridor to the Shia Crescent

by Fabrice Balanche via Analysis
Friday, August 17, 2018

Tehran’s long-term strategy to fortify the Iranian Corridor as a Shiite Crescent requires demographic reengineering. Iran and its allies must be able to rely on a loyal population because of the solidarity it provides at the sectarian level.The attempt to reduce the Sunni numerical advantage is real, but it has had limited results. Even, if viewing the Levant as largely Sunni dominated is a mistake, it seems difficult for Iran to reverse the demographic balance. In contrast, the strategy of promoting internal division among the Sunni promises to be more effective.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Tech Giants At The Crossroads

by Jon D. Michaelsvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, July 30, 2018

Major technology companies find themselves at the center of two critical and vexing conversations. First is the digital public square conversation: millions of citizen-consumers wholly depend on these companies’ goods, services, and platforms to remain socially, politically, and economically engaged. Second is the deputization conversation: those same companies are often obligated to facilitate or intensify state surveillance over citizen-consumers. Thinking about the two conversations in combination—and thus viewing the tech firms as both victims and perpetrators in inherently unequal, imbalanced relationships—presents opportunities for a grand regulatory bargain that fixes the pair of problematic links in the broader chain of private-public relations. 

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