The Information Revolution and World Politics / Edition 1

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This readable and cogent book provides a much-needed overview of the information revolution in a global context. First tracing the historical evolution of communications since the development of the printing press, Elizabeth C. Hanson explores the profound ways that new information and communication technologies are transforming international relations. More people have access to more diverse sources of information than ever before, as well as a greater capacity to influence national and international agendas. More transcontinental channels of contact are available to more people in the world at far less cost than ever before in history. Hanson illustrates how these dramatic changes have raised a set of key questions: What is the impact of the information revolution on diplomacy, foreign policymaking, and the conduct of war? How are these new technologies affecting the structure of the global economy and the distribution of the world's wealth? How and to what extent are they affecting the nation-state-its centrality in the international system, its sovereignty, and its relationship to its citizens?

In answering these questions, Hanson considers the controversies over the present and future impact of a radically new information and communications environment as part of larger debates over globalization and the role of technology in historical change. Her carefully chosen case studies and judicious use of relevant research provide a firm basis for readers to evaluate competing arguments on this contentious issue.

About the Author:
Elizabeth C. Hanson is professor of political science and director of the India Studies Program at the University of Connecticut

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Editorial Reviews

Eric J Novotny
I finally have a thorough, balanced, erudite introduction to the major issues in international communications for my foundations and principles course. Bravo!
Kenneth Rogerson
This valuable and readable text provides a historically grounded and interdisciplinary discussion of media and technology. The author synthesizes knowledge that we who work in the field have been hoping to synthesize for some time. I especially appreciate the historical context, the strong inclusion of an international political economy approach to discuss the diffusion of technology in a way that balances the politics and political theory, and the explanations of the technology itself.
Thomas Jande
Useful, concise—excellent for International Relations majors.
Eric J. Novotny
I finally have a thorough, balanced, erudite introduction to the major issues in international communications for my foundations and principles course. Bravo!
International Studies Review
The best textbook with a ‘big picture’ of this subject so far. . . . The author has done an excellent job in conceptualizing such a broad and dynamic subject and organizing her treatises in an extremely readable style. . . . Betty Hanson is a very good writer, and her book is clearly written, simple in methodology, and contains interesting examples.
Francis A. Beer
Elizabeth C. Hanson describes a sweeping panorama of globalizing communication and its impact on world politics. In her work, we see clearly how the global information cascade each day creates a new global reality before our eyes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742538535
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: New Millennium Books in International Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth C. Hanson is professor of political science and director of the India studies program at the University of Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
The Information Revolution     1
World Politics in a New Media Environment     3
Technology, Society, and Historical Change     4
An "Interactivist" Approach to Technological Innovation     7
Conclusion     10
The Origins of the Information Revolution     13
The Printing Press: The First Mass Medium     14
The Electric Telegraph: Conquering Time and Space     17
The Telephone     21
The Strange Career of Wireless Telegraphy     24
The Invention of Broadcasting     28
Conclusion     38
The Globalization of Communication     47
Globalizing Technologies     48
The New Media Environment     64
Conclusion: The Revolution Continues     86
War and Peace in the Information Age     97
Foreign Policymaking in the New Information Environment     98
Open Diplomacy on the Fast Track     108
Conflict and War in the Information Age     119
Conclusion     131
The Information Revolution, the Global Economy, and the Distribution of Wealth     139
ICTs and the Global Economy     139
Economic Globalization: TheDebate     152
ICTs, Globalization, and the Distribution of Wealth     158
Conclusion     173
Global Communication and the Nation-State     179
The Debate     180
Global Technologies, State Control, and Political Change     184
Transnational Politics     189
Transnational Ethnic Networks     198
Culture, Identity, and the New Media     205
Conclusion     212
Issues and Choices     221
Control, Access, and Purpose     223
Prosperity, National Sovereignty, and Democracy     228
Bibliography     235
Index     253
About the Author     269
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