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March 29 , 2010

The Information Revolution and World Politics


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 then 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.
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