15.1 Social Media coverEDITORS' NOTE

New information technology, in the form of social media, is one of the most transformative innovations of the early twenty-first century. The debate concern-ing its value and consequence has moved from garages in northern California to sky-high conference rooms of New York-based investment banks and presidential palaces across the globe. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have democratized information exchange and changed the speed with which news is disseminated, with significant geopolitical consequences. The future potential of these mediums and how they will come to define, or be defined by, more traditional social movements remains to be seen. (continue reading...)


by Jillian C. York

It has been less than a decade since tech magnate Tim O’Reilly popularized the term, “Web 2.0.” Until that time, the majority of the Internet was a read-only space, with chat rooms and other social spaces limited largely to the technologically savvy. The weblog, or “blog,” had only begun to emerge, and Facebook was a nascent platform open only to Harvard students.

At the beginning of 2004, we were on the precipice of a communications revolution. Blogging platforms rapidly proliferated, while emergent sites like Facebook and Flickr began to allow us to easily locate and communicate with individuals the world over. The next few years would see the translation of such sites into dozens of languages, the launch of millions of individual blogs, the creation of Twitter, and the “socialization” of Google.

In just under a decade, these advances in digital communications have changed the way we relate to one another. With the advent of now-dominant social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, societies have found new ways to organize, connect, and cross borders like never before. (continue reading FREE content...)


From Causality to Emergence: Re-Evaluating Social Media’s Role in the 2011 English Riots by Stephanie Alice Baker (continue reading...)

Calling for Strikes: Mundane Mobile Calls, Mobilizing Practices, and Collective Action in China by Jun Liu (continue reading...)

The Internet, Human Rights, and the Public Sector an interview with Michael A. Sanway (continue reading...)

Brazil's Stunted Revolt by Paolo Sotero (continue reading...) 

The Politics of Emotion in Grassroots Feminist Protests: A Case Study of Xiaoming Ai’s Nude Breasts Photography Protest Online by Jinyan Zeng (continue reading...) 

POLITICS & DIPLOMACY Leading a Horse to Water: Lessons from Official Development Assistance to the Western Balkans by Aleksander Dardeli - Long held assumptions have shaped foreign assistance to the Balkans. Underlying them is a belief that culture and ways of thinking can be easily changed. In reality, culture can take generations to fully embrace democracy, free markets, and to overcome the deep-rooted loyalty to persons rather than institutions and principles. (continue reading…) Prospects in the Middle East: An interview with Dennis Ross - Ambassador Ross discusses how he came to be involved in the Middle East and his respective suc-cesses and disappointments at Wye River and Camp David. He also delves into the variances between White House and State Department-led foreign policy. Ross believes the United States has a vital role to play in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and contends that there may not be a set time by which the peacemaking process must be completed. (read FREE content…) The Syrian Crisis: U.S. Credibility and the Use of Threats and Incentives in Crisis Diplomacy by Unislawa M. Williams Despite weak threat credibility that inspired both popular and academic expectations to the con-trary, President Obama emerged relatively successful from the Syrian Crisis. The combination of incentives and threats has been the key to this success, more so than either the threats or the inducements would have been alone. (continue reading…)
CONFLICT & SECURITY National Security in a Rapidly Changing Arctic by Andrew Holland - Arguing for greater U.S. attention to the Arctic, Andrew Holland highlights the security implications of an opening Arctic combined with an imbalance of power and unclear intentions from Arctic powers, including the United States.  (continue reading...) Dynamics of Competition, Power Balancing, and Security Dilemma by Srinivasan Sitarman - Discussing the effects of the growing economic and strategic influence of China in the South Asian subcontinent, this article analyzes India’s suspicion and frustration with China and the possible ramifications of such strategic worry. (continue reading...)
CULTURE & SOCIETY Multiculturalism in Sweden: Riots Spark Debate about Identity and Policy by Ishtiaq Ahmed - The May 2013 riots in Stockholm suburbs call into question Sweden’s image as a paragon of peace and prosperity and highlight the need for a closer look at immigration, multiculturalism, and barriers to integration. (continue reading…) Hijacking the Buddhadharma: Violence and War in Buddhist Societies by Alejandro Chavez-Segura - Although some prominent figures in Sri Lanka and elsewhere have used Buddhist tradition to justify violence, this contradicts Buddhism’s core values and teachings. (continue reading…)
LAW & ETHICS Accounting for the Past or Avenging in the Present? Transnational Justice and Libya's Political Isolation Law by Marieke Wierda and Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski - Political isolation sweeps too many into the net while distracting from the challenging task of delivering justice for those who really were involved in serious violations. In changing course, Libya could set an important precedent in a troubled region where transitional justice is much needed. (continue reading…) International Peace and Security in the 21st Century: An Interview with Abiodun Williams - Dr. Abiodun Williams explores a host of contemporary challenges related to the promotion of international peace and security. He examines the role and composition of the Security Council, and addresses the growing importance of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS The U.S. Trade Playing FieldAn Interview with Clyde Prestowitz - Clyde Prestowitz discusses the often-neglected dangers of globalization and trade liberalization. He points out that unequal, or unilateral, trade liberalization can actually be detrimental to the U.S.’ global competitiveness. (continue reading…)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Saving Space: The Multilateral Approach to Orbital Debris by Nicholas L. Johnson - Near-Earth space is becoming increasingly filled with debris, posing a threat to existing space infrastructure. However, multilateral institutions formed to deal with the threat have shown signs of progress in regulating debris. (read FREE content…) China's Space Ambitions: It's Not All About the U.S. by Joan Johnson-Freese - China’s space program is being driven by both a security dilemma and development goals. U.S. efforts to contain it have proven ineffective, and greater engagement, not isolation, is needed on the issue between both countries. (continue reading…)
BOOKS A Changing State of War Review by Tyrone Groh - A review of Proxy Warfare: War and Conflict in the Modern World by Andrew Mumford. (continue reading…) Activists Adapt Too Review by Thomas X. Hammes - A review of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William J. Dobson. (continue reading…)
A LOOK BACK U.S. Engagement in Kosovo An interview with Tracey Ann Jacobson - As the host of the largest international NATO and UN missions in the history of both organizations, newly-independent Kosovo is ripe with opportunities for multi-level development. (read FREE content…) The Achilles' Heel of the Chemical Weapons Dilemma An interview with Amy E. Smithson The flexibility of the text of the Chemical Weapons Convention allows for a range of implementation problems from the evaluation of a breach to the means of enforcement, while the case of Syria is unique both because of the amount of immediate information as well as the fact that chemical weapons experts for the first time have to work in a civil war. (read FREE content…)

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