ICTs and the Global Governance of Peace and Security (completed)
The role of new media for Conflict Transformation Processes
This project arranges a workshop who addresses current trends and future prospects within the debate on how ICTs can be used for conflict transformation process and global governance.
It will bridge both leading scholars and practitioners in the field of new media and international politics, with a focus on the use of ICTs by civil society for crisis resolution and democratic processes.
By emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach, this workshop brings together empirical research and insights from Internet studies and ICT for development, with theory building in the field of International Relations.
About the project
Recent cases of social movements active in developing countries, in conflict processes and through grassroots networks have brought attention to the significance and influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on processes of global governance. While their role has been overstated in the case of the Arab Spring, ICTs are seen as relevant tools in processes of conflict transformations and international security, by coordinating and quickly spreading a message to a broader audience. Local voices are increasingly considered key for crowdsourcing information and collecting data, and influence decision-making and political processes at local, national and international levels. The use of ICTs as means of articulating claims, mobilizing people, and sharing information connects the local and the international in unprecedented ways.
Two main causes have often been highlighted as particularly influential in creating a situation of rapid communication between people and across political boundaries: first, the rapid spread of mobile technologies has brought social network tools as well as other Internet-generated capacities to people in remote and/or poor areas of the world. Second, together with mobile technologies, social networks tools has created new avenues of citizens engagement and mobilization along given issue areas, and created new types of interactions between the local and the international.
The impact of ICTs in conflict and developing contexts is substantial, and cannot be underestimated. Its great potential in spreading and sharing grassroots knowledge opens up a new set of opportunities for global governance. Within this framework, the workshop addresses three main and crosscutting issues:
1. Global governance: how do ICTs challenge and transform the global governance of peace, security and conflict transformation? Which mechanisms, actors and processes are affected by the increase in grassroots generated information?
2. ICTs for Democracy: which opportunities are offered by new media to strengthen democratic practices and challenging autocratic regimes, enhancing transparency, and facilitating citizen engagement in local governance?
3. Data-driven peacebuilding: can the visual presentation of conflicts through crowdsourced data collected through new media (e.g. Open Data) lead to meaningful and early interventions in violent conflicts? How can we conceptualize agency in this context?
This workshop is financed by the Norwegian Research Council research programme on Cultural conditions underlying social change (SAMKUL).