Power, Information Technology, and International Relations Theory: The Institutional Power of the Internet and American Foreign Policy

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dc.contributor.advisor Foley, Michael
dc.contributor.advisor
dc.contributor.author McCarthy, Daniel R.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-05T11:09:26Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-05T11:09:26Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2160/7136
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the place of information communications technology (ICT) as a form of power in International Relations (IR) theory. Through an examination of the dominant approaches to ICTs in IR I outline the need to introduce a concept of technological power which can account for agency and culture in the process of technological design and development. Turning towards the critical theory of technology of Andrew Feenberg, the thesis argues that conceptualizing technology as biased but ambivalent provides the space within which agency may be considered alongside the structuring characteristics of technology to provide a more theoretically balanced and analytically productive account of the politics of technology. Building upon this foundation, the thesis outlines ICTs as a form of institutional power in international politics, acting upon agents at a distance in both space and time. This form of power is enmeshed in, and supported by, structural power relations and the interrelated discursive and ideological forms of power which maintain these structures. I examine the utility of these concepts through an extending empirical illustration of the role of the Internet in American Foreign Policy. This analysis argues that the Internet, as a product of American technological development, expresses a bias towards liberal capitalist values which forces other states to either alter their social practices or enact costly filtering regimes. The open networks of the Internet thereby facilitate the pursuit of an Open Door foreign policy by the United States government. Accounting for the technologically embedded cultural norms of the Internet casts a different light upon the nature of power in international relations, and requires that we take the constitution of an global material culture into account in our theories of international relations. en_UK
dc.description.sponsorship ESRC en_UK
dc.language.iso en en_UK
dc.publisher Aberystwyth University en_UK
dc.rights The student has requested that this electronic version of the thesis does not include the main body of the work - i.e. the chapters and conclusion. The other sections of the thesis are available as a research resource.
dc.subject historical materialism en_UK
dc.subject symbolic politics en_UK
dc.title Power, Information Technology, and International Relations Theory: The Institutional Power of the Internet and American Foreign Policy en_UK
dc.type Text en
dc.publisher.department International Politics en_UK
dc.type.qualificationlevel doctoral en_UK
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_UK
dc.type.publicationtype thesis or dissertation en


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