The Internet and Social Change

This course combines an introduction to cosmopolitan democratic theory and a primer on the mechanics of the Internet with case studies of how this technology has empowered or weakened citizens in democratic and authoritarian settings. The discussion will cover the 1990s, when the global information infrastructure was fundamentally overhauled, presenting numerous questions and conflicts about citizen?s rights. This course will study Google in China and Yahoo! In France, among others, exploring how corporate or government Internet policy have affected the democratic process, and then examine how applications of the ?Web 2.0? generation changed the balance of power between Egyptians and their government.

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