Politics of Cyberspace
= Political Science 580 (Athabasca Un.): The Politics of Cyberspace, a graduate course that combines printed course materials with online discussions and assignments over the span of fifteen weeks.
"The Politics of Cyberspace explores the emergence of the networked society, the information–technology revolution, and the consequences for power, production, and culture on a global and local scale as examined by such disciplines as political science, political economy, sociology, and communications. Throughout, the course views new information technologies as contested terrain and examines the tension between cyberspace as a means of domination versus a means of hope, liberation and democracy.
Beginning with the information–technology revolution and its effects on structures of power, the course examines how these technologies, including the Internet and social media, disperse power from the state and, in the process, move us from a surveillance state to a surveillance society. At the broader level, as these new information technologies challenge state power, they make possible the global restructuring of capital. While capital and civil–society organizations have rapidly adapted to the logic of a networked society operating on a global scale, the bureaucratic state struggles to adjust. Moreover, the creation of a global informational economy has met with increased resistance from those who view it as a form of domination. These include such different social movements as the Zapatistas of Mexico, the global justice movement, which includes the Occupy Movement, and al Qaeda. This resistance, like the global information economy it struggles against, is assisted by new information technologies.
This course also explores the effect of informational technologies on the democratic processes of the state, its political institutions, its administration, and civil society. In particular, it looks at web tools, including Web 2.0 and its components such as political blogs and their effects on the political process." (http://mais.athabascau.ca/Syllabi/poli580.php)