Archive for the ‘James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)’ Category

Unveiling the Revolutionaries: Cyberactivism and Women’s Role in the Arab Uprisings

May 24, 2012 Comments off
Source: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)

This research introduces several of the key figures leading the revolutionary convulsions in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Yemen, and explores how young women used social media and cyberactivism to help shape the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath. The engagement of women with social media has coincided with a shift in the political landscape of the Middle East, and it is unlikely that they will ever retreat from the new arenas they have carved out for themselves. Throughout the region, women have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers, translating digital advocacy and organization into physical mobilization and occupation of public spaces in a dialectic of online and offline activism that is particular to this era. They have used citizen journalism and social networking to counter the state-dominated media in their countries and influence mainstream media around the world. In the process, they are reconfiguring the public sphere in their countries, as well as the expectations of the public about the role women can and should play in the political lives of their countries.

From Tunis to Tunis: Considering the Planks of U.S. International Cyber Policy, 2005-2011

May 23, 2012 Comments off
Source: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)

How have U.S. policies on the governance of the Internet and cyberspace evolved between the 2005 World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia and the massive, cyber-fueled uprisings in the Middle East of 2011? The paper develops a framework of possible actions regarding Internet or cyber governance to produce contexts for the timeline of significant policy statements by U.S. government officials and agencies on the topic. In the resulting narrative, Internet governance policy rises from a relatively marginal issue for the foreign policy establishment to a significant component of U.S. grand strategy. Because it covers a brief time period and focuses on a single actor (the United States), this narrative provides input as to how and how rapidly Internet politics and policies have become integral to international affairs.

A Governance Switchboard: Scalability Issues in International Cyber Policymaking

April 5, 2012 Comments off

A Governance Switchboard: Scalability Issues in International Cyber Policymaking (PDF)
Source: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)

Twenty years ago, only a million computers were connected to the Internet, while today, perhaps as many as 2 billion people on the planet enjoy its use. What was once primarily a tool for scholarly communications has quickly become the key infrastructure for communicating at a distance. At the core of this growth is the remarkable scalability of Internet Protocol (IP). Whether YouTube videos and Twitter microblog posts or telephone calls and sensitive military communications, IP is the technological backbone of digital connectivity on planet Earth.

IP grants a standard for data communication that scales to almost every computing device on the planet. Because of this technology, and some exceptions notwithstanding, the last twenty years have been a period in which a message can be transmitted from one computer to another anywhere, in large part because the set of instructions for delivery have been open, understandable, and relatively easy to implement. The economic transformation ushered in by this connectivity is well underway, but its salient issues regarding politics, and more for the purposes of this paper, international politics, are sitll emerging. This is a newly constructed techno-informational space, often called “cyber” because there is something that clearly goes beyond just the delivery and receipt of data by IP.

Limits of the Jugaad Growth Model — No Workaround to Good Governance for India

March 17, 2012 Comments off

Limits of the Jugaad Growth Model — No Workaround to Good Governance for India (PDF)
Source: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)

Indian industry has gained fame in management circles for jugaad, or persevering despite limited resources. This skill has proven particularly important in overcoming inadequate public services. However, the economy appears to have reached the limit of using jugaad in the place of good government, suggesting a lower growth trajectory in the absence of a major improvement in political dynamics.


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