Fall 2016


Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-370


Stephen E. Laizer (Section 01)
Ruxandra Paul (Section 01)


[G, SC] The digital age shapes politics around the world, in democracies and dictatorships.  New information and communication technologies (ICTs) influence political processes, state-society interactions, markets, and policy-making at all levels. They raise questions for research areas as diverse as sovereignty, elections and campaigns, democratization, protest, repression, war and security policy, terrorism and counterterrorism, trade, currency policy, international cooperation, immigration and diaspora politics, identity, and citizenship.

The course asks four big questions: (1) How does digital technology change democratic politics? (2) How do ICTs challenge authoritarian regimes?  (3) Do ICTs boost or undermine international security? (4) Will ICTs render states obsolete by empowering subnational and supranational actors? These structure the seminar in four modules: e-Democracy (social capital, participation, elections, accountability); online revolutions and repression (resistance, mobilization, online censorship and surveillance); cyber security (cyberwar, terrorism, hacking, intelligence, privacy); and beyond the state (international cooperation, markets, transnational activism, digital currencies, subnational actors and transnational networks).

We use current issues and cases (e.g. #Occupy, #BlackLivesMatter, net neutrality, the Arab Spring, online radicalization, the Snowden revelations, Bitcoin, Anonymous ops, Internet censorship in China, etc.) to analyze how cyberspace reshapes politics and political science as a discipline. Students will gain a rigorous and sophisticated understanding of the relationship between technology and politics. The course will help students design, develop, and conduct research in political science.

Requisite: At least one Political Science course (200 level or above). Limited to 18 students.  Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Paul.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to juniors, then to a balance of sophomores and seniors.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2021