The Information Society and the future of the nation state

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					The Information Society and the
   future of the nation state

            David Allen

           Nation State and the Panoptican


                  Electronic government
Nation State      increases the           Surveillance
                  states ability to

                           Enforce                2
    Issues covered in this lecture
• From Nation State to market place?
• The Individual and the State
• The future of Democracy in the Information
• State Control of Information
• Regionalisation - from the nation state to the city
• Crime and the State
• Regulation, Surveillance and the State                3
  1. Globalisation and the Nation
“ National law has no place in cyberlaw. Where is
  cyberspace? If you don’t like the banking laws in the
  United States, set up in the Grand Cayman Islands. Don’t
  like the copyright laws in the United States? Set up your
  machine in China. Cyberlaw is global law, which is not
  going to be easy to handle...I expect the nation-state to
  evaporate... before some global cybestate commands the
  political ether. Without question, the role of the nation
  state will change dramatically and there will be no more
  room from nationalism than there is for smallpox.”
  (Negroponte, 1996: 336)
    From Nation State to Global
          Market Place?
• Multi-Nationals choose geographical sites
  where they comparative advantage is
   – cheap labour force
   – Tax incentives
   – Low tax regimes
• Significant threat to states abilities to raise
  taxes from multi-nationals and therefore a
  threat to the welfare state?                      5
“Since 1983 Wales has attracted more than 350 overseas companies who
   between them have invested more than US$ 7 billion in their Welsh
   operations. Major companies investing in Wales include Nortel, British
   Airways, Ford, Bosch, Toyota, Sony, the Trustee Savings Bank and
• Inward Investment and Relocation Services include:
    – Advice on property selection, planning and construction through the
      WDA’s Property Services
    – Financial Incentives are available for some companies via the Welsh
    – A full range of Business Services to help plan, establish and develop a
      successful business in Wales
    – Advice and relocation support , which is essential in the often complex
      process of investment decision making, is provided by Team Wales”
     Multi-nationals dictate government
• September 1999: Glaxo Wellcome’s flu drug Relenza obtained a
  licence and was launched in UK.
• October 1999: National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice)
  recommended that it should not be prescribed on the NHS. Confirmed
  by UK Health Secretary, Frank Dobson.
• Glaxo Wellcome warned the Government that if took a hostile attitude
  to the development of new drugs, the industry would move its research
  base elsewhere.
• Glaxo Wellcome was backed by AstraZeneca and Smithkline
• Government maintained refusal to allow it to be prescribed on NHS.

• Glaxo Wellcome announce redundancies (worldwide but large % in       7
  2: The Individual and the State
• Free market in labour + restructuring of
  – The Knowledge Worker (The New
    Informational Elite)
     •   Not tied to any one geographical location
     •   Highly skilled and highly paid
     •   Working in a global common language
     •   Working over networks

But what about the rest...?
           Regionalisation and
• From the nation state to
  the city state (Hong
• From national to regional
  communities (Community
• Globalized Virtual
  (“Networks of Interest”)
• Cultural and economic
        Cyberspace and Virtual
      Communities (“Networks of Interest”)
• Wherever you are spatially you have a ‘virtual’
• Augments not replaces physical community.
• As society fragments ‘atomises’ - internet brings us
• New freedoms for disadvantaged - allows one to by-pass
  the barriers of gender/class/ disability.
• Virtual reality - taking it all a BIT further...

    3. The future of Democracy in
        the Information Society
demos = people, kratos = power
• direct democracy promoted by the new electronic means, tools and methods
   (information networks)
• new opportunities to have influence on common matters and decision making (to
   get heard and seen)
• the original form of democracy was of direct democracy (vs. contemporary
   representative democracy)
• now the new technology removes the problems of time and space: in theory,
   everybody may speak up
• there is an obvious demand for the direct democracy, people want to have more
   control over their own things (or do they?)
• "to know implies can"?
• direct democracy would not abandon representative one, it would support it
   example: televoting
• the goal: to make it possible for citizens to be a part of the decision making process
   already in the beginning of the process
Democracy based on Technology
“ all middlemen in the new electronic
   world, political representatives will have to
   justify their roles. The network will put the
   spotlight on them as never won’t
   be long before a senator receives a million
   pieces of e-mail on a topic or has his beeper
   announce the results of a real-time opinion
   poll of his constituents. (Gates, 1996, 308)
            Community politics?
• Politicians in this turbulent age as puppets of the digital
• Politicians so overwhelmed by deluge of ‘contact’ from
  constituents that accountability and interest in voter
  feedback declines- grassroots become irrelevant -
  politicians become representatives of corporate patrons/
• The proliferation information produced by the minority
  (e.g. Far Right’ - E-mail - WWW- Games)
• The mediation of control leads to loss of individual
  accountability and the sanitation of political decisions.
  4. Netwar and State Control of
“The term netwar refers to conflict (and
  crime) at societal levels where the
  protagonists rely on network forms of
  organization and technologies. (Rondfelt
  and Martinez, 1998:369)

• mass media
• low cost globalization
• communication without censorship
• subversive potential
• more ‘command and control’ - ‘rapid
  response times’
• Lack particular national identity
• Multi-organizational networks         15
            Guerrilla Warfare
• Mao Tse-Tung “because guerrilla warfare
  basically derives from the masses and is supported
  by them, it can neither exist nor flourish if it
  separates itself from their sympathies and co-
  operation” (Griffiths, 1978: 41)
• Greater Mobility than conventional enemy forces
• Detailed knowledge of the geographical area
• Better intelligence systems than its enemy - which
  must include a high level of security (Cross, 1962)
    Use by sub-state groups: 3C I
• Propaganda and lobbying
    –   e-mail services
    –   fax broadcasts
    –   WWW sites
    –   communities of interest
•   Hacking
•   E-mail bombs
•   Electronic fraud and cybercrime
•   Planning and control              17
      Propaganda and lobbying
          : The Zapatistas
“The first informational guerrilla movement”
  (Castells, 1997: 73)
Zapastista Front of National Liberation (FZLN)
Chiapas 95 - Accion Zapastista de Austin
Ya Basta (EZLN) []
“The revolutionary forces of the future may consist increasingly of
   widespread multi- organizational networks that have no particular
   national identity, claim to arise from civil society, and include
   aggressive groups and individuals who are keenly adept at using
   advanced technologies for communications, as well as
   munitions.” ( Arquilla and Rondfeldt, 1993 as quoted by Castells,
   1997: 81)
• !Zapatistas!: Documents of the New Mexican Revolution
• gopher://

              Hacking: East Timor
Timor Today- East Timor International Support Centre
ETAN/US - The East Timor Action Network/ United States
Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia. [http://www.dfa-]
“You might try to restrict information, but technology enables us to stand
   as equals”
Hacking the military/civil infrastructure...
Masters of Downloading
LOpht (Brosnan 20/5/98) []                       21
E-mail bombs: Denial of Service
• DUP posted cartoons lampooning Gerry
  Adams on the internet - site closed down
• A Basque site presenting information
  supporting Eta - site closed down by a
  concentrated spam and e-mail bombs
  organised by a Spanish Newspaper

 Electronic fraud and cybercrime
Information Economy:
   – Logic bombs and banks
   – Hacking air traffic control
   – fiction?
“The difficulty in arriving at reliable results in such
  surveys... is exacerbated by the fact that more than
  85% of computer fraud goes unreported as
  institutions seek to preserve their reputations for
  secure practice (Rathmell et al, 1998)
 Communication: MRTP - Tupac

      Planning: Globalisation of protest

•   Particularly powerful tool for global co-ordination of NGOs on global themes…
•   1,200 NGO’s in 87 countries co-ordinate calls for reform of WTO (
•   Environmental...
Control: World Economic Forum
A mounted policeman charges
   protesters during clashes
   outside the Melbourne venue of
   the World Economic Forum
   September 11, 2000. Thousands
   surrounded the venue in an
   attempt to block some of the
   world's most influential
   business leaders from attending
   the conference, claiming that
   the forum does nothing to help
   the world's poor and developing
   countries. REUTERS/Jason
   Reed                              26
  Reservations: guerrilla warfare
           and the net
• Regulation
• Those with access/ skills have most to lose from
  revolutionary actions.
• In the Middle East and Latin America resistance from the
  ‘info poor’.
• Direct action on the internet doesn’t work.
• Western (US) Audience.
• Low technology still predominates.
• Encryption…

     Net increasingly ‘normalised’
• Official information “news is..the site of social
  competition among interest groups and individuals
  struggling to influence the representation of themselves to
  the eyes of the watching ‘we’ (Ignatieff, 1999:27).
  Homogenized, tabloidised, linked to military

• “Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch
  him, by ours. There are no need for wardens or gates or
  Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted
  by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual
  round of entertainment's, when serious public conversation
  becomes a form of baby talk, when, in short, a people
  become an audience and their public business a vaudeville
  act..” (Postman, 1986: 161)                               28
           5. Regionalisation
• From the nation state to the city state?
• From national to regional communities.
• From politics of exclusion to the politics of
• Cyberspace and Community Networks

                  MAN in the UK
• Definition of a MAN remains rather imprecise
• Regional/local networks set up by the JISC
• Management contract awarded to a local university
• LAN uses high speed links to connect buildings close
  together (under 10km) and part of an organisation
• WAN links different management domains independent of
  geography and at much slower speeds
• MAN serves a geographic area beyond LAN technologies,
  but restricted by a defined community of interest, such as a
  city and its surroundings.
         The Country MAN
• Can link non-metropolitan areas and thus has
  potential to cover the whole of the UK
• FaTMAN (Fife and Tayside MAN) covers a
  mixture of rural and urban areas
• Dundee has a population of only 250,000
• Links 3 universities – Abertay, Dundee and St
  Andrews plus Northern College.
• Length of initial fibre optic network 48km
• Data transfer rate is 155M using ATM
     Networks in other sectors
• Narrower purpose, or poorer funding.
• Local authority networks
   – concerned with administration and financial
     control of the parent body
   – No remit for information sharing
• National Health Service networks
   – patient administration (obsession with secrecy
     on grounds of patient confidentiality)
   – inability to support cross-sectoral networking.
  Cyberspace and Community Networks
  (Freenets, Virtual Cities, Civic Networks, Electronic Village Halls)

• Network of computers with modems that
  are interconnected via telephone lines to a
  central computer.
  – provide community information,
  – provide a means for the community to
    communicate electronically,
  – focus on access for all,
  – Founded on a belief that the system can
    strengthen and vitalise existing communities.                        33
   From the individual within anarchy to
       individual within community
• The politicisation of existing physical community
  using electronic medium.
• Emergence of New ‘Politicians’ who are
  representatives of the on-line communities of
  interest .
• Technology as the basis for Social Inclusion

         6. Crime and the State

• The age of Rage?
• Globalised Linkage of Crime:
  –   Money Laundering (Russian Mafia)
  –   Pornographers
  –   White Collar Crime
  –   When the criminals know more than the police

   7. Regulation, Surveillance and the
• “Freedom of discussion is thus not merely a safeguard against
  the abuse of authority in democracy, but a condition of
  democracy itself’ (Ben and Peters, 1959: 352 as quoted by Rabb,
  1997 in Loader, 1997: 161)
• The absence of surveillance and protection of privacy are
  therefore necessary conditions of both liberal and participative
• Then how does the state protect itself?
• Not Big Brother but the gathering of information on individuals
  Little Sisters - by business firms, and organisations of all kinds,
  and in the creation of a market for this information.
 Selling the Future

• Political landscape is changing
• New Possibilities
• New Threats


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