Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood

Paperback | January 21, 2014

EditorSteven Livingston, Gregor Walter-Drop

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Bits and Atoms explores the governance potential found in the explosive growth of digital information and communication technology in areas of limited statehood. Until recently, places without an effective state were also without the means to communicate internally or with the larger world.Entire communities - indeed entire nations - were cut off, and information was scarce and costly - but all of that has changed.Today, places with weak or altogether missing state institutions are tied internally and to the larger world by widely available digital technology. This book considers the political ramifications of the unparalleled growth of mobile phones around the world (6 billion subscriptions in 2013), variousopen source digital mapping platforms, high-resolution remote sensing satellites, and a variety of purpose-built software applications for the provision of collective goods. This revolution in access has created digitally enabled collective action in an era of relative information abundance as analternative governance modality in areas of limited statehood. The chapters in this book explore whether the growth in digital technology can fill the governance vacuum created by the absence of an effective state in North Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.Yet, as potentially revolutionary as this technology can be to areas of limited statehood, it still faces limitations. This alternative governance modality can alert others in the polity that medicine, effective policing, clean water, food, and sanitation are needed in a particular place and time,and it can facilitate more cost effective ways of getting them into place. But, as this book demonstrates, bits can only do so much in the provision of atoms. Bits and Atoms is a thought-provoking look at the prospects for and limitations of digital technology to function in place of traditionalstate apparatuses.

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Bits and Atoms explores the governance potential found in the explosive growth of digital information and communication technology in areas of limited statehood. Until recently, places without an effective state were also without the means to communicate internally or with the larger world.Entire communities - indeed entire nations - w...

Steven Livingston is Professor of Media and Public and International Affairs at the School of Public Affairs and Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, and he is the author of When The Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (Chicago, 2007), Clarifying the CNN Effect (Ha...

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Kobo ebook|Oct 24 2014

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 21, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199941610

ISBN - 13:9780199941612

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Table of Contents

Sina Odugbemi: Foreword1. Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop: IntroductionPart 1: Simulation, Consolidation, Opposition: ICT and Limited Statehood2. Muzammil M. Hussain and Philip N. Howard: Information Technology and the Limited States of the Arab Spring3. Gregory Asmolov: The Kremlin's Cameras and Virtual Potemkin Villages: ICT and the Construction of Statehood4. J. P. Singh: E-government as a Means of Development in India5. Joseph Siegle: ICT and Accountability in Areas of Limited Statehood6. Sharath Srinivasan: FrontlineSMS, Mobile-for-Development and the 'long tail' of governancePart 2: Substitution: ICT as a Tool for Non-State Governance7. Gregory Asmolov: Natural Disasters and Alternative Modes of Governance: the Role of Social Networks and Crowdsourcing Platforms in Russia8. Primoz Kovai and Jamie Lundine: Mapping Kibera. Empowering Slum Residents by ICT9. Patrick Meier: Crisis Mapping in Areas of Limited Statehood10. Peter van der Windt: From Crowdsourcing to Crowdseeding: The Cutting Edge of Empowerment?11. Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop: ConclusionsNotesReferencesIndex