Identify and Sort: How Digital Power Changed World Politics

Paperback | July 28, 2016

byJosef Ansorge

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The advent of information technology ushered in new forms of political power. Machines play crucial roles in how states see, understand, and act, and scrutiny of these processes lies at the heart of Identify and Sort. It frames debates about IT in world politics, explaining how industrialsorting systems employed by political actors are renegotiating the social contract between individuals and the state. Ansorge takes the reader on a global expedition that tracks the historical antecedents of digital power, from Aztec and Inca rituals, to medieval filing systems, to a grandiose 1930sdesign for a German registry, to the databases used in US presidential campaigns and how IT is deployed in war and post-conflict reconstruction.Databases are also deployed virtually to record and act upon people who have no publicly visible identification or group consciousness; modern wars and election campaigns are fought on this individualised terrain. The uneven distribution of these technical capacities engenders inequality of access,while rights discourses and legal frameworks forged in an era of mass group discrimination, subjugation, and public resistance lag behind these micro-targeting practices. Rich in examples and ideas, Identify and Sort develops an analytical model and vocabulary to explain the functions and limits ofdigital power in world politics.

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The advent of information technology ushered in new forms of political power. Machines play crucial roles in how states see, understand, and act, and scrutiny of these processes lies at the heart of Identify and Sort. It frames debates about IT in world politics, explaining how industrialsorting systems employed by political actors are...

Josef Teboho Ansorge is a JD candidate at Yale Law School. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:July 28, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190245557

ISBN - 13:9780190245559

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Table of Contents

1. The Sovereign's DataThe National Security State's Rabbit HoleDigital PowerWhat this book is about10 Theses on Information Technology and Political Power2. The Ship3. The EarEar Cutting as a Punishment TechnologyEar Cutting to Identify PropertyThe Ear as a Site of Individual IdentificationThe Technological Future of the Ear4. Technics and TowersTechnics of PoliticsPeriodization and drive to TechnificationWhy the Technics SpreadObelisk, Panopticon, Cuntz's TowerThe PanopticonCuntz's Tower: The Manual Database5. The RitualAdministering Inca and Aztec RitualKhipuSystem FailureTheorizing the Ritual Mode6. The ArchiveMaps and CadastreCensus and StatisticsPassportsThe Card RegistryTheorizing the Archival ModeWeberBenjamin7. The DatabaseThe International and Digital PowerBarack Obama's Campaign MachineMigration, Terrorism, DataTheorizing the Digital ModeHusserlHeidegger8. The Network: Ontology in the Digital Mode9. Digital Power Goes To WarVision and OrientalismSeeing the FoeArithmetizing the Other and Data-Managing the FoeA World of Hidden IndicatorsWar-games, Wargames, War gamesRecruiting and Training with GamesWar as Entertainment10. Digital Power Does DevelopmentImages of Technology'Boomerang Effects', cut (crtl+c), and paste (ctrl+v)The FingerprintFingerprints ReduxTechnology as gift and dominationInformation Technology as LiberatorPost-Conflict Reconstruction in LiberiaDDR: Identity with no RecordSSR: Identified and SortedTribal Ontology vs. Obama's Database11. Resistance on our Planetary Ship of StateResistance and AppropriationAppendixCuntz's LetterTables and FiguresBibliographyEndnotes