Summary and Info
American policy towards the internet has been the subject of popular debate, from the Iranian Green Revolution to Edward Snowden's revelations about Internet surveillance. This book examines the internet as a form of power in global politics, taking into account the significance of global material culture upon theories of international relations to reconsider how technology is understood as a form of social power. Examining American Internet policy as the product of the Open Door tradition in US foreign relations, McCarthy suggests that American policy officials actively promote the construction and maintenance of a network that maintains a 'free flow of information' in order to spread liberal democratic capitalism internationally. The book argues that technology is a form of institutional power that reflects the cultural values of its creators – in the case of the Internet, it reflects the cultural values of American liberal capitalism. Considered in this way, our theoretical conceptualization of technology and power is altered, pushing our analyses to consider the sociotechnical production of global order as the product of an uneven and combined global political economy. A unique and topical contribution to internet governance studies, this book will be a valuable resource to scholars of International Relations Theory, Global Politics and Technology Studies.