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Reprogramming the World: Cyberspace and the Geography of Global Order

Author: P.J. Blount
Subject: International Relations
Source: E-International Relations


We live in a world of “fake news”, data breaches, election hacking, and cyberwarfare in which 280 characters can change everything. Our analog past has been replaced with digital realities. The central claim of this book is that digital technologies are rewiring the way that society understands and thinks about global order as Cyberspace changes the content of international borders. The idea of a reprogrammed world, then, is one that does double duty. First, it performs a metaphorical function and maps the language of computer science and technology onto the system of global order. Throughout this book, the reader will find the use of these metaphors as a way to explain how digital technologies affect governance. Second, it describes a real and actual process that requires evaluation of the design of the international governance system. While international governance has never been a static process, the reprogramming being described herein is extraordinarily different from previous shifts in international governance. It is not the result of a war or of a contingent of sovereigns negotiating rules; it is a technologically driven process that redistributes power within that system and challenges the core concept of territorial sovereignty.

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