Up until the very recent past, the US assumed that the liberal international information order that it had helped create served US political interests. The open flow of information limited the ability of authoritarian regimes to oppress their people, and helped spread democracy. An emphasis on self-regulation helped US technology firms to prevail internationally. Global institutions based on 'stakeholderism' rather than multilateralism prevented other states from seizing control of the process. After 2016, the US debate has changed radically. Many argue that open information flows damage US democracy, while self-regulated US firms seem out of control, and international institutions look entirely inadequate to supporting security and global order. In this talk, I draw from my own work and current collaborative work with Abraham Newman and Bruce Schneier to explain what happened, why things went wrong for the US, and how best to understand the current situation of US policy.
This talk is part of an interdisciplinary collaboration between the UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Information and Computer Sciences, and the Center for Smart and Connected Society. It is also part of the ongoing SBS Social Science Matters speaker series.
Free and open to the public!
Henry Farrell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Elliott School of International Affairs at the Columbian College of Arts and Science. He earned his BA in Politics and Economics, and an MA in Politics at University College Dublin, and received an MA in German and European Studies and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. Before coming to George Washington University, Dr. Farrell was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Institut in Bonn, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science of the University of Toronto.