Reprogramming the World: Cyberspace and the Geography of Global Order

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We live in a world of “fake news”, data breaches, election hacking, and cyberwarfare. We live in a world in which 280 characters can change everything. Our analog past has been replaced with digital realities. The world itself is being reprogrammed. This statement might seem like a quippy metaphor, but it actually reveals something much more concrete. 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. Understanding these developments is critical to understanding the future of global society. 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.

About the author

P.J. Blount is a Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg in the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Finance. His research focuses on space and communications law. Previously he served as a Research Counsel and Instructor at the University of Mississippi School of Law; was a Visiting Scholar at the Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Law; and an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, Department of Political Science and Law. He holds a B.A. in English and an A.B.J. in Print Journalism from the University of Georgia; a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law; an LL.M. in Public International Law from King’s College London; and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University.


Table of contents

INTRODUCTION
1. THE PROBLEM OF NEW SPACES
PART I: NETWORKED GEOGRAPHY
2. CYBER LANDSCAPES
3. LEGAL TERRAINS
4. POLITICAL PLACES
INTERLUDE
5. THE NOMOS OF CYBERSPACE
PART II: DIGITAL ENCOUNTERS
6. CONFLICTING TERRITORIES
7. STANDARDIZING AUTHORITY
8. UNBORDERED RIGHTS
CONCLUSION
9. REPROGRAMMING THE WORLD

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