Digitally Enabled Collective Action in the Global South

Event Date: 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Ellison Hall 3824

Steve Livingston

Professor of Media and Public and International Affairs, George Washington University

Considerable attention has been given to the probable effects of digital technologies on collective action in the Global North, especially concerning social movements in Europe and the United States. Less attention has been paid to digitally enabled collective action in the Global South. Livingston will speak to recent developments in digitally enabled collective action in places where the state is weak or altogether missing. The talk will be structured by 1) a reconsideration of failed or fragile state concept and 2) by a discussion of how digital technology plays a role in securing public goods. By lowering communication costs, including the collection of essential data, digital technology enables NGOs and community groups to organize and launch initiatives designed to fill governance vacuums left by the limited governance capacity of some states. In this respect, he will speak of alternative governance modalities that are strengthened by digital technologies. His talk builds on theoretical developments found in Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood (co-edited with Gregor Walter-Drop, Oxford University Press, 2014) and his Africa’s Information Revolution: Implications for Crime, Policing, and Citizen Security. The talk will also reflect his current work with Patrick Meier, Director of Social Innovation at the Qatar Computing Research Institute.
Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Center for Information Technology and Society