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Rise of the Nerd: Knowledge, Power and International Relations in a Digital World
University of Bologna, Italy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7053-9752
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1526-0521
2023 (English)In: Digital International Relations: Technology, Agency and Order / [ed] Corneliu Bjola; Markus Kornprobst, London: Routledge, 2023Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter addresses the rise of the ‘computer nerd’ – a powerful yet under-researched actor in International Relations (IR). Software programmers, algorithm writers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) designers, digital network engineers, computer system administrators and other ‘computer nerds’ have tremendous power in the global information society. These types of experts and epistemic communities design, build, develop, monitor, augment and analyse computer networks, algorithms and ‘Big Data’ upon which contemporary politics, civil society and economies depend. We contend that the computer nerd stereotype – variously anchored to some degree in empirics, reputation and celebration as stereotypes typically are – has significant power in shaping global information society, something which begs scrutiny of this type of actor in IR. The type of expert power maintained by computer nerds is primarily of a system-shaping rather than relational kind. This system-shaping power consists of three subsets of nerd power: ‘design power’ that shapes the digital platforms and applications used by individuals and organisations; ‘connecting power’ that shapes the networks which allow real-time communication and digitalisation of infrastructure; and ‘analytical power’ which controls and produces knowledge of the digital world, including the increasing use of ‘Big Data’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2023.
Series
Routledge Studies in Conflict, Security and Technology
Keywords [en]
Computers, Experts, Nerds, Individual, Agency, Power, Technology, Cyber, Hackers
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-52368DOI: 10.4324/9781003437963-5Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85174144567ISBN: 9781003437963 (electronic)ISBN: 9781032571324 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-52368DiVA, id: diva2:1799151
Available from: 2023-09-21 Created: 2023-09-21 Last updated: 2023-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Johan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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