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The Information Revolution, Security and International Relations: (IR)relevant Theory?
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political science. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden.
Università di Bologna, Italy.
2006 (English)In: International Political Science Review, ISSN 0192-5121, E-ISSN 1460-373X, Vol. 27, no 3, 221-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is twofold: to analyze the impact of the information revolution on security and to clarify what existing international relations theory can say about this challenge. These pertinent questions are initially addressed by a critical review of past research. This review shows that the concern for security issues is largely confined to a specialist literature on information warfare and cyber-security, while neither the general literature on information society nor security studies pay any serious attention to information-technology-related security issues. The specialist literature is mostly policy oriented, and only very rarely informed by theory, whether from the international relations discipline or any other field. In this article, three general international relations “schools” (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) are scrutinized with regard to what they can say about security in the digital age. It is argued that the liberal focus on pluralism, interdependence, and globalization, the constructivist emphasis on language, symbols, and images (including “virtuality”), and some elements of realist strategic studies (on information warfare) contribute to an understanding of digital-age security. Finally, it is suggested that pragmatism might help to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and overcome the dualistic, contending nature of international relations theories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 27, no 3, 221-244 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-6726DOI: 10.1177/0192512106064462ISI: 000239998300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33746787614OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-6726DiVA: diva2:404030
Available from: 2011-03-15 Created: 2011-03-14 Last updated: 2014-03-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf