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Information and the Global Liberal Order: How the Policy Regime That America Built Was Turned Against It

05 Oct
Friday, 10/05/2018 1:00pm
Thompson 420
The Futures Series
Speaker: Henry Farrell

Abstract: 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.

Bio: Henry Farrell is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He has previously been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, assistant professor at George Washington University and the University of Toronto, and a senior research fellow at the Max-Planck Project Group in Bonn, Germany. He works on a variety of topics, including democracy, the politics of the Internet and international and comparative political economy. His first book, The Political Economy of Trust: Interests, Institutions and Inter-Firm Cooperation, was published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press, and his second, (with Abraham Newman) Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Fight over Freedom and Security, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. In addition he has authored or co-authored 32 academic articles, as well as several book chapters and numerous non-academic publications. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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