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Title: Information technology and the state : the long view
Author: Kavanagh, Camino
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 8112
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation is concerned with the historic relationship between information technologies and the state. It seeks to demonstrate continuity in the way information technology has privileged rather than diminished sovereignty, notably how governments have a consistency sought to control and exploit information technology as a means to enhance state power. Commencing with the optical telegraph in the late eighteenth century, it uses the lens of five strategic infection points in the history of information technology development to examine the context within which the technologies emerged, their subsequent dispersion and the strategic and geopolitical considerations shaping patterns of state behaviour around the technologies, assessing these against the backdrop of shifts in international order. The case studies establish that the dual-use nature of information technologies, the presumption of power attributed to information itself and the effects of the technologies can be tailored to produce, have consistently accentuated the role of the state, and its will to compete a constant throughout history, regardless of the nature of international order and the legitimating principles underpinning it. Importantly, the study also demonstrates that tensions provoked by the interplay of strategic interests, geopolitics and the technologies have generally been accommodated within the existing international system, which, for many states, continues to reflect the Westphalian world of borders. Such arrangements- imperfect as they are- have consistently helped attenuate competing unilateral and collective interests, the consequences of which are evidence in today's extensive IT -related regime complex,the seeds of which were sown in the late eighteenth century.
Supervisor: Philpott, William James ; Betz, David James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available