Sandra Braman

Sandra Braman is Abbott Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. She is the editor of Communication Researchers and Policy-Making (MIT Press, 2003).

  • Change of State

    Change of State

    Information, Policy, and Power

    Sandra Braman

    How control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power: theoretical foundations and empirical examples of information policy in the U.S., an innovator informational state.

    As the informational state replaces the bureaucratic welfare state, control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power. In Change of State Sandra Braman examines the theoretical and practical ramifications of this "change of state." She looks at the ways in which governments are deliberate, explicit, and consistent in their use of information policy to exercise power, exploring not only such familiar topics as intellectual property rights and privacy but also areas in which policy is highly effective but little understood. Such lesser-known issues include hybrid citizenship, the use of "functionally equivalent borders" internally to allow exceptions to U.S. law, research funding, census methods, and network interconnection. Trends in information policy, argues Braman, both manifest and trigger change in the nature of governance itself.After laying the theoretical, conceptual, and historical foundations for understanding the informational state, Braman examines 20 information policy principles found in the U.S Constitution. She then explores the effects of U.S. information policy on the identity, structure, borders, and change processes of the state itself and on the individuals, communities, and organizations that make up the state. Looking across the breadth of the legal system, she presents current law as well as trends in and consequences of several information policy issues in each category affected.

    Change of State introduces information policy on two levels, coupling discussions of specific contemporary problems with more abstract analysis drawing on social theory and empirical research as well as law. Most important, the book provides a way of understanding how information policy brings about the fundamental social changes that come with the transformation to the informational state.

    Funding for the OA edition is provided by Texas A&M University.

    • Hardcover $39.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Communication Researchers and Policy-making

    Communication Researchers and Policy-making

    Sandra Braman

    A sourcebook on the multiple relationships between the communication research and policy making communities over the last hundred years.

    As the global information infrastructure evolves, the field of communication has the opportunity to renew itself while addressing the urgent policy need for new ways of thinking and new data to think about. Communication Researchers and Policy-making examines diverse relationships between the communication research and policy communities over more than a century and the issues that arise out of those interactions. The book provides primary material in the form of reports on such relationships spanning time periods, subject matter, policy issues, decision-making venues, and governments. The essays range from historical pieces on the importance of communication research since the beginning of systematic policy analysis and on the various roles that researchers can play to contemporary analyses of contributions of research to policy debates over network design and access, media violence, and advertising fraud. Substantial interstitial essays by the editor explore the impact of the policy context on communication theories and research practices, relationships between researchers and their institutional homes, the role of communication researchers as public intellectuals, and ways to maximize the impact of communication research on policy-making during this period of infrastructural transformation. The book includes an extensive bibliography.

    • Paperback $47.00

Contributor

  • Cyberinsurance Policy

    Rethinking Risk in an Age of Ransomware, Computer Fraud, Data Breaches, and Cyberattacks

    Josephine Wolff

    Why cyberinsurance has not improved cybersecurity and what governments can do to make it a more effective tool for cyber risk management.

    As cybersecurity incidents—ranging from data breaches and denial-of-service attacks to computer fraud and ransomware—become more common, a cyberinsurance industry has emerged to provide coverage for any resulting liability, business interruption, extortion payments, regulatory fines, or repairs. In this book, Josephine Wolff offers the first comprehensive history of cyberinsurance, from the early “Internet Security Liability” policies in the late 1990s to the expansive coverage offered today. Drawing on legal records, government reports, cyberinsurance policies, and interviews with regulators and insurers, Wolff finds that cyberinsurance has not improved cybersecurity or reduced cyber risks.

    Wolff examines the development of cyberinsurance, comparing it to other insurance sectors, including car and flood insurance; explores legal disputes between insurers and policyholders about whether cyber-related losses were covered under policies designed for liability, crime, or property and casualty losses; and traces the trend toward standalone cyberinsurance policies and government efforts to regulate and promote the industry. Cyberinsurance, she argues, is ineffective at curbing cybersecurity losses because it normalizes the payment of online ransoms, whereas the goal of cybersecurity is the opposite—to disincentivize such payments to make ransomware less profitable. An industry built on modeling risk has found itself confronted by new technologies before the risks posed by those technologies can be fully understood.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Farm Fresh Broadband

    Farm Fresh Broadband

    The Politics of Rural Connectivity

    Christopher Ali

    An analysis of the failure of U.S. broadband policy to solve the rural–urban digital divide, with a proposal for a new national rural broadband plan.

    As much of daily life migrates online, broadband—high-speed internet connectivity—has become a necessity. The widespread lack of broadband in rural America has created a stark urban–rural digital divide. In Farm Fresh Broadband, Christopher Ali analyzes the promise and the failure of national rural broadband policy in the United States and proposes a new national broadband plan. He examines how broadband policies are enacted and implemented, explores business models for broadband providers, surveys the technologies of rural broadband, and offers case studies of broadband use in the rural Midwest.

    Ali argues that rural broadband policy is both broken and incomplete: broken because it lacks coordinated federal leadership and incomplete because it fails to recognize the important roles of communities, cooperatives, and local providers in broadband access. For example, existing policies favor large telecommunication companies, crowding out smaller, nimbler providers. Lack of competition drives prices up—rural broadband can cost 37 percent more than urban broadband. The federal government subsidizes rural broadband by approximately $6 billion. Where does the money go?Ali proposes democratizing policy architecture for rural broadband, modeling it after the wiring of rural America for electricity and telephony. Subsidies should be equalized, not just going to big companies. The result would be a multistakeholder system, guided by thoughtful public policy and funded by public and private support.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Red Lines

    Red Lines

    Political Cartoons and the Struggle against Censorship

    Cherian George and Sonny Liew

    A lively graphic narrative reports on censorship of political cartoons around the world, featuring interviews with censored cartoonists from Pittsburgh to Beijing.

    Why do the powerful feel so threatened by political cartoons? Cartoons don't tell secrets or move markets. Yet, as Cherian George and Sonny Liew show us in Red Lines, cartoonists have been harassed, trolled, sued, fired, jailed, attacked, and assassinated for their insolence. The robustness of political cartooning—one of the most elemental forms of political speech—says something about the health of democracy. In a lively graphic narrative—illustrated by Liew, himself a prize-winning cartoonist—Red Lines crisscrosses the globe to feel the pulse of a vocation under attack.

    A Syrian cartoonist insults the president and has his hands broken by goons. An Indian cartoonist stands up to misogyny and receives rape threats. An Israeli artist finds his antiracist works censored by social media algorithms. And the New York Times, caught in the crossfire of the culture wars, decides to stop publishing editorial cartoons completely. Red Lines studies thin-skinned tyrants, the invisible hand of market censorship, and demands in the name of social justice to rein in the right to offend. It includes interviews with more than sixty cartoonists and insights from art historians, legal scholars, and political scientists—all presented in graphic form. This engaging account makes it clear that cartoon censorship doesn't just matter to cartoonists and their fans. When the red lines are misapplied, all citizens are potential victims.

    • Paperback $34.95
  • Seeing Human Rights

    Seeing Human Rights

    Video Activism as a Proxy Profession

    Sandra Ristovska

    As video becomes an important tool to expose injustice, an examination of how human rights organizations are seeking to professionalize video activism.

    Visual imagery is at the heart of humanitarian and human rights activism, and video has become a key tool in these efforts. The Saffron Revolution in Myanmar, the Green Movement in Iran, and Black Lives Matter in the United States have all used video to expose injustice. In Seeing Human Rights, Sandra Ristovska examines how human rights organizations are seeking to professionalize video activism through video production, verification standards, and training. The result, she argues, is a proxy profession that uses human rights videos to tap into journalism, the law, and political advocacy.

    Ristovska explains that this proxy profession retains some tactical flexibility in its use of video while giving up on the more radical potential and imaginative scope of video activism as a cultural practice. Drawing on detailed analysis of legal cases and videos as well as extensive interviews with staff members of such organizations as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, WITNESS, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ristovska considers the unique affordances of video and examines the unfolding relationships among journalists, human rights organizations, activists, and citizens in global crisis reporting. She offers a case study of the visual turn in the law; describes advocacy and marketing strategies; and argues that the transformation of video activism into a proxy profession privileges institutional and legal spaces over broader constituencies for public good.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Researching Internet Governance

    Researching Internet Governance

    Methods, Frameworks, Futures

    Laura DeNardis, Derrick Cogburn, Nanette S. Levinson, and Francesca Musiani

    A multidisciplinary book that takes internet governance research as a research subject in its own right, discussing methods and conceptual approaches.

    The design and governance of the internet has become one of the most pressing geopolitical issues of our era. The stability of the economy, democracy, and the public sphere depend on the stability and security of the internet. Revelations about election hacking, facial recognition technology, and government surveillance have gotten the public's attention and made clear the need for scholarly research that examines internet governance both empirically and conceptually. In this volume, scholars from a range of disciplines consider research methods, theories, and conceptual approaches in the study of internet governance.

    The contributors show that internet governance is not only about governments; it is enacted through technical design, resource coordination, and conflicts at various invisible control points. They discuss such topics as the emergence of “internet governance” as an area of academic study and a real-world policy arena; the scholarly perspectives of STS, the law, computer science, and political science; the use of big data and text mining in internet governance studies; and cybersecurity.

    The open access edition of this book was published with the support of a generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative to the Internet Governance Lab at American University

    ContributorsFarzaneh Badiei, Davide Beraldo, Sandra Braman, Ronald J. Deibert, Dame Wendy Hall, Jeanette Hofmann, Eric Jardine, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Aastha Madaan, Stefania Milan, Milton Mueller, Kieron O'Hara, Niels ten Oever, Rolf H. Weber

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Design Justice

    Design Justice

    Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need

    Sasha Costanza-Chock

    An exploration of how design might be led by marginalized communities, dismantle structural inequality, and advance collective liberation and ecological survival.

    What is the relationship between design, power, and social justice? “Design justice” is an approach to design that is led by marginalized communities and that aims expilcitly to challenge, rather than reproduce, structural inequalities. It has emerged from a growing community of designers in various fields who work closely with social movements and community-based organizations around the world.

    This book explores the theory and practice of design justice, demonstrates how universalist design principles and practices erase certain groups of people—specifically, those who are intersectionally disadvantaged or multiply burdened under the matrix of domination (white supremacist heteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and settler colonialism)—and invites readers to “build a better world, a world where many worlds fit; linked worlds of collective liberation and ecological sustainability.” Along the way, the book documents a multitude of real-world community-led design practices, each grounded in a particular social movement. Design Justice goes beyond recent calls for design for good, user-centered design, and employment diversity in the technology and design professions; it connects design to larger struggles for collective liberation and ecological survival.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Knowledge Unlatched and the MIT Press Frank Urbanowski Memorial Fund.

    • Paperback $25.00
  • Fake News

    Fake News

    Understanding Media and Misinformation in the Digital Age

    Melissa Zimdars and Kembrew McLeod

    New perspectives on the misinformation ecosystem that is the production and circulation of fake news.

    What is fake news? Is it an item on Breitbart, an article in The Onion, an outright falsehood disseminated via Russian bot, or a catchphrase used by a politician to discredit a story he doesn't like? This book examines the real fake news: the constant flow of purposefully crafted, sensational, emotionally charged, misleading or totally fabricated information that mimics the form of mainstream news. Rather than viewing fake news through a single lens, the book maps the various kinds of misinformation through several different disciplinary perspectives, taking into account the overlapping contexts of politics, technology, and journalism.

    The contributors consider topics including fake news as “disorganized” propaganda; folkloric falsehood in the “Pizzagate” conspiracy; native advertising as counterfeit news; the limitations of regulatory reform and technological solutionism; Reddit's enabling of fake news; the psychological mechanisms by which people make sense of information; and the evolution of fake news in America. A section on media hoaxes and satire features an oral history of and an interview with prankster-activists the Yes Men, famous for parodies that reveal hidden truths. Finally, contributors consider possible solutions to the complex problem of fake news—ways to mitigate its spread, to teach students to find factually accurate information, and to go beyond fact-checking.

    ContributorsMark Andrejevic, Benjamin Burroughs, Nicholas Bowman, Mark Brewin, Elizabeth Cohen, Colin Doty, Dan Faltesek, Johan Farkas, Cherian George, Tarleton Gillespie, Dawn R. Gilpin, Gina Giotta, Theodore Glasser, Amanda Ann Klein, Paul Levinson, Adrienne Massanari, Sophia A. McClennen, Kembrew McLeod, Panagiotis Takis Metaxas, Paul Mihailidis, Benjamin Peters, Whitney Phillips, Victor Pickard, Danielle Polage, Stephanie Ricker Schulte, Leslie-Jean Thornton, Anita Varma, Claire Wardle, Melissa Zimdars, Sheng Zou

    • Paperback $38.00
  • Zoning China

    Zoning China

    Online Video, Popular Culture, and the State

    Luzhou Li

    An examination of “cultural zoning” in China considers why government regulation of online video is so much more lenient than regulation of broadcast television.

    In Zoning China, Luzhou Li investigates why the Chinese government regulates online video relatively leniently while tightly controlling what appears on broadcast television. Li argues that television has largely been the province of the state, even as the market has dominated the development of online video. Thus online video became a space where people could question state media and the state's preferred ideological narratives about the nation, history, and society. Li connects this relatively unregulated arena to the “second channel” that opened up in the early days of economic reform—piracy in all its permutations. She compares the dual cultural sphere to China's economic zoning; the marketized domain of online video is the cultural equivalent of the Special Economic Zones, which were developed according to market principles in China's coastal cities.

    Li explains that although the relaxed oversight of online video may seem to represent a loosening of the party-state's grip on media, the practice of cultural zoning in fact demonstrates the the state's strategic control of the media environment. She describes how China's online video industry developed into an original, creative force of production and distribution that connected domestic private production companies, transnational corporations, and a vast network of creative labor from amateurs to professional content creators. Li notes that China has increased state management of the internet since 2014, signaling that online and offline censorship standards may be unified. Cultural zoning as a technique of cultural governance, however, will likely remain.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Human Rights in the Age of Platforms

    Human Rights in the Age of Platforms

    Rikke Frank Jørgensen

    Scholars from across law and internet and media studies examine the human rights implications of today's platform society.

    Today such companies as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter play an increasingly important role in how users form and express opinions, encounter information, debate, disagree, mobilize, and maintain their privacy. What are the human rights implications of an online domain managed by privately owned platforms? According to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the UN Human Right Council in 2011, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence. But this goal is dependent on the willingness of states to encode such norms into business regulations and of companies to comply. In this volume, contributors from across law and internet and media studies examine the state of human rights in today's platform society.

    The contributors consider the “datafication” of society, including the economic model of data extraction and the conceptualization of privacy. They examine online advertising, content moderation, corporate storytelling around human rights, and other platform practices. Finally, they discuss the relationship between human rights law and private actors, addressing such issues as private companies' human rights responsibilities and content regulation.

    Open access edition published with generous support from Knowledge Unlatched and the Danish Council for Independent Research.

    ContributorsAnja Bechmann, Fernando Bermejo, Agnès Callamard, Mikkel Flyverbom, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Molly K. Land, Tarlach McGonagle, Jens-Erik Mai, Joris van Hoboken, Glen Whelan, Jillian C. York, Shoshana Zuboff, Ethan Zuckerman

    • Paperback $30.00
  • The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities

    The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities

    Russell A. Newman

    An argument that the movement for network neutrality was of a piece with its neoliberal environment, solidifying the continued existence of a commercially driven internet.

    Media reform activists rejoiced in 2015 when the FCC codified network neutrality, approving a set of Open Internet rules that prohibitedproviders from favoring some content and applications over others—only to have their hopes dashed two years later when the agency reversed itself. In this book, Russell Newman offers a unique perspective on these events, arguing that the movement for network neutrality was of a piece with its neoliberal environment rather than counter to it; perversely, it served to solidify the continued existence of a commercially dominant internet and even emergent modes of surveillance and platform capitalism. Going beyond the usual policy narrative of open versus closed networks, or public interest versus corporate power, Newman uses network neutrality as a lens through which to examine the ways that neoliberalism renews and reconstitutes itself, the limits of particular forms of activism, and the shaping of future regulatory processes and policies.

    Newman explores the debate's roots in the 1990s movement for open access, the transition to network neutrality battles in the 2000s, and the terms in which these battles were fought. By 2017, the debate had become unmoored from its own origins, and an emerging struggle against “neoliberal sincerity” points to a need to rethink activism surrounding media policy reform itself.

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • Reluctant Power

    Reluctant Power

    Networks, Corporations, and the Struggle for Global Governance in the Early 20th Century

    Rita Zajácz

    How early twentieth-century American policymakers sought to gain control over radiotelegraphy networks in an effort to advance the global position of the United States.

    In Reluctant Power, Rita Zajácz examines how early twentieth century American policymakers sought to gain control over radiotelegraphy networks in an effort to advance the global position of the United States. Doing so, she develops an analytical framework for understanding the struggle for network control that can be applied not only to American attempts to establish a global radio network in the early twentieth century but also to current US efforts to retain control of the internet.

    In the late nineteenth century, Britain was seen to control both the high seas and the global cable communication network under the sea. By the turn of the twentieth century, Britain's geopolitical rivals, including the United States, looked to radiotelegraphy that could circumvent Britain's dominance. Zajácz traces policymakers' attempts to grapple with both a new technology—radiotelegraphy—and a new corporate form: the multinational corporation, which managed the network and acted as a crucial intermediary. She argues that both foreign policy and domestic radio legislation were shaped by the desire to harness radiotelegraphy for geopolitical purposes and reveals how communication policy and aspects of the American legal system adjusted to the demands of a rising power. The United States was a reluctant power during the early twentieth century, because policymakers were unsure that companies headquartered in the United States were sufficiently American and doubted that their strategies served the national interest.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust

    The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust

    Kevin Werbach

    How the blockchain—a system built on foundations of mutual mistrust—can become trustworthy.

    The blockchain entered the world on January 3, 2009, introducing an innovative new trust architecture: an environment in which users trust a system—for example, a shared ledger of information—without necessarily trusting any of its components. The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the most famous implementation of the blockchain, but hundreds of other companies have been founded and billions of dollars invested in similar applications since Bitcoin's launch. Some see the blockchain as offering more opportunities for criminal behavior than benefits to society. In this book, Kevin Werbach shows how a technology resting on foundations of mutual mistrust can become trustworthy.

    The blockchain, built on open software and decentralized foundations that allow anyone to participate, seems like a threat to any form of regulation. In fact, Werbach argues, law and the blockchain need each other. Blockchain systems that ignore law and governance are likely to fail, or to become outlaw technologies irrelevant to the mainstream economy. That, Werbach cautions, would be a tragic waste of potential. If, however, we recognize the blockchain as a kind of legal technology that shapes behavior in new ways, it can be harnessed to create tremendous business and social value.

    • Hardcover $27.95
  • You'll See This Message When It Is Too Late

    You'll See This Message When It Is Too Late

    The Legal and Economic Aftermath of Cybersecurity Breaches

    Josephine Wolff

    What we can learn from the aftermath of cybersecurity breaches and how we can do a better job protecting online data.

    Cybersecurity incidents make the news with startling regularity. Each breach—the theft of 145.5 million Americans' information from Equifax, for example, or the Russian government's theft of National Security Agency documents, or the Sony Pictures data dump—makes headlines, inspires panic, instigates lawsuits, and is then forgotten. The cycle of alarm and amnesia continues with the next attack, and the one after that. In this book, cybersecurity expert Josephine Wolff argues that we shouldn't forget about these incidents, we should investigate their trajectory, from technology flaws to reparations for harm done to their impact on future security measures. We can learn valuable lessons in the aftermath of cybersecurity breaches.

    Wolff describes a series of significant cybersecurity incidents between 2005 and 2015, mapping the entire life cycle of each breach in order to identify opportunities for defensive intervention. She outlines three types of motives underlying these attacks—financial gain, espionage, and public humiliation of the victims—that have remained consistent through a decade of cyberattacks, offers examples of each, and analyzes the emergence of different attack patterns. The enormous TJX breach in 2006, for instance, set the pattern for a series of payment card fraud incidents that led to identity fraud and extortion; the Chinese army conducted cyberespionage campaigns directed at U.S.-based companies from 2006 to 2014, sparking debate about the distinction between economic and political espionage; and the 2014 breach of the Ashley Madison website was aimed at reputations rather than bank accounts.

    • Hardcover $29.95
  • Designing an Internet

    Designing an Internet

    David D. Clark

    Why the Internet was designed to be the way it is, and how it could be different, now and in the future.

    How do you design an internet? The architecture of the current Internet is the product of basic design decisions made early in its history. What would an internet look like if it were designed, today, from the ground up? In this book, MIT computer scientist David Clark explains how the Internet is actually put together, what requirements it was designed to meet, and why different design decisions would create different internets. He does not take today's Internet as a given but tries to learn from it, and from alternative proposals for what an internet might be, in order to draw some general conclusions about network architecture.

    Clark discusses the history of the Internet, and how a range of potentially conflicting requirements—including longevity, security, availability, economic viability, management, and meeting the needs of society—shaped its character. He addresses both the technical aspects of the Internet and its broader social and economic contexts. He describes basic design approaches and explains, in terms accessible to nonspecialists, how networks are designed to carry out their functions. (An appendix offers a more technical discussion of network functions for readers who want the details.) He considers a range of alternative proposals for how to design an internet, examines in detail the key requirements a successful design must meet, and then imagines how to design a future internet from scratch. It's not that we should expect anyone to do this; but, perhaps, by conceiving a better future, we can push toward it.

    • Hardcover $32.95
  • Digital Lifeline?

    Digital Lifeline?

    ICTs for Refugees and Displaced Persons

    Carleen Maitland

    Interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of new information technologies, including mobile phones, wireless networks, and biometric identification, in the global refugee crisis.

    Today's global refugee crisis has mobilized humanitarian efforts to help those fleeing persecution and armed conflict at all stages of their journey. Aid organizations are increasingly employing new information technologies in their mission, taking advantage of proliferating mobile phones, remote sensors, wireless networks, and biometric identification systems. Digital Lifeline? examines the use of these technological innovations by the humanitarian community, exploring operations and systems that range from forecasting refugee flows to providing cellular and Internet connectivity to displaced persons. The contributors, from disciplines as diverse as international law and computer science, offer a variety of perspectives on forced migration, technical development, and user behavior, drawing on field work in countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Rwanda, Germany, Greece, the United States, and Canada.

    The chapters consider such topics as the use of information technology in refugee status determination; ethical and legal issues surrounding biometric technologies; information technology within organizational hierarchies; the use of technology by refugees; access issues in refugee camps; the scalability and sustainability of information technology innovations in humanitarian work; geographic information systems and spatial thinking; and the use of “big data” analytic techniques. Finally, the book identifies policy research directions, develops a unified research agenda, and offers practical suggestions for conducting displacement research.

    ContributorsElizabeth Belding, Karen E. Fisher, Daniel Iland, Lindsey N. Kingston, Carleen F. Maitland, Susan F. Martin, Galya Ben-Arieh Ruffer, Paul Schmitt, Lisa Singh, Brian Tomaszewski, Mariya Zheleva

    • Paperback $45.00
  • Decoding the Social World

    Decoding the Social World

    Data Science and the Unintended Consequences of Communication

    Sandra González-Bailón

    How data science and the analysis of networks help us solve the puzzle of unintended consequences.

    Social life is full of paradoxes. Our intentional actions often trigger outcomes that we did not intend or even envision. How do we explain those unintended effects and what can we do to regulate them? In Decoding the Social World, Sandra González-Bailón explains how data science and digital traces help us solve the puzzle of unintended consequences—offering the solution to a social paradox that has intrigued thinkers for centuries. Communication has always been the force that makes a collection of people more than the sum of individuals, but only now can we explain why: digital technologies have made it possible to parse the information we generate by being social in new, imaginative ways. And yet we must look at that data, González-Bailón argues, through the lens of theories that capture the nature of social life. The technologies we use, in the end, are also a manifestation of the social world we inhabit.

    González-Bailón discusses how the unpredictability of social life relates to communication networks, social influence, and the unintended effects that derive from individual decisions. She describes how communication generates social dynamics in aggregate (leading to episodes of “collective effervescence”) and discusses the mechanisms that underlie large-scale diffusion, when information and behavior spread “like wildfire.” She applies the theory of networks to illuminate why collective outcomes can differ drastically even when they arise from the same individual actions. By opening the black box of unintended effects, González-Bailón identifies strategies for social intervention and discusses the policy implications—and how data science and evidence-based research embolden critical thinking in a world that is constantly changing.

    • Hardcover $30.00
  • Open Space

    Open Space

    The Global Effort for Open Access to Environmental Satellite Data

    Mariel Borowitz

    An examination of environmental satellite data sharing policies, offering a model of data-sharing policy development, case and practical recommendations for increasing global data sharing.

    Key to understanding and addressing climate change is continuous and precise monitoring of environmental conditions. Satellites play an important role in collecting climate data, offering comprehensive global coverage that can't be matched by in situ observation. And yet, as Mariel Borowitz shows in this book, much satellite data is not freely available but restricted; this remains true despite the data-sharing advocacy of international organizations and a global open data movement. Borowitz examines policies governing the sharing of environmental satellite data, offering a model of data-sharing policy development and applying it in case studies from the United States, Europe, and Japan—countries responsible for nearly half of the unclassified government Earth observation satellites.

    Borowitz develops a model that centers on the government agency as the primary actor while taking into account the roles of such outside actors as other government officials and non-governmental actors, as well as the economic, security, and normative attributes of the data itself. The case studies include the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS); the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT); and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA). Finally, she considers the policy implications of her findings for the future and provides recommendations on how to increase global sharing of satellite data.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Big Data Is Not a Monolith

    Big Data Is Not a Monolith

    Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Hamid R. Ekbia, and Michael Mattioli

    Perspectives on the varied challenges posed by big data for health, science, law, commerce, and politics.

    Big data is ubiquitous but heterogeneous. Big data can be used to tally clicks and traffic on web pages, find patterns in stock trades, track consumer preferences, identify linguistic correlations in large corpuses of texts. This book examines big data not as an undifferentiated whole but contextually, investigating the varied challenges posed by big data for health, science, law, commerce, and politics. Taken together, the chapters reveal a complex set of problems, practices, and policies.

    The advent of big data methodologies has challenged the theory-driven approach to scientific knowledge in favor of a data-driven one. Social media platforms and self-tracking tools change the way we see ourselves and others. The collection of data by corporations and government threatens privacy while promoting transparency. Meanwhile, politicians, policy makers, and ethicists are ill-prepared to deal with big data's ramifications. The contributors look at big data's effect on individuals as it exerts social control through monitoring, mining, and manipulation; big data and society, examining both its empowering and its constraining effects; big data and science, considering issues of data governance, provenance, reuse, and trust; and big data and organizations, discussing data responsibility, “data harm,” and decision making.

    ContributorsRyan Abbott, Cristina Alaimo, Kent R. Anderson, Mark Andrejevic, Diane E. Bailey, Mike Bailey, Mark Burdon, Fred H. Cate, Jorge L. Contreras, Simon DeDeo, Hamid R. Ekbia, Allison Goodwell, Jannis Kallinikos, Inna Kouper, M. Lynne Markus, Michael Mattioli, Paul Ohm, Scott Peppet, Beth Plale, Jason Portenoy, Julie Rennecker, Katie Shilton, Dan Sholler, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Isuru Suriarachchi, Jevin D. West

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Hate Spin

    Hate Spin

    The Manufacture of Religious Offense and Its Threat to Democracy

    Cherian George

    How right-wing political entrepreneurs around the world use religious offense—both given and taken—to mobilize supporters and marginalize opponents.

    In the United States, elements of the religious right fuel fears of an existential Islamic threat, spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric into mainstream politics. In Indonesia, Muslim absolutists urge suppression of churches and minority sects, fostering a climate of rising intolerance. In India, Narendra Modi's radical supporters instigate communal riots and academic censorship in pursuit of their Hindu nationalist vision. Outbreaks of religious intolerance are usually assumed to be visceral and spontaneous. But in Hate Spin, Cherian George shows that they often involve sophisticated campaigns manufactured by political opportunists to mobilize supporters and marginalize opponents. Right-wing networks orchestrate the giving of offense and the taking of offense as instruments of identity politics, exploiting democratic space to promote agendas that undermine democratic values. George calls this strategy “hate spin”—a double-sided technique that combines hate speech (incitement through vilification) with manufactured offense-taking (the performing of righteous indignation). It is deployed in societies as diverse as Buddhist Myanmar and Orthodox Christian Russia. George looks at the world's three largest democracies, where intolerant groups within India's Hindu right, America's Christian right, and Indonesia's Muslim right are all accomplished users of hate spin. He also shows how the Internet and Google have opened up new opportunities for cross-border hate spin.

    George argues that governments must protect vulnerable communities by prohibiting calls to action that lead directly to discrimination and violence. But laws that try to protect believers' feelings against all provocative expression invariably backfire. They arm hate spin agents' offense-taking campaigns with legal ammunition. Anti-discrimination laws and a commitment to religious equality will protect communities more meaningfully than misguided attempts to insulate them from insult.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $19.95
  • How Not to Network a Nation

    How Not to Network a Nation

    The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet

    Benjamin Peters

    How, despite thirty years of effort, Soviet attempts to build a national computer network were undone by socialists who seemed to behave like capitalists.

    Between 1959 and 1989, Soviet scientists and officials made numerous attempts to network their nation—to construct a nationwide computer network. None of these attempts succeeded, and the enterprise had been abandoned by the time the Soviet Union fell apart. Meanwhile, ARPANET, the American precursor to the Internet, went online in 1969. Why did the Soviet network, with top-level scientists and patriotic incentives, fail while the American network succeeded? In How Not to Network a Nation, Benjamin Peters reverses the usual cold war dualities and argues that the American ARPANET took shape thanks to well-managed state subsidies and collaborative research environments and the Soviet network projects stumbled because of unregulated competition among self-interested institutions, bureaucrats, and others. The capitalists behaved like socialists while the socialists behaved like capitalists.

    After examining the midcentury rise of cybernetics, the science of self-governing systems, and the emergence in the Soviet Union of economic cybernetics, Peters complicates this uneasy role reversal while chronicling the various Soviet attempts to build a “unified information network.” Drawing on previously unknown archival and historical materials, he focuses on the final, and most ambitious of these projects, the All-State Automated System of Management (OGAS), and its principal promoter, Viktor M. Glushkov. Peters describes the rise and fall of OGAS—its theoretical and practical reach, its vision of a national economy managed by network, the bureaucratic obstacles it encountered, and the institutional stalemate that killed it. Finally, he considers the implications of the Soviet experience for today's networked world.

    • Hardcover $25.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Privacy on the Ground

    Privacy on the Ground

    Driving Corporate Behavior in the United States and Europe

    Kenneth A. Bamberger and Deirdre K. Mulligan

    An examination of corporate privacy management in the United States, Germany, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom, identifying international best practices and making policy recommendations.

    Barely a week goes by without a new privacy revelation or scandal. Whether by hackers or spy agencies or social networks, violations of our personal information have shaken entire industries, corroded relations among nations, and bred distrust between democratic governments and their citizens. Polls reflect this concern, and show majorities for more, broader, and stricter regulation—to put more laws “on the books.” But there was scant evidence of how well tighter regulation actually worked “on the ground” in changing corporate (or government) behavior—until now.

    This intensive five-nation study goes inside corporations to examine how the people charged with protecting privacy actually do their work, and what kinds of regulation effectively shape their behavior. And the research yields a surprising result. The countries with more ambiguous regulation—Germany and the United States—had the strongest corporate privacy management practices, despite very different cultural and legal environments. The more rule-bound countries—like France and Spain—trended instead toward compliance processes, not embedded privacy practices. At a crucial time, when Big Data and the Internet of Things are snowballing, Privacy on the Ground helpfully searches out the best practices by corporations, provides guidance to policymakers, and offers important lessons for everyone concerned with privacy, now and in the future.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Regulating the Cloud

    Regulating the Cloud

    Policy for Computing Infrastructure

    Christopher S. Yoo and Jean-François Blanchette

    The emergence of the cloud as infrastructure: experts from a range of disciplines consider policy issues including reliability, privacy, consumer protection, national security, and copyright.

    The emergence of cloud computing marks the moment when computing has become, materially and symbolically, infrastructure—a sociotechnical system that is ubiquitous, essential, and foundational. Increasingly integral to the operation of other critical infrastructures, such as transportation, energy, and finance, it functions, in effect, as a meta-infrastructure. As such, the cloud raises a variety of policy and governance issues, among them market regulation, fairness, access, reliability, privacy, national security, and copyright. In this book, experts from a range of disciplines offer their perspectives on these and other concerns.

    The contributors consider such topics as the economic implications of the cloud's shifting of computing resources from ownership to rental; the capacity of regulation to promote reliability while preserving innovation; the applicability of contract theory to enforce service guarantees; the differing approaches to privacy taken by United States and the European Union in the post-Snowden era; the delocalization or geographic dispersal of the archive; and the cloud-based virtual representations of our body in electronic health data.

    ContributorsNicholas Bauch, Jean-François Blanchette, Marjory Blumenthal, Sandra Braman, Jonathan Cave, Lothar Determann, Luciana Duranti, Svitlana Kobzar, William Lehr, David Nimmer, Andrea Renda, Neil Robinson, Helen Rebecca Schindler, Joe Weinman, Christopher S. Yoo

    • Hardcover $64.00
    • Paperback $35.00
  • Chasing the Tape

    Chasing the Tape

    Information Law and Policy in Capital Markets

    Onnig H. Dombalagian

    An examination of regulation and use of information in capital markets, offering comparisons across different jurisdictions, regulated entities, and financial instruments.

    Financial information is a both a public resource and a commodity that market participants produce and distribute in connection with other financial products and services. Legislators, regulators, and other policy makers must therefore balance the goal of making information transparent, accessible, and useful for the collective benefit of society against the need to maintain appropriate incentives for information originators and intermediaries. In Chasing the Tape, Onnig Dombalagian examines the policy objectives and regulatory tools that shape the information production chain in capital markets in the United States, the European Union, and other jurisdictions. His analysis offers a unique cross section of capital market infrastructure, spanning different countries, regulated entities, and financial instruments.

    Dombalagian uses four key categories of information—issuer information, market information, information used in credit analysis, and benchmarks—to survey the market forces and regulatory regimes that govern the flow of information in capital markets. He considers the similarities and differences in regulatory aims and strategies across categories, and discusses alternative approaches proposed or adopted by scholars and policy makers. Dombalagian argues that the long-term regulatory challenges raised by economic globalization and advanced information technology will require policy makers to decouple information policy in capital markets from increasingly arbitrary historical classifications and jurisdictional boundaries.

    • Hardcover $37.00
  • Traversing Digital Babel

    Traversing Digital Babel

    Information, E-Government, and Exchange

    Alon Peled

    A groundbreaking approach to information sharing among government agencies: using selective incentives to “nudge” them to exchange information assets.

    The computer systems of government agencies are notoriously complex. New technologies are piled on older technologies, creating layers that call to mind an archaeological dig. Obsolete programming languages and closed mainframe designs offer barriers to integration with other agency systems. Worldwide, these unwieldy systems waste billions of dollars, keep citizens from receiving services, and even—as seen in interoperability failures on 9/11 and during Hurricane Katrina—cost lives. In this book, Alon Peled offers a groundbreaking approach for enabling information sharing among public sector agencies: using selective incentives to “nudge” agencies to exchange information assets. Peled proposes the establishment of a Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE), through which agencies would trade information.

    After describing public sector information sharing failures and the advantages of incentivized sharing, Peled examines the U.S. Open Data program, and the gap between its rhetoric and results. He offers examples of creative public sector information sharing in the United States, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Iceland. Peled argues that information is a contested commodity, and draws lessons from the trade histories of other contested commodities—including cadavers for anatomical dissection in nineteenth-century Britain. He explains how agencies can exchange information as a contested commodity through a PSIE program tailored to an individual country's needs, and he describes the legal, economic, and technical foundations of such a program. Touching on issues from data ownership to freedom of information, Peled offers pragmatic advice to politicians, bureaucrats, technologists, and citizens for revitalizing critical information flows.

    • Hardcover $32.00
  • Virtual Economies

    Virtual Economies

    Design and Analysis

    Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward Castronova

    How the basic concepts of economics—including markets, institutions, and money—can be used to create and analyze economies based on virtual goods.

    In the twenty-first-century digital world, virtual goods are sold for real money. Digital game players happily pay for avatars, power-ups, and other game items. But behind every virtual sale, there is a virtual economy, simple or complex. In this book, Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward Castronova introduce the basic concepts of economics into the game developer's and game designer's toolkits. Lehdonvirta and Castronova explain how the fundamentals of economics—markets, institutions, and money—can be used to create or analyze economies based on artificially scarce virtual goods. They focus on virtual economies in digital games, but also touch on serious digital currencies such as Bitcoin as well as virtual economies that emerge in social media around points, likes, and followers. The theoretical emphasis is on elementary microeconomic theory, with some discussion of behavioral economics, macroeconomics, sociology of consumption, and other social science theories relevant to economic behavior.

    Topics include the rational choice model of economic decision making; information goods versus virtual goods; supply, demand, and market equilibrium; monopoly power; setting prices; and externalities. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide a useful guide to economic fundamentals for students in other disciplines.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $40.00