From recruiting terrorists online to using memes to insult Islamic State, the digital realm is rapidly reshaping politics and power in the 21st century.
With many more examples like the above, the latest instalment of the Bell School’s Horizons seminar series will survey the big digital trends in Asia and the Pacific, examining how rapid, deep and widespread technological change is impacting the region’s political, strategic and diplomatic landscape.
Kicking off in February 2016, Digital frontiers: agency and power in an online Asia-Pacific also asks if new technologies and digital media have empowered alternative and disenfranchised voices in Asia-Pacific politics.
“From war 2.0 to digital diplomacy and digital humanitarianism, from academic blogging to holding governments accountable, and shaping election outcomes via social media, today we are seeing a dynamic new form of politics at play,” says series co-convenor James Giggacher.
“And in the Asia-Pacific, which is home to 60 per cent of the world’s population and hosts more than half the world’s social media users, the potential is possibly even greater. Yet, this is also a region still defined and dominated by rigid regimes and enduring forms of power and control.
“This series will examine these issues in detail through thematic seminars exploring the different ways digital platforms and politics collide across the Asia-Pacific region.
“Most importantly, it will test whether digital frontiers are indeed a new political battleground across the region and how much ability different players have to shape such encounters and their outcomes.
“It promises to be exciting, engaging and, best of all, also delivered online!”
Seminars in the series will run from late February to October 2016, with a one-day tie-in conference in June. Speakers will be drawn from across the Bell School, as well as other academic and research institutions.
See the Bell School website in January 2016 for more details.
Commencing in 2015, the Horizons seminar series promotes key academic thinking and collaborative research across the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.