ICP 351: CYBERPOLITICS
Professor: Christian Erickson.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – web: http://faculty.roosevelt.edu/erickson/kg/
Meeting Times: Wednesday and Fridays, 11:00 – 12:20.
Location: Wednesday 1/309, Friday 1/109.
- Location: ICP Department office.
- Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 12:30 to 1:30, and by appointment.
Phone Number: 663524 (ICP Department).
Course objectives: The goal of this course is to give students the ability to critically understand and evaluate the unique political dynamics that take place in “cyberspace” (in particular the Internet/WWW but also mobile networks/cell phones/PDAs), hence the title of this course “cyberpolitics.” This course is explicitly interdisciplinary in nature given the subject matter, and draws on the disciplines of political science, sociology, media studies, legal studies, science and technology studies, cultural studies, and where appropriate, both governmental reports and reports by civil liberties, privacy, and other advocacy NGOs who are interested in shaping debates, and defending their interests, in cyberspace. This course will pay particular attention to the way in which formal political structures and citizens have attempted to adapt to the impact of the unique information architecture of cyberspace, and develop both strategies and tactics of political contestation for this relatively new domain of human activity and communication. Additionally this course will also examine the conflict between the openness and democratic potential of the web, and the need of states, corporations, and individuals to have a sense of security and trust in this network. We will also examine inequality of access to the benefits of the web/internet, criminality, dissent, terrorism and war in cyberspace.
Prerequisites: ICP 110. No other formal prerequisites, but class assumes students have taken upper division social science courses and have an interest in the subject matter.
Required Texts: Contained in course reader.
On-line recommended texts: I will be using the course website to distribute, or provide links to, recent articles and other sources that reflect themes covered in the course. These recommended materials are for use in either your research papers, or if you are interested in exploring particular subjects in greater depth. If accessing materials on the web is difficult for you, I will have another reader made of recommended materials for use by the class.
Current events requirement: Students are expected to keep up with current events generally related to the web/internet/cell-mobile networks, and particularly related to the subjects, countries, regions, which are assigned for any particular week. Links to relevant news sources will be provided from course website for classes starting January 17.
Course Assignments: This course places equal emphasis on readings and lecture. All students are expected to have completed weekly reading and other assignments prior to coming to class. Students are required to do a presentation and lead a discussion about the subject of their presentation for at least 10 – 15 minutes during one class session. A more detailed description of the presentation assignment, and possible topics, will be distributed on the second class (January 19), you must schedule a week for your presentation by February 9, and the presentations can begin on February 14. The subjects for the presentations will be drawn from suggested subjects listed on the presentation assignment distributed on January 19, or negotiated between the student and the professor. Ideally presentations should reflect issues raised by the readings assigned for that week.
Total class grade will be derived from your participation in several ways:
Class participation: 30% of the total class grade
(Attendance, in-class participation/assignments, web assignments 15% – presentation and discussion 15%).
Midterm examination: 20%.
Research/Term paper: 25%.
Cumulative final exam: 25%.
There will be no make-up examinations without medical excuse or prior arrangement with the professor.
Course Grading Scale/Rationale:
100-96 = A 95-91 = A- 90-86 = B+ 85-81 = B 80-76 = B-
75-71 = C+ 70-66 = C 65-61 = C – 60-56 = D+ 55-51 = D
50-46 = D- less than 45 = F.
Additionally, students should review AUCA Spring 2007 course schedule p. 9 for discussion of Grading System.
Course website: http://faculty.roosevelt.edu/erickson/kg/icp351/
The syllabus is posted on this site, and it will be used for announcements, archiving lecture slides, providing research links, distributing or providing links to supplemental articles, and other purposes as we collectively decide over the course of the semester.
Blog/Website requirement: Students are required to either establish a blog or website for this course, or if they already have a blog or website, they will be required to devote a section of their blog/website to a discussion of issues raised by the course. This is an experimental requirement, and I (Prof. Erickson) will provide instruction on how to establish a basic blog using a free blog provider, such as “blogspot”. This assignment will be introduced in class on both January 17th and 19th, and if necessary a computer lab will be scheduled no later than February 7th to help students accomplish this requirement. Because this is an experimental assignment, the criteria may be adjusted as we (Prof. Erickson and students) decide to alter the assignment based on discussions during lecture in January and early February 2007.
I (Prof. Erickson) currently have a blog at: erxn.blogspot.com.
Also, I (Prof. Erickson) will establish another blog specifically for this course as a demonstration of how to set up a blog.
Additionally by establishing a blog you will have access to other “web 2.0” tools such as youtube.com and various social networking sites… have fun!!!
WARNING!!!: Review AUCA computer/network use policies to make sure your on-line activity does not violate any AUCA regulations. Make sure that any on-line activity conforms to legal requirements of Kyrgyz Republic and your country of citizenship as well. Remember that many of these “web 2.0” tools burn through bandwidth very quickly and could become very expensive if you are not on AUCA campus network. If you will be using blogs/social networking sites for non-academic related activities, you should set up another blog/identity that is very separate and distinct from the blog/identity that you establish for this class. These issues will be discussed in some detail repeatedly throughout the semester.
Term/Research paper: Students are required to write a term paper of seven to ten typed, double-spaced pages (1750-2500 words) on a topic of your choice that pertains to the themes of the course. The term paper should 1) address a theoretical question that is introduced by one of the readings for class, which is 2) backed up by empirical evidence that is organized according to the criteria discussed in lecture. You must then 3) state your own opinion, and 4) substantiate your opinion with facts. A more detailed overview of the term paper assignment will be distributed on the second class (January 19th).
The subject of the research paper should examine issues related to the contemporary themes of the course, meaning the contemporary issues involving politics and cyberspace. A comprehensive list of possible subjects for the research paper will be on the detailed summary overview of the term paper assignment distributed on January 19.
The research paper is based on 3 preliminary assignments, and the final research paper. A tentative description of the topic of your term/research paper is due February 9 (worth 5% of your overall paper grade). An expanded description and bibliography is due March 23 (worth 5% of your overall paper grade). A revised expanded description, outline, and annotated bibliography of the sources that you plan to use to write your term paper is due April 20 (worth 10% of your overall paper grade). If you want me to review drafts of any of the research paper assignments I recommend that you turn it in as soon as you can so that I can get feedback to you as early in the writing process as possible! The term paper itself is due the last class meeting, May 4 (worth 80% of your overall paper grade)
Web Component of Research Paper Assignment: Each student will create a web version of their paper for posting on the course website, or on their own blog or website. At this time, this will involve primarily saving the word processing document as an “.html” file and then e-mailing it to me (Prof. Erickson) to post on course website, or posting the paper, or paper’s content on your blog of website. In order to give all students the ability to create a web version of the paper, if necessary we will be scheduling at least two class sessions in a computer lab during which I (Prof. Erickson) will instruct the students how to create a web viewable version of their paper. Computer labs will be scheduled for mid-April, the exact class sessions will be announced in class when reservations are finalized. Web version of paper must be e-mailed to me (Prof. Erickson), or if access issues are resolved, posted to a server space assigned for student web projects, before the final exam.
Late Policy/Plagiarism: Without a valid medical or other excuse or prior permission of instructor late papers will be penalized 3 points (on a 100 point scale) for each 24 hour period the paper is late, and 5 points for each 24 hour period after 48 hours. Students are required to review AUCA policies on plagiarism and will be held to standards of scholarship outlined in these policies. If plagiarism is detected the student will receive a 0 for the paper, will be reported as specified in the AUCA plagiarism policy, will receive an F in the class. All students are required to submit both a hard copy and an electronic copy of their research papers for scanning by plagiarism detection software.
Week 1 – January 17/19: Introduction.
- January 17: No readings, first class meeting.
- January 19: Norris Digital Divide, Chapter 1, p. 1-10 (distributed in class January 17).
Research paper and presentation assignments distributed and discussed January 19.
Week 2 – January 24/26: Cyberspace: Origins, Technologies, and Political Terrain.
· Norris, remainder of Chapter 1.
· Sterling, Bruce. 1992. The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier. url: <http://www.mit.edu/hacker/hacker.html> (Preface, Chronology, Introduction, Part One). Last accessed 01/01/2007.
Week 3 – January 31/February 2: Wiring in Inequality and Conflict?
· Digital Divide Chapter 2 and 3.
Week 4 – February 7/9: Consequences of Cyber-Inequality.
· Digital Divide Chapter 4.
Due February 9: Paper Assignment 1 – topic tentative choice – presentation date topic selection.
Week 5 – February 14/16: Governance, Government and Cyberspace.
· Digital Divide Chapter 5–6 (95-131).
Week 6: February 21/23. Cyberthreats and Response.
· Bombs and Bandwidth Introduction.
- Serio, Joseph D. and Alexander Gorkin. 2003. “Changing Lenses: Striving for Sharper Focus on the Nature of the ‘Russian Mafia’ and its Impact on the Computer Realm.” International Review of Law, Computers & Technology. July 2003. 17(2). EBSCO.
Midterm Review Guide distributed and discussed February 21.
February 23: No class (Defenders’ Day).
Week 7: February 28/March 2. Cyberthreats and Response continued.
- Giacomello, Giampiero. and Eriksson, Johan. “International Relations Theory and Security in the Digital Age” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Le Centre Sheraton Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2004-02-27 Online <.PDF>. 2007-01-16
Spring Break – March 12-16. Have a good Spring Break.
Week 9 – March 21/23: Regimes, Civil Societies and Cyberspace.
March 21: No class, Nowrus Mayram.
Due March 23: Paper Assignment 2 – Description w/Bibliography.
Midterm Exam returned March 23r.
Week 10 – March 28/30: . Regimes and Cultures of Cyberspace.
· Digital Divide Chapter 10.
- Rajan, Mira T Sundara. 2002. “Moral Rights in the Digital Age: New Possibilities for the Democratization of Culture.” International Review of Law, Computers & Technology. July 2002, 16(2). EBSCO.
- Beier, J.Marshall. 2003. “‘Emailed applications are preferred’: ethical practices in mine action and the idea of global civil society.” Third World Quarterly. October 2003, 24(5). EBSCO.
- Milone, Mark. 2003. “Hacktivism: Securing the National Infrastructure.” Knowledge, Technology & Policy. Spring2003, 16(1).
- Nemes, Irene. 2002. “Regulating Hate Speech in Cyberspace: Issues of Desirability and Efficacy.” Information & Communications Technology Law. October 2002, 11(3).
Week 12 – April 11/13: Surveillance, Privacy, Civil Liberties.
· American Civil Liberties Union “Bigger Monster Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society.” 2003. <http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=11573&c=39>. Accessed 01/27/2004.
- Rajan, Mira T. Sundara. 2001. “The Past and Future of Privacy in Russia.” Review of East European Law. No. 4, 625-638.
Week 13 – April 18/20: . Cyberwarfare.
- Eriksson, Johan. “The Framing and the Experience of Threats in the Digital Age: A Comparative Analysis of Russia and the U.S.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2005-02-27 Online 2007-01-16
- Bousquet, Antoine. “Cybernetic Warfare: Computers and the Cold War” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA, 2006-03-22 Online. 2007-01-16
Final Exam Guide distributed.
Due April 20: Paper Assignment 3 – Description/Outline w/Annotated Bibliography.
Week 14 – April 25/27. Future of Cyberspace.
· Digital Divide Chapter 12 (232-240).
· Hoff, Jens; Bjerke, Flemming. 2005. “Fences and gates in cyberspace: Is the Internet becoming a threat to democracy?” Information Polity: The International Journal of Government & Democracy in the Information Age. 10(1/2): p141-151.
Paper Description/Outline/Annotated Bibliography assignment returned.
Week 15 – May 2/4: Future of Cyberspace Continued.
- Lévy, Pierre. 2005. Collective Intelligence, A Civilisation: Towards a Method of Positive Interpretation. By: International Journal of Politics, Culture & Society, Spring/Summer2005, Vol. 18 Issue 3/4, p189-198.
- Dobrzeniecki, Karol. 2005. “How Should We Deal with Human Rights in Cyberspace? Some Remarks.” International Review Of Law Computers & Technology, 19(3): 253–258, November.
May 4th, Final Paper Due.
Final Exam Guide discussed.
Week 16 – May 9/11.
- May 9th, no class (Victory Day).
- May 11th – Final Exam.
Final Paper returned during Final Exam or via e-mail before exam.
Grades available from Prof. Erickson via e-mail.