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Technology and Peace

Edward Brantmeier and I recently published an article focused on how modern digital technologies can be used to catalyze peace. In it we argue that:

Information communication technologies (ICTs) play a vital role in the context of technocultural globalization. The world is now in an era of condensed space and time in which cultural dynamics, including cultural conflict, are increasingly mediated by powerful technologies that hold the potential to accelerate change and create new opportunities. Conversely, these same powerful technologies, and the denial thereof, are used to sustain oppressive conditions and wage war for ideological (e.g., religion and politics) and material purposes (e.g., water, oil, and food). From the power of networking in addition to the tyranny of isolation, ICTs hold the potential for transformative change as well as to maintain status quo through oppression and domination. 

The model lays out 5 domains of ICT for catalyzing peaceful change through protests and after conflicts. These domains are:

  • Consciousness Raising - Information dissemination and identity creation
  • Political Mobilization - Organizing protests, marches, e-campaigns, activism
  • Dialogue - Truth recovery, establishment of perspectives, change conditions, finding common ground, knowledge creation
  • Reconciliation - Establishment of common ground andmoving forward with diverse perspective takers
  • Renewal - Social, political, cultural, economic transformation

What is the promise of digital technologies in conflict areas? What lessons can be taken from how digital technologies have been used in national conflicts to how these technologies can and have been used in local or personal conflicts such as with cyber-bullying

 

Reference: Richardson, J. W., & Brantmeier, E. J. (2012).The role of ICTs in conflict transformation in Egypt. Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 5(4).

Image Credit: Flickr user fensterbme

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