Stephen Walt is the Robert and Rene Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was previously on the faculties of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as Deputy Dean of Social Sciences. He is the author of books including The Origins of Alliances, Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy. He is a frequent contributor to journals including Foreign Policy and International Security. He was educated at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
He presently serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and he also serves as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press. Additionally, he was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005.
The Digital Revolution
Stephen Walt: I think we’re also seeing a revolution for how information itself is handled. This interview is a little bit part of that to the extent that this gets web cast and pod cast. And until relatively recently, if you were wealthy and powerful, you also could have a lot of impact on information. You could buy a newspaper. You could buy a broadcasting network. You could hire a publicist to make sure your ideas got on whoever did have a newspaper . . . things like that. And if you didn’t have those things, your capacity to get heard was much less. I think one of the consequences of the Internet and . . . and the gradual spreading out of sources of information is that people who don’t have a whole lot of resources can, by sort of sheer wit, or brilliance, or energy become a voice . . . become heard. Not all of them, right? The blogosphere, for example, tends to be a few people everybody reads or many people read, and millions of people that nobody reads. But still those other people aren’t necessarily in a wealthy, powerful . . . connected to wealthy or powerful institutions. And I think over time we may see this world in which information has become a . . . much more democratized as well. But where that’s going to take us I’m not sure.
Recorded on: 10/8/07
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