Remaking the State - The Impact of the Digital Revolution Now and to Come




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Sep 07, 2016
by Jessica Franzetti
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Remaking the State - The Impact of the Digital Revolution Now and to Come

Fellows convene to discuss the transformational power of internet during the 21st century, and ask: what will be next? Château Klingenthal, located outside Strasbourg, France

Over the course of history, there have been a number of key technological innovations that have irrevocably changed many facets of states – in both their interactions with other sovereignties as well as their own populaces. 

These transformational technological breakthroughs include the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, railways in the nineteenth and the ubiquity of the internet in the twenty-first. 

The session, Remaking the State: The Impact of the Digital Revolution Now and to Come, conducted by Salzburg Global Seminar, will be held in Strasbourg, France from September 9-12. The program will invite Fellows to consider both what has changed and what has not with the widespread use of internet and digital technologies. It will also establish a space for considering which future communicative innovations may yet again alter the realities of states, economies, and people. 

Organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and sponsored by hosts from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Foundation, the program will convene at Château Klingenthal, where participants will discuss and clarify which lines of enquiry will be most fruitful in future international exchanges and collaborations. Through small group and panel discussions, they will seek to answer a number of key questions, specifically examining the direct implications of internet as opposed to other structural shifts and the role of instant communication in international relations.

Fellows will also explore the effect of widespread internet usage and almost instantaneous communication capacities on public discourse - from political organization and polarization to questions concerning governmental surveillance. While they will reflect on how internet has already altered the public and political spheres, they will equally consider what the future will hold in regards to future technologies, including, artificial intelligence, robots and big data. 

Approximately twenty participants from ten different countries, whose experiences range from academia and journalism to cyber security, will provide a multiplicity of perspectives in reviewing the technological advances, and therefore, the changes that may be just on the horizon for the coming decades. 

More information about the session, to be held from September 9-12 at Château Klingenthal, can be found here: