GEOG 128
Geography of International Affairs

The Politics of Networks

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Perhaps one of the most common ways people these days understand the concept of networks is to think of the many often-used social networks, like Facebook. While our book doesn't necessarily cover or include social networks in our discussion of geopolitics, it is interesting to think of the ways virtual spaces such as the Facebook networking platform facilitate the organization of individuals into groups of similar interests, political beliefs, etc. Furthermore, it is also interesting to observe the ways in which various terrorist organizations have recently used social networking practices such as hashtagging (#) to draw attention to their cause and intimidate. For example, this article discusses the use of #WorldCup by the Islamic State.

We will go into further details on the politics of networks, but it is important to start thinking about the power of networks in your life and at multiple scales. Indeed, our political, social, cultural, religious, and economic networks fill (and perhaps fulfill) our daily interactions.