INAF 6382 TECHNOLOGY, NATIONAL SECURITY, & THE CITIZEN 

Syllabus [ PDF ]

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While digital technology gives governments powerful new ways to protect their citizens, it also creates powerful opportunities for abuse. To complicate matters, governments aren’t the only ones with access to these tools: technology also empowers individuals, activist groups, and non-state actors in ways that can either enhance or threaten the security of nations.

 

This course will explore these changes, examining how digital technology is transforming the national security landscape, altering roles and power relationships for governments, citizens, and social movements.

 

This class will examine:

- NATIONAL SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES: Categories and specific tools in use for citizen engagement, surveillance, infrastructure control, and defense                                                             

 

- DEMOCRATIC & AUTOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS USE OF TOOLS: How governments, both democratic and autocratic, deploy these technologies in national security efforts, and its consequences on the rights of individuals and the broader social order                                              

 

- CITIZENS, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS & NON-STATE ACTORS USE OF TOOLS: How citizens, social movements, and non-state actors wield similar tools to enhance, counterbalance, or undermine government security efforts                                                                                                                        

 

- REDEFINING POWER: How new technologies affect, alter, undermine, or enhance existing power structures and bolster or diminish the influence of citizens, organizations, and social groups on governments                                                                                                                                                 

 

Course material will be comprised of theoretical readings on state security responsibilities and citizens’ rights, case studies of effective and counterproductive tactics, and present-day examples of the phenomena.

The goal of the course is to prepare students for work in the field. To that end, assignments consist of in-depth research that advances individual student professional goals, writing assignments in summary and memo form, and constant encouragement to apply every stich of work you do in the class to move toward your future career.

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