chapter  20
14 Pages

The question of information technology in international relations

It is an honour as well as a challenge to speak at thisMillennium conference, for the topic invokes what I believe to be one of the most important issues facing us today: the question of Information Technology (IT) in International Relations (IR). Let us call it the ‘IT/IR Question’, and begin first by asking whether IR, as suggested by your title, has entered a ‘DigitalAge’.Weneed to pose the question because historic moments are supposed to speak for themselves, yet they bear different meanings for different observers. Think of the ‘Middle Ages’, the ‘American Century’, the ‘60’s’. Consider 2001, a year that signified awe for an extraterrestrial future in Kubrick’s film; that is, until kamikaze airplanes piloted by al-Qaeda terrorists brought the year, and the World Trade Center (WTC), crashing to earth.