Government and politics: Cyber-Influence and Power

TED Studies, created in collaboration with Wiley, are curated video collections — supplemented by rich educational materials — for students, educators and self-guided learners. In Cyber-Influence and Power, activists, academics and statesmen come together at TED to delve into new ideas about how power and influence come about in the digital age. With them, we'll consider how communications technology is fueling transnational organizations and movements with inspiring and disturbing effects. Relevant areas of interest, study and coursework include: international relations, political science, international economics, globalization, media studies, Arab studies, European studies and Asia studies.

Learning outcomes

TED's Cyber-Influence and Power will enable learners to:

  • Discuss the relationship between globalization and the proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • Compare and contrast arguments for and against the idea that ICTs are inherently liberating and that widespread use of them necessarily leads to democracy
  • Analyze the argument that globalization and ICTs have not only led to new ways of exercising power but also made some of the more traditional indicators of power obsolete
  • Assess the degree to which existing political institutions are poised to manage the systemic risk inherent in today's technology infused globalized world
  • Evaluate the argument that in the global landscape, power is now wielded most effectively by those who control the narrative
  • Identify ways that ICTs empower global citizens seeking to ensure that both governments and technologies "serve the world's people and not the other way around" (Rebecca MacKinnon, "Let’s Take Back the Internet").

Relevant talks

Introductory essay

Begin Cyber-Influence and Power with a fascinating read that gives context and clarity to the material.

About the educators

TED Studies professor: Patricia J. Campbell

Patricia J. Campbell, Ph.D. is the Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice-President at American Public University.

TED Studies professor: Christy R. Stevens

Christy R. Stevens, M.A, M.A., MLIS, is Associate Professor and Library Instruction and Information Literacy Coordinator at California State University Polytechnic, Pomona.

About TED Studies

TED Studies created in partnership with
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Each TED Study offers a curated and sequenced set of TED Talks, along with specially commissioned materials for teaching and self-guided learning. Created by world class experts, they cover topics ranging from "Understanding Happiness" to "Covering World News" to "Ecofying Cities." An abbreviated version of TED Studies is offered here; the full curricula — including special modules on each talk with questions, assignments, key terms and recommended reading — are available for licensing to academic institutions, ministries of education, and media companies worldwide.

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