Abstract - The Information Society 15(1)

Sovereignty, Globalism, and Information Flow in Complex Emergencies

Rebecca Knuth

Because of rapid developments in information technology, abuses of sovereignty by authoritarian governments have received much publicity in recent years, raising public consciousness of massive human rights violations to new levels. Contributing to the dialogue on the influence of information technology on social systems, this paper explores 1) the contested role of information in disaster relief efforts, 2) the clash of political and social values emerging from the use of information within the international community's involvement in high-profile crises -- such as those in Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, and 3) the resultant rethinking of government's power within national borders, sovereignty. With life-and-death stakes, international affirmation of a free flow of information during disasters is emerging as a global human rights mandate.

View Full Text | Subscribe Online


Back | TIS Home