Technology and Globalisation

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    Humans are losing the battle against social media algorithms

Humans are losing the battle against social media algorithms

Social media has become infrastructural to our society in a very literal sense, argues Tero Karppi. Computer systems are making decisions for us quicker than we can comprehend and a single tweet can knock billions off the stock market. Studying smaller failures and crashes helps us challenge and take control of this situation, hopefully before the next major crash.

Sometimes a tweet can […]

Globalisation has created substantial benefits, but global governance must evolve to meet the challenges posed by new systemic risks

The 2007-08 financial crisis highlighted the potential for negative economic developments to spread quickly across the world’s interconnected economies. Ian Goldin writes that this constituted the first example of a truly systemic crisis, where risks that pooled in a relatively small market in the American Midwest (the sub-prime mortgage market) cascaded to all corners of the global economy. He […]

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    How the government should promote high speed broadband in Britain

How the government should promote high speed broadband in Britain

Are publicly subsidised improvements in broadband infrastructure socially desirable? The answer depends on a consumer surplus exists – whether users derive a benefit from internet usage above and beyond what they pay to their internet service provider. New research by Gabriel Ahlfeldt and colleagues infers this surplus by observing property prices in areas with high internet speeds, finding that property prices […]

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    Capitalism need not churn inexorably toward higher inequality; democracies can tame the disproportionate power of elites

Capitalism need not churn inexorably toward higher inequality; democracies can tame the disproportionate power of elites

While some democracies adopt policies that systematically tend to favour the majority of the population and thus reduce inequality, others instead create policies that favour elites and the wealthy more broadly. Mike Albertus and Victor Menaldo find that the effect of democracy on redistribution is a function of the conditions under which countries transition to democracy. In democracies where elites have had little say in […]

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    Back to the global village? Either society or technology and legal frameworks have to change

Back to the global village? Either society or technology and legal frameworks have to change

The ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling, which requires Google and others to acquiesce to individual requests to remove search results in certain circumstances, has generated much controversy. Pēteris Zilgalvis argues that the central issue relates to the rise of the ‘global village’, which is in some ways a return to the traditional village where everyone knows everything about everybody. We need to balance […]

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    Mobile phone use reflects the development of new social stratifications

Mobile phone use reflects the development of new social stratifications

One of the key technological developments in the past two decades has been the spread in the use of mobile phones. How do such changes in technology affect issues such as social justice and inequality? Sakari Taipale and Leopoldina Fortunati write that while the creation of new mobile phone technologies has tended to be seen as a uniquely positive […]

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    Globalisation has contributed to declining levels of religious freedom across the world

Globalisation has contributed to declining levels of religious freedom across the world

What factors affect religious freedom? As Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom and Gizem Arikan write, there is evidence that restrictions on religious freedom have increased globally in recent decades. Using data from a recent study, they highlight the role that processes of globalisation have had on this trend. The results indicate that globalisation is a contributing factor to the increase in restrictions […]