Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University | TACTsymposium

The Information Technology War and Peace Project
@ The Watson Institute for International Studies,
Brown University

Copyright 2002


Schedule and Invited Participants
7-8 June 2002

'The closer we come to the danger... the more questioning we become. For questioning is the piety of thought.'

-- Martin Heidegger, 'The Question Concerning Technology'

The purpose of this interdisciplinary symposium is to question -- philosophically, strategically, ethically -- the role of 'technology' in terror. Participants from different backgrounds -- academic, military and media -- will investigate the impact of technology on three forms of global terror emerging from 9/11: terror as a networked strategy of symbolic violence, coercive intimidation and political fear; anti-terror as a state reaction of deterrence, disruption and destruction of terrorism; and counter-terror as a transnational response of preventive media, disciplinary surveillance, and criminal justice. While the emphasis is on the role of information technologies in each form of terror, technology is broadly defined to include technical as well as symbolic systems of producing, processing, and distributing knowledge and power. The purpose is not to question technology as a neutral instrument but as a constructive, destructive and transformative force in contemporary international relations.

Friday, June 7 | Technologies of Terror

2.00 p.m. Opening remarks
Thomas Biersteker, Watson Institute

2.15 - 4.00 p.m. Ground Zero: Technologies of Terror, Security, and Virtuality

The events of 9/11 brought us face to face with terror -- and much more. 9/11 profoundly challenged the 'groundedness' of security in the over-developed territorial state with a single act of asymmetrical violence. Its rapid elevation by information technologies, from 'ground zero' to global crisis, suggests that 9/11 represents something new. Is 9/11 the'first war of the 21st century', a virtual event, or the dark side of the radical contingency of globalization? What will make us safe against the 'global terror network'? Can technology?

Moderator: James Der Derian, Watson Institute - [ Watch Video ]

Carol Cohn, Wellesley
Daniel Deudney, Johns Hopkins University
John MacArthur, Harper's
Robert D. Steele, OSS.NET

4.00 p.m.
Coffee Break

4.15 - 6.00 p.m. War of Networks: Realtime, Primetime, and the Internet

From the 'living room war' in Vietnam, to the 'CNN effect' in the Gulf War, to the 'Internet War' in Yugoslavia, innovations in information and communication technologies have produced profound effects on the battlefront as well as the homefront. After 9/11, have networks produced a more informed, more critical viewer? Have they transformed spectators into participants? Or have networks 'force-multiplied' the terror effect? Are some media more than others complicit in the technology of terror?

Moderator: John Santos, Ford Foundation - [ Watch Video ]

Martin Burcharth, Information
David Campbell, University of Newcastle
Thomas de Zengotita, New York University
Michele Zanini, former RAND researcher

6.30 - 8.00 p.m.

8.00 - 9.00 p.m.
Keynote: Bruce Sterling, author - [ Watch Video ]

Waterfire and Jazz Concert

Saturday, June 8 | Technologies of Antiterror

9.00 - 10.45 a.m. The Technological Revolution in Civilian and Military Affairs

Even before the recent instances of terror, a transformation of the capabilities and responsibilities of the military was under way. How has 9/11 affected military-civilian relations? Can we locate intersections between terror at home and abroad? In light of technological innovation and sophistication, how is war being reconfigured? If war is the paramount technology of territory and sovereignty, will terror become the favored weapon of the globally dispossessed?

Moderator: Ron Deibert, University of Toronto - [ Watch Video ]

Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives
Colonel Tom Ehrhard, Maxwell Air Force Base
Michael Klare, Peace and World Security Studies
Catherine Lutz, University of North Carolina

10.45 a.m.
Coffee break

11.00 a.m. - 12.45 p.m. Everyday Terror: Videoconference - [ Watch Video ]

Moderators: Jarat Chopra, Watson Institute and Thomas Keenan, Bard College

Yaron Ezrahi, Israel Democracy Institute
Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics
Daoud Kuttab, Institute of Modern Media
Sari Nusseibeh, Al Quds University

12.45 - 2.00 p.m.
Lunch and Multimedia - [ Watch Video ]

Moderator: Tom Gleason, Watson Institute

Scott Ritter, former UNSCOM Chief Inspector, screens 'In Shifting Sands'

Technologies of Counterterror

2.00 - 3.45 p.m. Infowar, Cyberwar, and the War of Dis/simulation

In an information age, power networks are ever more congruent with knowledge and entertainment networks. If truth is the first casualty in war, what are the costs of infowar? Is cyberwar a threat to national security -- or to civil liberties? What are the consequences when Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Washington join the war on terror? In the battlespace of representations, is this an American, Western, or universal war?

Moderator: Wendy Chun, Brown University - [ Watch Video ]

Brahma Chellaney, Centre for Policy Research
Dorothy E. Denning, Georgetown University
Lene Hansen, Copenhagen University
William C. Martel, Naval War College

3.45 p.m.
Coffee Break

4 - 5.45 p.m. The Technologies of Change: Terrorism, Globalism, and Infopeace

The acceleration of change by technology seems to outpace human means to understand and control its more destructive effects. How do we balance the destructive against the constructive capabilities of technology? Do distinctions between politics and war, and between state violence and terrorism, help or hinder efforts to think about political violence in a register beyond good and evil? To the extent that techniques of counterterrorism affect, instruct, and confine the actions of citizens, should counterterrorism be analyzed as a technology of citizenship? What is the transformative potential of information technology for peace? What political variety can we imagine existing in a world of peace, and how might information technology be used to secure and defend it? From whom, and against what?

Moderator: Annick T.R. Wibben, Watson Institute - [ Watch Video ]

Neta Crawford, Watson Institute
Larry George, California State University/Long Beach
Lon Troyer, University of California, Berkeley
Maja Zehfuss, University of Warwick

6.00 p.m.
Concluding Remarks: Panel Chairs - [ Watch Video ]

7.30 p.m.


Home | News | Video | Readings | Participants | Discussion | Schedule | Contact

Terror - Ground Zero | War of Networks
Antiterror - Technological Revolution | Everyday Terror
Counterterror - Infowar, Cyberwar | Technologies of Change