The tendency among political scientists and international relations specialists has largely been to deny the influence of technology on political and social affairs. A clear exception to this trend is the case of nuclear weapons. Since their invention, nuclear weapons have captured the attention of prominent thinkers, seeking to explain, for example, the historically anomalous absence of major war among large nations. In most other technological realms, however, the tendency in our discipline has been either to downplay or to neglect the impact of technology.
Such theoretical preconceptions are no longer viable, if they ever were. We live in intensely technological times. Never before has technology permeated society so completely or affected the affairs of states and their peoples so intricately. It is time to correct the lack of scholarly literature within our field, in political science, on recent inventions such as social media or even on established ones such as space technology.
At the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, our affiliated faculty, visiting fellows and experts conduct research on some of the most salient yet under studied questions facing the contemporary world. Our research agenda encompasses developments across a broad spectrum of technological dimensions – cyber studies, artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, outer space, and nuclear issues. These questions are wide-ranging and include the effects of computer hacking operations on the integrity of democratic elections, or the implications of distributed ledger technology (i.e. blockchain) for the protection of governmental and financial data.