I’m attending a fantastic conference called Global Fusion, this year hosted by Texas A&MU . Every panel I’ve attended has featured intriguing themes and great presentations. One particularly wonderful aspect of the conference is that graduate students are warmly welcomed, and encouraged to present. So take note for the next year’s conference at Temple University in Philly!

Here are four take-aways especially relevant to our course ICM820 at SJU:

1. Castells & Digital Public Diplomacy

Remember this reading by Manuel Castells: Week 4_Castells – The New Public Spehere_Global Civil Society? Marco Ehrl is using that very theory of Global Public Sphere in concretely analyzing Germany’s current diplomatic efforts to engage nations as well as civil societies of different countries.

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2.  Online campaigns – when do they support democracy?

Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla is about to begin a research project in Peru on why some campaigns online, especially in social media, catch on, why others don’t. He notes that institutional support is crucial to get some off-line action to happen (e.g., Union civil ya!). He also notes that often behind a campaign that seems spontaneous, viral, and citizen-driven (e.g., Parejas reales) is a lobbyist group with $. And then, there are the cases when a campaign goes viral for real, and takes multiple forms for people to express their support or dissatisfaction (e.g., Chapa tu choro). The big question is, is the last one merely slacktivism, expression rather than action.

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3. Cybercrime

Katharine Hodgdon is researching forms of cybercrime and how they are governed.  NOTE! International agreements are very good at addressing crimes that relate to commercial activities; harassment of individuals is less covered.

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4. Cosmopolitanism

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Finally,  we saw a video on popularizing the ice and ideal of cosmopolitanism (remember Delanty: Week 4_Cosmopolitan Comm_Delanty).  Miyase Christensen — a professor from Sweden — has tried to understand the concept of cosmopolitanism  as an ethical stand: trying to understand one another in everyday situations, via the media and face-to-face. Here’s a short excerpt.

{ICM820} Global Fusion 2015_Some Intriguing Themes

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