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Stories written by david.sutcliffe
David manages departmental communications, and is also the Managing Editor of the journal Policy and Internet.
We should pay more attention to the role of gender in Islamist radicalization

One of the key current UK security issues is how to deal with British citizens returning from participation in ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Most of the hundreds fighting with ISIS were men and youths. But, dozens of British women and girls also travelled to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. For some, online […]

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What are the barriers to big data analytics in local government?

The concept of Big Data has become very popular over the last decade, with many large technology companies successfully building their business models around its exploitation. The UK’s public sector has tried to follow suit, with local governments in particular trying to introduce new models of service delivery based on the routine extraction of information […]

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How ready is Africa to join the knowledge economy?

“In times past, we searched for gold, precious stones, minerals, and ore. Today, it is knowledge that makes us rich and access to information is all-powerful in enabling individual and collective success.” Lesotho Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, 2005. Changes in the ways knowledge is created and used — and how this is enabled […]

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What explains variation in online political engagement?

While much of the modern political process is now carried out digitally, ICTs have yet to bring democracies to their full utopian ideal. The drivers of involvement in digital politics from an individual perspective are well studied, but less attention has been paid to the supply-side of online engagement in politics. In his Policy & […]

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Our knowledge of how automated agents interact is rather poor (and that could be a problem)

Recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of bots online — including search engine Web crawlers, online customer service chat bots, social media spambots, and content-editing bots in online collaborative communities like Wikipedia. (Bots are important contributors to Wikipedia, completing about 15% of all Wikipedia edits in 2014 overally, and more than […]

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Could Voting Advice Applications force politicians to keep their manifesto promises?

In many countries, Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) have become an almost indispensable part of the electoral process, playing an important role in the campaigning activities of parties and candidates, an essential element of media coverage of the elections, and being widely used by citizens. A number of studies have shown that VAA use has an […]

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Social media and the battle for perceptions of the U.S.–Mexico border

The US-Mexican border region is home to approximately 12 million people, and is the most-crossed international border in the world. Unlike the current physical border, the image people hold of “the border” is not firmly established, and can be modified. One way is via narratives (or stories), which are a powerful tool for gaining support […]

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Using Open Government Data to predict sense of local community

Community-based approaches are widely employed in programmes that monitor and promote socioeconomic development. And building the “capacity” of a community — i.e. the ability of people to act individually or collectively to benefit the community — is key to these approaches. The various definitions of community capacity all agree that it comprises a number of […]

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Should adverts for social casino games be covered by gambling regulations?

Social casino gaming, which simulates gambling games on a social platform such as Facebook, is a nascent but rapidly growing industry — social casino game revenues grew 97 percent between 2012 and 2013, with a USD$3.5 billion market size by the end of 2015. Unlike gambling played for real money, social casino games generally have […]

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How useful are volunteer crisis-mappers in a humanitarian crisis?

User-generated content can provide a useful source of information during humanitarian crises like armed conflict or natural disasters. With the rise of interactive websites, social media, and online mapping tools, volunteer crisis mappers are now able to compile geographic data as a humanitarian crisis unfolds, allowing individuals across the world to organize as ad hoc […]

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