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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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Is Left-Right still meaningful in politics? Or are we all just winners or losers of globalisation now?

The Left–Right dimension — based on the traditional cleavage in society between capital and labor — is the most common way of conceptualizing ideological difference. But in an ever more globalized world, are the concepts of Left and Right still relevant? In recent years political scientists have increasingly come to talk of a two-dimensional politics […]

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Has Internet policy had any effect on Internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa?

There is a consensus among researchers that ICT is an engine for growth, and it’s also considered by the OECD to be a part of fundamental infrastructure, like electricity and roads. The last decade has seen a rapid growth of Internet access across Africa, although it has not been evenly distributed. Some African countries have […]

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We aren’t “rational actors” when it come to privacy — and we need protecting

As digital technologies and platforms are increasingly incorporated into our lives, we are exposed to new practices of data creation and collection — and there is evidence that American citizens are deeply concerned about the consequences of these practices. But despite these concerns, the public has not abandoned technologies that produce data and collect personal […]

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How do we encourage greater public inclusion in Internet governance debates?

The Internet is neither purely public nor private, but combines public and private networks, platforms, and interests. Given its complexity and global importance, there is clearly a public interest in how it is governed, and role of the public in Internet governance debates is a critical issue for policymaking. The current dominant mechanism for public […]

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Should citizens be allowed to vote on public budgets?

There is a general understanding that public decision-making could generate greater legitimacy for political decisions, greater trust in government action and a stronger sense of representation. One way of listening to citizens’ demands and improving their trust in politics is the creation of online communication channels whereby issues, problems, demands, and suggestions can be addressed. […]

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Governments Want Citizens to Transact Online: And This Is How to Nudge Them There

In an era when most transactions occur online, it’s natural for public authorities to want the vast bulk of their contacts with citizens to occur through the Internet. But they also face a minority for whom paper and face-to-face interactions are still preferred or needed — leading to fears that efforts to move services online […]

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