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By on 16 Feb, 2014 | From the channel/s: Diplo Blog

Links between Switzerland and the Balkans are numerous, starting with those that are easily visible. Every Christmas and Easter, thousands of cars with Swiss plates carry families to their home countries for the holidays. Swiss cuckoo clocks hang on the walls of many houses in the Balkans.

By on 30 Jan, 2014 | From the channel/s: Internet Governance

My problems with classifications date back to the time when I learned that a whale is not a fish and a tomato is not a vegetable. On tomatoes I got a bad mark for not following the scientific classification, but preserved my credibility with my aunts and other great cooks in my life. Fortunately, my stomach ruled my brain when I realised that I knew more cooks than scientists!

By on 17 Jan, 2014 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

Among various ‘endisms’ associated with the Internet, the ‘end of hierarchy’ is one of the most repeated and enduring. Hundreds of articles and books have been written based on two false assumptions:

The first is that society was hierarchically organised till the invention of the Internet. This assumption ignores that – before the Internet – people used to network through schools, pubs, sports, families ….  You name it, you have it.

By on 17 Dec, 2013 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy

As a lot is being written these days about a great man, I thought I’d add a  few lines about what he meant to me. Before I went to South Africa three years ago he was a remarkable historical figure, but somehow distant, belonging to the text I read on the end of apartheid. In South Africa, while visiting Robin Island, Soweto, and talking to people about him, I realised my ignorance. Yes, Mandela led one of the most remarkable political transitions in modern history, but he did much more: he helped humanity to rediscover the relevance of empathy, compromise, and politics.

By on 09 Dec, 2013 | From the channel/s: Internet Governance

Management of the root zone has been one of the most controversial issues in the Internet governance debate. Since the first days of the World Summit of Information Society (WSIS) back in 2002, the theoretical possibility of removing other countries form the Internet – by deleting the country’s domain name from the Internet – has inspired many countries to criticise the USA’s key role in the management of the root zone database.

By on 27 Nov, 2013 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy

By on 23 Oct, 2013 | From the channel/s: Internet Governance, Diplo Blog

Today I was an e-squatter, a new type of conference participant. In big events, like the Internet Governance Forum, with more than 2000 participants and many parallel sessions, it’s possible to find a conference room with good wifi connection and do some work back home. My guess is that at least half of the participants in today’s meetings were physically in the room but virtually somewhere else.

By on 15 Oct, 2013 | From the channel/s: Diplomacy, Internet Governance

My previous blog outlined the main features of cable/telegraph politics. This post will draw ten political parallels between the telegraph and the Internet, two major communication developments of the last two centuries. Historical reflections are a useful reminder of long-term trends, especially in times of the techno-excitement inherent in ‘here and here’.

By on 07 Oct, 2013 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

News of the laying of a BRICS-cable triggered public attention as news of laying telegraph cables did a century ago. The ‘cable rush’ by Britain, Germany and France – then major industrial and colonial powers – heralded the start of cable geo-politics which still exist today.  Despite all the promises of the end of geography and Internet ‘virtuality’, geography remains as important as ever. Are we facing a renewed interest in cable geo-strategy?

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