The Impact of the Internet on Global Networks: A Perspective

  • Shefali VirkarEmail author
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 9)


The last quarter of the twentieth century was a time of significant upheaval. Unprecedented advances in computer technology began to collapse vast geographical distances and differences in time and made it possible for people from different parts of the world to form connections in manner not thought possible before. Centred around information, this technological revolution has today transformed the way in which people around the world think, work, share, and communicate. The rise in the number of non-state actors, particularly the emergence of civil society bodies such as NGOs, and the increase of their political influence has thrown up significant questions about how best the Internet and its associated technologies may be harnessed to aid the activities of such organisations and facilitate the formation of international networks.

Can the Internet truly augment the effects of those activists seeking to alter the landscape of international relations and advocacy? This chapter seeks to answer this question through an examination of the impact of the Internet on two iconic global networks: the Zapatista Solidarity Movement and the campaign against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, and the consequences that their innovative use of the World Wide Web and associated platforms in the early 1990s has had on the eventual outcome of each social movement. The work aims to contribute to that body of empirical political science which recognises the impact that information and communication technologies and digital platforms have had on transnational protest and advocacy ever since their development and rapid proliferation.


Foreign Direct Investment Civil Society Civil Society Organisation North American Free Trade Agreement Global Civil Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International RelationsKeble College, University of OxfordOxfordUK

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