Analysis & Opinions - Boston Review

Democracy's Dilemma: Forum Response

| May 16, 2019

Joseph Nye responds to Farrell and Schneier's "Democracy's Dilemma."

The Mueller Report has shown that the 2016 disruption of our democracy was real, whether there was collusion or not. But Farrell and Schneier remind us that the dilemma our democracy faces goes well beyond Russian interference and fake news.

In the nineteenth century, the outcome of contests for mastery of Europe depended primarily on whose army won; today, it also depends on whose story wins. Or as P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking put it in their book LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media (2018), "These new wars are not won by missiles and bombs, but by those able to shape the story lines that frame our understanding." The use of information as an instrument of conflict and manipulation in international politics has a long history. What is new is not the basic model; it is the speed with which such disinformation can spread and the low cost of spreading it....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Nye, Joseph S. Jr.“Democracy's Dilemma: Forum Response.” Boston Review, May 16, 2019.