Students interested in undergraduate and graduate opportunities to study with Professor Deibert should refer to his student supervision page.
Professor Deibert is currently teaching two courses:
POL106H: Contemporary Challenges to Democracy: Democracy in the Social Media Age
Program: Political Science Undergraduate
Social media is the predominant means by which most of the world communicates, seeks, and receives information today. Like all communication technologies, the character of social media dramatically influences issues related to identity, society, and politics. Social media also provides an important platform for political struggles, and is consequently subject to varying types of state control and interference. In this course, we examine the relationship between democracy and social media. We will explore the underlying business model of social media, widely known as “surveillance capitalism,” and then discuss some of the ways the business model may distort public communications. We will look at disinformation on social media, and both targeted and mass surveillance undertaken in and through the platforms. We will also examine the overlooked ecological impacts of social media. Finally, we will explore ways to reform and regulate social media in the public interest.
GLA2010H: Geopolitics of Cyberspace
Program: Masters in Global Affairs
*This course has limited space. Non-departmental enrollment may be restricted depending on space.
New information and communication technologies, such as the Internet, are widely believed to be transforming world politics. While these transformations have brought about important challenges to state power and authority, they have not eliminated power politics and the quest for security and competitive advantage among actors on the world stage. Today, states and non-state actors alike are seeking ways to exploit information and information systems to pursue political objectives. The control of information has long been seen as a source of political power, and today is manifested in competition over both the media and the messages of the global communications environment.
The Geopolitics of Cyberspace course is an intensive examination of the ways in which states and non-state actors are contesting the newly evolving terrain of global digital-electronic-telecommunications. The course is organized as a series of intensive modules around the research projects of the Citizen Lab.