Imtiaz A. Hussain Imtiaz A. Hussain is A professor at Independent University and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He has published in numerous publications including "21st Century International Relations: Widening or Diversification? He has published a number of academic works.
1. Internet & (security) global relations: (In the beginning of your article, you quoted the views of many scholars on the advent of the network era, for example, Niall Ferguson believes that "a single global network will eventually make Homo sapiens redundant and then extinct". How do you think the Internet age will affect global relations, especially in terms of security?)
Cybersecurity is already seeping into the vital interests of countries (e.g., Russia infiltrating U.S. presidential election with illegally acquired information). This feature is only likely to grow, given the paucity of countries with Internet capabilities/software/skilled intelligence experts to conduct such penetrative actions fully and fluently. In turn, software-triggered conflicts can only shift from the possibility realm towards probability in the foreseeable future.
2. Digital gaps:(The digital divide is not only between urban and rural areas, but also between the elderly and the young , and between developed and developing countries. Can you tell us more about it?)
The aforementioned “divides” are not new: they have prevailed in softer form in sociological, political or economic analysis for a long time. What will change is the harder manifestations of them, evident in arenas already showing symptoms of that hardening: breakdown of the traditional family is happening faster as more youths become more mobile in seeking jobs and rural dwellers swarm into cities also for jobs, thus leaving parents and the elders more helpless and without supports. As prosperity indices show universal growth, arrogance is climbing in behavior, separating the wealthy from the impoverished far faster and more extensively than ever before.
3. Economic interdependence growing:( Some scholars have suggested that the economic interdependence among countries is becoming more and more pronounced at a time of rapid network development, and that the financial crisis will become a global threat. Do you agree with this statement? If not, can you give your reasons? If it is going to become a global threat, what can we do about it?)
This growth will continue, in part because of the growth of binational citizens, in part from more countries competing for the same market-access than ever before. With it, migration-based or trade-based conflicts will also grow regardless of whether countries behave with civility (as in the 1990s), or uncivil (as in the last 10-odd years). This is a pervasive global threat.
4. Global networks & control mechanisms:( The development of global networks has led to a restructuring of the socio-economic structure, which urgently needs to be monitored by laws and regulations. Are there any mechanisms that need to be established at the international level? Why?)
Of course, there are mechanisms prevailing, but more needed on an ongoing and urgent basis since new kinds of threats appear almost constantly everywhere in this mixed era of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th industrial revolution contraptions and more frontiers sprouting. Stabilizing institutions will get harder, new institutions more difficult to serve as representatively as in the past, and the net result would be small-groups littering the planet.