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The Kremlin's cameras and virtual Potemkin villages: ICT and the construction of statehood

Asmolov, Gregory (2014) The Kremlin's cameras and virtual Potemkin villages: ICT and the construction of statehood. In: Livingston, S. and Walter-Drop, G., (eds.) Bits and Atoms. Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood. Oxford University Press, New York, USA, pp. 30-46. ISBN 9780199941599

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Identification Number: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199941599.003.0003


Analyzing the role of sensors, the chapter explores how information communication technologies (ICTs) are used by state actors to strengthen governance. While ICTs contribute to implementation and enforcement of political decisions, they also play a role in construction of symbolic statehood. Case studies demonstrate the role of web cameras in Russia: monitoring of national projects, post-emergency relief, elections monitoring, and city management. While web cameras increase accountability and provide means for the decisions’ enforcement, deployment of networked sensors also provide means for deception through the symbolic construction of statehood. Web cameras are used for imitating statehood by communicating to the public the illusion of accountability and control. However, citizens’ sensors challenge the symbolic construction that relies on governments’ sensors. While ICT-based construction of statehood provides stability, in the long term increasing dissonance between the two systems of sensors can lead to a clash and the collapse of statehood.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 12:14
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:39

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