Description : This study explores the rapidly expanding world of online illicit drug trading. Since the fall of the infamous Silk Road, a new generation of cryptomarkets can be found thriving on the dark net. Martin explores how these websites defy powerful law enforcement agencies and represent the new digital front in the 'war on drugs'.
Description : The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the development and use of virtual worlds. In one of the most notable, Second Life, millions of people have created online avatars in order to play games, take classes, socialize, and conduct business transactions. Second Life offers a gathering point and the tools for people to create a new world online. Too often neglected in popular and scholarly accounts of such groundbreaking new environments is the simple truth that, of necessity, such virtual worlds emerge from physical workplaces marked by negotiation, creation, and constant change. Thomas Malaby spent a year at Linden Lab, the real-world home of Second Life, observing those who develop and profit from the sprawling, self-generating system they have created. Some of the challenges created by Second Life for its developers were of a very traditional nature, such as how to cope with a business that is growing more quickly than existing staff can handle. Others are seemingly new: How, for instance, does one regulate something that is supposed to run on its own? Is it possible simply to create a space for people to use and then not govern its use? Can one apply these same free-range/free-market principles to the office environment in which the game is produced? "Lindens"-as the Linden Lab employees call themselves-found that their efforts to prompt user behavior of one sort or another were fraught with complexities, as a number of ongoing processes collided with their own interventions. Malaby thoughtfully describes the world of Linden Lab and the challenges faced while he was conducting his in-depth ethnographic research there. He shows how the workers of a very young but quickly growing company were themselves caught up in ideas about technology, games, and organizations, and struggled to manage not only their virtual world but also themselves in a nonhierarchical fashion. In exploring the practices the Lindens employed, he questions what was at stake in their virtual world, what a game really is (and how people participate), and the role of the unexpected in a product like Second Life and an organization like Linden Lab.
Description : Focusing on the role of the state in defending against cyber threats and in securing the information age, this volume intrigues and provokes with a number of 'fresh' hypotheses, observations and suggestions. It contributes to mapping the diverse layers, actors, approaches and policies of the cyber security realm.
Description : New Frontiers in International Communication Theory offers a wide-ranging assessment of the present state of the field of international communication and charts new directions for theory and research. It brings together renowned and emerging scholars who challenge the field to move beyond the limits of existing formulations, approaches, and trajectories, providing an alternative and a supplement to traditional approaches in analysis and study. In rethinking the central problematics of the field, exploring established and new tools and models of inquiry, and articulating new research agendas, this interdisciplinary collection anticipates the future of international communication studies.
Description : Twenty-three essays by young professional philosophers examine crucial ethical and metaphysical aspects of the Buffyverse (the world of Buffy). Though the show already attracted much scholarly attention, this is the first book to fully disinter the intellectual issues. Designed by Whedon as a multilevel story with most of its meanings deeply buried in heaps of heavy irony, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has replaced The X-Files as the show that explains to Americans the nature of the powerful forces of evil continually threatening to surge into our world of everyday decency and overwhelm it. In the tradition of the classic horror films Buffy the Vampire Slayer addresses ethical issues that have long fascinated audiences. This book draws out the ethical and metaphysical lessons from a pop-culture phenomenon.
Description : Peter Ludlow's latest Briefing Note is concerned with the structure of leadership in the European Union. As Jean Monnet observed, 'nothing is possible without men, nothing is lasting without institutions'. During the past thirty or forty years, the EU has developed a remarkably effective system of collective leadership in and through the European Council which has continued to facilitate the integration process, despite radical changes in the size and character of the EU itself and the emergence of a generation of leaders whose most prominent figures bear little comparison with their predecessors. The first two sections of the paper analyse how and why the system emerged and flourished. The Dutch and French referenda must however be seen in part at least as a protest against this system. Representing as its members do both the peoples and states of the European Union, the European Council's legitimacy is not in question. To be as effective in the future as it has been in the past, it must however become more accountable to those in a position to scrutinise and if necessary discipline its members. This means in the first instance national parliaments and citizens rather than the European Parliament. The constitutional treaty, which must now be presumed dead, had remarkably little of use to say on these matters, largely because MEPs and national parliamentarians in the Convention, either would not or did not acknowledge the European Council's status as 'the highest authority in the Union'. One of the positive features of the present crisis is therefore that it offers a fresh opportunity to find pragmatic, but at the same time radical solutions to fundamental problems which EU orthodoxy has obscured for far too long.