Shawn Powers and Ben O'Loughlin have published a commentary article in Media, War & Conflict entitled The Syrian data glut: Rethinking the role of information in conflict. Based on their recent work on Syria and the potential role of media in conflict resolution, they argue that the free flow of information can in some cases decrease the chances of peace. This contradicts centuries of thought concerning the role of information as leading to cooperation, trust and shared understanding. One potential avenue to improve the prospects of peace may be to map areas where people are getting on - where social relations are stable and markets and infrastructure are functioning. Instead of crisis mapping, why not look through the other end of the telescope and map peace? If we can explain why social relations do continue to function, it may be possible to build out from those areas.
Read the article for free here.