The NPCU's Ben O'Loughlin and the LSE/New York University's Richard Sennett are the keynote speakers for the conference Negotiating (In)Visibility: Managing Attention in the Digital Sphere convened by the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona on 4-5 June 2015. The programme is available here.
Ben's talk is entitled, The Shadow People: The Subject of Global Social Order? He will argue that the idea of 'the people' is being invoked by leaders of technology and foreign ministries at the same historical moment that 'people' are making themselves visible and present via ICT. However, locating who 'the people' are is problematic. What may be happening is that the great powers are using different conceptions of 'the people' strategically to advance their competing visions of global order. The people are not quite in sight - they're a shadow, invoked as a locus of hope or anxiety, or flitting into view during crises. It is in that half-light that political struggle is occurring, the post-Cold War 'great game' that will determine the course of the Twenty-First Century.