The future of Digital Power

A visual representation of cyber attacks. Photo: Christiaan Colen CC BY-SA 2.0

Power within and between states is increasingly generated and exercised through digital means. States are increasingly having to invest in their cyber abilities in order to maintain or achieve security and support new forms of commerce.

The internet has provided the platform for the emergence of new information ecosystems which have proven vulnerable to manipulation by a range of actors, creating challenges in democratic societies and deepening authoritarian trends within others. 

Our work on Digital Power seeks to understand how the emergence of digital technologies is affecting power dynamics within and between states. As part of a focus on the future of democracy in a digital age, we are working with ODI’s Politics and Governance team to explore the role social media platforms play in informing and misinforming citizens, asking why institutions are struggling to build or maintain trust and examining appropriate responses. 

We also work with ODI’s Risk and Resilience programme to explore the carbon consequences of emerging technology and carry out horizon scanning research to identify emerging global risks. We use this work to inform how states approach these risks in a way which is cognisant of the need to protect social and economic development gains.