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INFORMATION INTERDEPENDENCE: Keohane and Nye's complex interdependence in the information age

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A well-known and respected attempt to theorize interdependence in the field of international relations is complex interdependence. In Power and Interdependence, Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Jr define interdependence as reciprocal effects among actors resulting from 'international transactions - flows of money, goods, people and messages across international boundaries'. Though much research has been done on the effects of interdependence on the first three, the flows of messages have been studied less often. Keohane and Nye addressed the issue in a 1998 article in Foreign Affairs, discussing changes in the global environment resulting from the information age which have had an impact on their ideas. This article proposes to go deeper into complex interdependence. The world is becoming increasingly 'information interdependent' and this essay is an attempt to apply the assumptions and concepts presented in complex interdependence to the information age. In the final analysis, complex interdependence complements research from the field of communications, that information flows should be understood as underlying mechanisms and processes that facilitate contextual understanding of issues. It maintains the integrity of the assumptions of complex interdependence, while adding an understanding of the nature of information and information flows.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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