POL 330-800, Internet Politics

SUNY Oswego | Spring 2023 | Dr. Craig Warkentin
Mon/Wed/Fri, 12:40-1:35 | 211 Mahar Hall

POL 330 examines how the Internet shapes politics and vice versa. Toward that end, we'll survey the Internet's ongoing development and the political context in which it occurs; consider strategies and proposals for Internet governance; and explore notions of cyber peace and security.

I'll hold you accountable for all the information contained in this syllabus, so be sure to let me know if something isn't clear. I reserve the right to modify the syllabus as the semester progresses, but I'll consult you before making any changes that could impact your grade and announce any notable revisions in class.


When you finish this course, I hope you'll be able to:

I'll do my best to help you achieve these goals as we work our way through the semester. Toward that end, I trust you'll help me create a classroom environment that's conducive to learning and consistent with SUNY Oswego's non-discrimination policy.


This course has three required texts, to which you should have ready access throughout the semester:

Don't buy the Cyber Peace book! It's available, free of charge, via the Cambridge Press website. (Download the full book PDF here.)

The first two books will serve as our main texts, and we'll read each from cover to cover. The third book, Turabian's Manual for Writers, is a reference tool for your written assignments.


You're encouraged to stay abreast of relevant news stories throughout the semester, and we may occasionally discuss current events in class. The following (reputable) news sites are recommended:


I expect you to attend class, participate actively, and make any needed arrangements if you're absent. Keep in mind that participation is a graded assignment in POL 201, and (of course) you can't participate if you don't attend class. Note that you'll be held accountable for whatever occurs during class, whether or not you attend.

Phones, laptops, and other electronic devices should be silenced and stowed out of reach whenever class is in session. Excepted from this rule are devices used solely to access relevant course materials for the day at hand. If you fail to use a device exclusively for class purposes, I reserve the right to dismiss you from the classroom or reduce your course participation grade.

I'll email you if I can't make it to campus or we have to cancel class. If we do miss a class meeting, stay on schedule with any readings and assignment deadlines (unless otherwise instructed). We'll make adjustments when we return, if needed.


Graded assignments and point values for POL 330 are:

Written assignments must be typewritten and double-spaced, use a (single) standard font with 1-1.25" margins, include your name at the top of the first page, and contain a word count at the end of your essay. Also required are parenthetical citations and a reference list that conform fully to the author-date style as detailed in Chapters 18-19 of Turabian's Manual for Writers.

Submit each written assignment via email, as a PDF file attachment, with your surname used as the first word of your attachment file name (e.g., "Biden Paper 1.pdf"). Email each paper directly to me from your "oswego.edu" address. I won't fetch files from Google Drive or accept formats other than PDF.

Submissions that don't meet stated requirements are subject to a score reduction or other penalty, to be levied at my discretion. Written assignments with missing or improperly formatted citations may receive a score of zero. I also reserve the right to give you a zero on any late, missed, or refused assignment (if conditions warrant).

Detailed requirements and expectations for each assignment will be discussed in class.


As stated in SUNY Oswego's Academic Integrity Policy, "any form of academic dishonesty is a serious concern, and as such, students who are found to have violated this policy may be subject to penalties including, but not limited to, reductions of assignment grades, failure of courses, notations on official transcripts, and suspension or expulsion from the College."

By submitting your first written assignment for grading, in this class, you formally acknowledge that you fully understand the university's Academic Integrity Policy including relevant definitions, consequences, and procedures. I reserve the right to take any punitive action allowed by SUNY Oswego if you cheat, plagiarize, or otherwise engage in proscribed behavior.


Your course grade will be determined by the number of points you accrue during the semester, as follows:

470-500 = A
450-469 = A-
435-449 = B+

420-434 = B
400-419 = B-
385-399 = C+

370-384 = C
350-369 = C-
335-349 = D+

320-334 = D
300-319 = D-
000-299 = E


Stress is a normal and important part of our human experience. However, there are times when your stress will exceed your coping skills and resources. The changes that we've experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other national and global events have impacted us all in various ways—and are expected to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Your health and well-being are critical components in your ability to learn. If you find that you're struggling to engage and function, please reach out. Resources are available, including Counseling Services, which provides brief and confidential counseling support to enrolled students (covered by your student health fee). After-hours crisis coverage is available by calling Counseling Services at 315-312-4416 and listening to the available options. The CrisisTextLine can be accessed by texting GOT5U to 741741. Lastly, the Oz Concern Navigator is now available to point you to additional resources to help you address your concerns.


SUNY Oswego is committed to enhancing the safety and security of the campus for all its members. In support of this, faculty may be required to report their knowledge of certain crimes or harassment. Reportable incidents include harassment on the basis of sex or gender prohibited by Title IX and crimes covered by the Clery Act. For more information about Title IX protections, go to https://www.oswego.edu/title-ix/ or contact the Title IX Coordinator, 405 Culkin Hall, 315-312-5604, titleix@oswego.edu. For more information about the Clery Act and campus reporting, go to the University Police annual report, available at https://www.oswego.edu/police/annual-report.


I'll assume you're doing as well as you'd like to in this class unless you tell me otherwise. If you do need some help, just let me know. I'm always glad to address any course-related questions or concerns you might have.

Feel free to stop by during office hours, email me, or give me a call. (Voice messages left on my office phone are forwarded to my email.) I'll reply to email messages as promptly as possible, but I can't guarantee a same-day response. Messages received after 3pm or on a weekend day will usually be addressed the following business day.

My contact information and office hours are:

  • MWF, 11:30-12:30,
    & by appointment

If you have a disabling condition that could interfere with your ability to successfully complete this class, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources (155 Marano Campus Center, 315-312-3358, access@oswego.edu).


Jan 23

Turabian: 15. General Introduction to Citation Practices (all); 7. Drafting Your Paper (§§7.4, 7.5, 7.9); 18. Author-Date Style: The Basic Form (all); Ch. 19. Author-Date Style: Citing Specific Types of Sources (§19.1)

Jan 25

Four Internets: 1. Preliminary Concepts: Networks and Data

Jan 27

Four Internets: I. The First Internet: The Silicon Valley Open Internet; 2. How the Internet Developed

Jan 30

Four Internets: 3. Governing the Internet

Feb 1

Four Internets: 4. The Vision of the Open Internet

Feb 3

No Class Meeting

Feb 6

Four Internets: 5. Policy Question: How Can Quality Be Ensured in an Open System Like Wikipedia?

Feb 8

Four Internets: II. Alternatives to Openness; 6. Openness and Its Discontents

Feb 10

Four Internets: 7. The Second Internet: The Brussels Bourgeois Internet

Feb 13

Four Internets: 8. Policy Question: When Is Surveillance Justified?

Feb 15

Four Internets: 9. The Third Internet: The DC Commercial Internet

Feb 17

Four Internets: 10. Policy Question: How Can Competition against the Tech Giants Be Fostered?

Feb 20

Four Internets: 11. The Fourth Internet: The Beijing Peternal Internet

Feb 22

Four Internets: 12. Policy Question: Is Huawei Infrastructure a Threat to Western National Security?

Feb 24

Four Internets: 13. The Moscow Spoiler Model

Feb 27

Four Internets: 14. Policy Question: Is a Sovereign Internet Feasible?

Mar 1

Four Internets: 15. Peaceful Coexistence

Mar 3

News/Current Events

Mar 6

Four Internets: III. Futures; 16. India, the 'Swing State'

Mar 8

Four Internets: 17. Policy Question: When Should Personal Data Cross Borders?

Mar 10

Four Internets: 18. Artificial Intelligence

Mar 13, 15, 17

Spring Recess

Mar 20

Four Internets: 19. Smart Cities and the Internet of Things

Mar 22

Four Internets: 20. Social Machines

Mar 24

Four Internets: 21. The Unity of Freedom

Mar 27

Cyber Peace: Introduction (Shackelford, Douzet, and Ankersen)

Mar 29

Cyber Peace: 1. Cyber Peace: Is That a Thing? (Marlin-Bennett)

Mar 31

Cyber Peace: 2. Domestic Digital Repression and Cyber Peace (Steinberg, Loyle, and Carugati)

Apr 3

Cyber Peace: 3. Information Sharing as a Critical Best Practice for the Sustainablility of Cyber Peace (Housen-Couriel)

Apr 5

Cyber Peace: 4. De-escalation Pathways and Disruptive Technology: Cyber Operations as Off-Ramps to War (Valeriano and Jensen)

Apr 7

Cyber Peace: 5. Cyber Peace and Intrastate Armed Conflicts: Toward Cyber Peacebuilding? (Chenou and Bonilla-Aranzales)

Apr 10

No Reading Assignment

Apr 12

Cyber Peace: 6. Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Peace (Ebrahim)

Apr 14

Cyber Peace: 7. Contributing to Cyber Peace by Maximizing the Potential for Deterrence: Criminalization of Cyberattacks under the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute (Jennifer Trahan)

Apr 17

Cyber Peace: 8. Trust but Verify: Diverse Verifiers Are a Prerequisite to Cyber Peace (Knake and Shostack)

Apr 19

No Class Meeting

Apr 21

Cyber Peace: 9. Building Cyber Peace While Preparing for Cyber War (Douzet, Géry, and Delerue)
Optional Reading: 10. Imagining Cyber Peace: An Interview with a Cyber Peace Pioneer (François and Ankersen)

Apr 24

No Reading Assignment

Apr 26

Cyber Peace: 11. Overcoming Barriers to Empirical Cyber Research (Boustead and Shackelford)

Apr 28

Cyber Peace: 12. Bits and "Peaces": Solving the Jigsaw to Secure Cyberspace (Duguin, Lewis, Bosco, and Crema)

May 1

Cyber Peace: 13. Cyber Hegiene Can Support Cyber Peace (Stifel, Giroud, and Walsh)

May 3

Cyber Peace: 14. Crowdsourcing Cyber Peace and Cybersecurity (Kumar)

May 5

Cyber Peace: 15. Advanced Persistent Threat Groups Increasingly Destabilize Peace and Security in Cyberspace (Buzatu)