Theories and Evidence of How the Internet Has Changed Society Seminar

Credit Hours: 2

The Internet has had a profound effect on political, economic, and social relationships, and the law is in a state of transformation as a result. Policy benefits from a good understanding of these social changes, particularly since people often hold conflicting theories about the impact of the Internet on society. In this course, the class will examine a range of theories about the Internet's impact on society, including its effect on beliefs, political organization, education, employment, markets for goods and services, privacy, physical and financial security, and equality. The course will begin with a set of readings on the theoretical and empirical support for a set of claims about the Internet, but ultimately the course will be a collaboration in which the instructor and the class jointly identify and assess the available evidence that can test the strength or weakness of competing theories. Students will integrate what they have learned into policy white papers that take and defend a position about how the Internet should or should not be regulated.