I will be presenting a paper entitled, "Wikileaks and Reputation for Resolve" at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association in San Diego which will be from April 1 - 4. The theme of the Convention is "Power, Principles and Participation in the Global Information Age". In addition to presenting my paper on Wikileaks, I will also be Chairing a panel on Social Media and Political Activism and acting as discussant for two other panels on Radicalism and Revolution in the Information Age and the Politics of Wikileaks. I am sure that there will be some fascinating conversations about the Arab Spring, Julian Assange, the networked fourth estate, and the issue of whether governments such as the US have circumvented constitutional free speech protections by enlisting the aid of businesses such as PayPal and Amazon that provided the infrastructure for Wikileaks to function.
My PhD dissertation discussed the use of virtual worlds as a new game theoretic model for the role of reputation in international law and relations, so my paper on Wikileaks and Reputation for Resolve stems from some of the concepts in my dissertation concerning reputation, particularly as it relates to the final stage in Bartle main player sequence in the model, which is non-deterministic (i.e. chaos driven), pluralistic, and realist/instrumentalist. One of the challenges in the Wikileaks paper is to integrate the transparency of the networked fourth estate with the non-deterministic opacity of the final stage in the Bartle player sequence in the game theoretic model. I intend to do this in the paper by demonstrating that one of the effects of Wikileaks will be to undermine the Weberian "iron cage" of path dependency produced by institutionalism, thus producing a reduction in emphasis on waging wars for the purpose of maintaining reputation for resolve. Therefore, although the rationale for reputation for resolve should theoretically at least be bolstered in a transparent environment where past actions are a reliable indicator of future behavior, the networked fourth estate facilitated by Wikileaks will result in an erosion of the path dependency of the military-industrial complex that is necessary for reputation for resolve to have traction. The expected conclusion of the paper is that this will result in reputation for resolve eventually becoming obsolete.