Google’s Foreign Policy: And a Wider East/West Geopolitical Shift

By Wayne A. Hunt.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Google is an example of what International Relations specialists refer to as a non state actor. In its self-proclaimed mission to organize the world’s information, it has a profound influence on the practice of statecraft. The influence is not all one way, however. Google does not just influence governments, governments influence Google. How? By establishing a regulatory environment, governments in essence lay down the rules of how to operate in a marketplace. Government, or more exactly, governments in the plural, exert a powerful influence on Google’s entire global operation. Whether it recognizes it or not, Google has a foreign policy – although, ironically, executives within the company would not recognize it as such. As a corporation which operates in the private sector, Google has been identified with innovation in the field of Information Technology. In a period when the great power rivalry between the United States and China is increasing, and when the pressure to be a high tech leader on issues like the response to climate change is increasing at a faster rate still, where does Google stand? Other actors in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors have defined interests and push governments to act in their interests. Google, however, is different. It is a relatively new entity, a new kid on the block.

Keywords: Geopolitical Competition, Politics of Green Technology, Masdar Initiative, Google’s Clean Tech Policy

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.105-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.573MB).

Dr. Wayne A. Hunt

Professor, Head of Department, Political Studies and Social Sciences, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

Wayne Hunt is a Professor of Politics and Head of Political Science Department at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard and Senior Research Associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. His publications cross a number of of academic fields, including media and communications, the social impact of new or emergent technologies, comparative politics, political leadership and sustainable development.