Skip navigation
Paperback | $22.00 Short | £15.95 | ISBN: 9780262513241 | 576 pp. | 6 x 9 in | | August 2009
ebook | $22.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262254687 | 576 pp. | 6 x 9 in | | August 2009

Look Inside

Instructor Resources

Change of State

Information, Policy, and Power


As the informational state replaces the bureaucratic welfare state, control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power. In Change of State Sandra Braman examines the theoretical and practical ramifications of this "change of state." She looks at the ways in which governments are deliberate, explicit, and consistent in their use of information policy to exercise power, exploring not only such familiar topics as intellectual property rights and privacy but also areas in which policy is highly effective but little understood. Such lesser-known issues include hybrid citizenship, the use of "functionally equivalent borders" internally to allow exceptions to U.S. law, research funding, census methods, and network interconnection. Trends in information policy, argues Braman, both manifest and trigger change in the nature of governance itself.After laying the theoretical, conceptual, and historical foundations for understanding the informational state, Braman examines 20 information policy principles found in the U.S Constitution. She then explores the effects of U.S. information policy on the identity, structure, borders, and change processes of the state itself and on the individuals, communities, and organizations that make up the state. Looking across the breadth of the legal system, she presents current law as well as trends in and consequences of several information policy issues in each category affected.

Change of State introduces information policy on two levels, coupling discussions of specific contemporary problems with more abstract analysis drawing on social theory and empirical research as well as law. Most important, the book provides a way of understanding how information policy brings about the fundamental social changes that come with the transformation to the informational state.

About the Author

Sandra Braman is Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the editor of Communication Researchers and Policy-Making (MIT Press, 2003).


"This is stimulating work and, although the focus is upon US information policy and most of the examples are drawn from the USA, the conclusions and the lessons to be learnt are valid universally."—Professor T.D. Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Information Research

"Valuable insight into the way the U.S. state (particularly under the administration of George W. Bush) has developed its information policies"—Lee Salter , Global Media and Communication


"A seminal book, impressive in its range, skill, and depth. Sandra Braman is one among a vanishingly small number of scholars with the skill and theoretical imagination to 'think' the information policy fields together. An important book for researchers, students, and policymakers."—Steven J. Jackson, University of Michigan

"Change of State provides an important new reframing of the field of information policy and its key issues. The synthesis of established issues like intellectual property with emerging concerns like borders and identity makes Braman's book a major contribution to contemporary debates. And its clear organization and accessible writing style will make it an indispensable introduction for students and nonspecialists alike."—Leah A. Lievrouw, , Professor, Department of Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles