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Valtteri Vuorisalo: How data is transforming “the great game” of international politics

Published on 14.6.2022
Tampere University
Valtteri Vuorisalo is Professor of Practice of National Security at the Faculty of Management and Business. In his work he studies the impacts of the growing dependency of citizens and nation states on technology and data.

“In addition to vulnerabilities and threats I am interested in the interdependencies created by technology and data. Especially such interdependencies that have previously been considered innocent and neutral from the perspective of politics, especially security politics.“

According to Vuorisalo, data is a new source of power and wealth. Technology without data is useless, and artificial intelligence, for example, could not exist or be developed without data. It has been stated that the correlation between the ability to refine data and the power at the disposal of a nation state is growing stronger and stronger. The influence of companies, various groups and even individual citizens has also grown.

“It is noteworthy that companies from the EU are not found on lists of the most influential companies – let alone Finnish companies. In fact, the EU is being left behind in this increasingly polarising race.”

As data is being centralised under certain major powers, especially USA and China, it impacts what kind of partnerships and even alliances can and will be created in the future. 

The research world offers terms that we can use to discuss these matters. We need new terms, concepts, analytical frameworks, calculations and theories. According to Vuorisalo, all operators should do their part to promote discussion.

“If we fail in this, there is a risk that in the future we as citizens and nation states merely end up in situations instead of making rational decisions regarding these themes.”

Valtteri Vuorisalo's contact information