Mark is currently a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. His research can be divided into three categories:
Hybrid Urban Spaces and the Politics of Virtual Globes
Mark's work on digital earths examines how physical places are ever more defined by, and made visible through, not only their traditional physical locations and properties, but also their virtual attributes and positionalities. Specifically, he is interested in how ubiquitous electronic representations of urban environments that are made possible by services such as Google Earth and Google Maps have the power to redefine, reconfigure, and reorder the cities that they represent. Some of his published work on this topic can be found on his website, while more recent work can be accessed here on the floatingsheep blog.
ICT for Development
Mark is particularly interested in the multiplicity of attempts to implement development and reduce a 'digital divide' by altering relative economic distance and reconfiguring commodity chains in places on the global periphery. While much of his work has focused on such attempts within the context of the Thai silk industry, he is expanding his research to encompass a broader range of case studies, both small and large, which seek to reduce 'digital divides' in the Global South. In particular, he is now currently involved in a multi-year project to study the effects of broadband use and access in East Africa. The ultimate aim of this research is to better understand the variety of strategies employed in using cyber-presence to offset remote physical presence. Mark is currently preparing a book manuscript on this topic that includes many of the insights obtained from his work in Thailand.
Non-Proximate Transparency and Economic Reorganisation
Novel ways of collaborating and pooling resources are being made possible by a new wave of Internet projects promoting transparency through commodity chains. The central element in these new projects is the ability of non-proximate transparency to effect patterns of consumption and economic flows. Mark's work in this area examines how a variety of social networks and the ability of consumers to monitor distant nodes on production chains are reorganizing economic activities. His efforts centre on developing useful theoretical frameworks for the effects of non-proximate transparency, as well as detailed empirical studies on multiple transparency-promoting projects. He has also recently set up a commodity chain tracing project that can be accessed at wikichains.com
Mark can be contacted at mark.graham [[ at ]] oii.ox.ac.uk