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Sandra Braman

Faculty member Sandra Braman
Abbott Professor of Liberal Arts
Areas of Speciality
  • Communication, Politics, and Policy
  • BLTN 309F
Professional Links
Personal Website


Macro-level effects of information technologies and their policy implications; information policy; the co-construction of law, society, and technology.


Sandra Braman’s research has been supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Soros Foundation, and the First Amendment Fund.  Braman’s book Change of State:  Information, Policy, and Power, currently undergoing revision for a second edition, is in use around the world and is widely viewed as having defined the field of information policy.  Other publications include the edited volumes Communication Researchers and Policy-MakingThe Emergent Global Information Policy Regime, and Biotechnology and Communication:  The Meta-Technologies of Information and over 100 refereed journal articles and book chapters.  Braman created and launched the first graduate (postgraduate) program in telecommunications and information policy on the African continent while serving as Director and Visiting Professor at the University of South Africa.  She has also served in the invited positions of Freedom of Expression Professor at the University of Bergen (Norway), Fulbright Senior Scholar at Södertörn University (Sweden), and Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).  She conceived and edits the Information Policy Book Series at MIT Press, and is former Chair of the Communication Law and Policy Division of the International Communication Association and former Chair of the Law Section of the International Association of Media and Communication Research.  In 2014 Braman was inducted as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. She is a Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University and Faculty Associate, Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University.


Dr. Braman teaches in the areas of law and policy for information, communication, and culture; global, international, and intercultural communication; communication and technology; organizational communication policy; global research methods; and qualitative (interpretive) research methods.

Representative Publications

  • Braman, Sandra. (2017).  The medium as power:  Information and its flows as acts of war.  In Cherian George (Ed.), Communicating with power, pp. 3-22.  Bern, Switzerland:  Peter Lang, International Communication Association Theme Book Series.
  • Braman, Sandra. (2017).  Internet histories: The view from the design process, Internet Histories1(1), 70-78.
  • Braman, Sandra.  (2015).  The state of cloud computing policy.  In Christopher Yoo & Jean-François Blanchette (Eds.), Regulating the cloud:  Policy for computing infrastructure, pp. 279-288.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.
  • Braman, Sandra.  (2014).  Cyber security ethics at the boundaries:  System maintenance and the Tallinn Manual.  In Ludovica Glorioso & Anna-Maria Osula (Eds.), Proceedings:  1st workshop on ethics of cyber conflict, pp. 49-58.  Tallinn, Estonia:  NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
  • Braman, Sandra.  (2014).  “We are Bradley Manning”:  The legal subject and the WikiLeaks complex, International Journal of Communication8, 2603-2618.
  • Braman, Sandra. (2014).  The geopolitical and the network political:  Internet designers and governance, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics9(2), 277-296.
  • Braman, Sandra.  (2011).  Defining information policy, Journal of Information Policy1(1), 1-5.
  • Braman, Sandra.  (2007).  When nightingales break the law:  Silence and the construction of reality, Ethics and Information Technology9(4), 281-295.


Change of StateBraman, Sandra. (2006/2013). Change of State: Information, Policy and Power. Cambridge, MA: MIT PressAs 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.” 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.




Biotechnology and Communication

Braman, Sandra (Ed.). Biotechnology and Communication: The Meta-Technologies of Information. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge

This volume examines the convergence of biotechnology and communication systems and explores how this convergence directly influences our understanding of the nature of communication. Editor Sandra Braman brings together scholars to examine this convergence in three areas: genetic information and “facticity”; social issues and implications; and the economic and legal issues raised by the production and ownership of information. The work highlights the sophisticated processes taking place as biotechnology and information technology systems continue to evolve.




Emergent Global Information Policy Regime

Braman, Sandra (Ed.). (2004). The Emergent Global Information Policy Regime. Houndsmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

There is a struggle over governance of the global information network among national governments and international organizations, corporations and NGOs, elites and civil society. The outcome will determine how we communicate, the extent of our civil liberties and human rights, the profitability of e-commerce, and the richness of cultural expression. This collection looks at the processes by which the global information policy regime is being formed – themselves in conflict – as a foundation for understanding its emergent features.




Communication Researchers and Policy-makingBraman, Sandra (Ed.). (2003). Communication Researchers and Policy-making. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

As the global information infrastructure evolves, the field of communication has the opportunity to renew itself while addressing the urgent policy need for new ways of thinking and new data to think about. Communication Researchers and Policy-making examines diverse relationships between the communication research and policy communities over more than a century. Essays range from historical pieces on the importance of communication research since the beginning of systematic policy analysis an on the various roles that researchers can play to contemporary analyses of contributions of research to policy debates over network design and access, media violence, and advertising fraud.