Hometown: Washington D.C.
December 3, 2012
a paper I'm working on: Social Mechanism Design of Institutions in Developing Countries Many new and emerging democracies are caught in a capability trap where politicians receive support from voters and from international institutions despite a remarkable ineffectiveness to delivery basic public services such as health care, education and water. This trap is perpetuated through a technique called isomorphic mimetry, where emphasis is placed on the form (what the institution looks like) rather than the function (the actual performance). Social Mechanism Design and Relationship Imaging (Social fMRI), part of the emerging field of pervasive and mobile computing, provides unprecedented amounts of data about the behavior of individuals and communities through the use of mobile phone censors, and may provide insight into how institutions escape capability traps.
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Joshua Goldstein (@african_minute) is a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he studies technology and governance and internet policy in Africa. He consults with the World Bank Group and lives in Nairobi & DC.