Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm

Princeton University Press
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Computer-centered networks and technologies are reshaping social relations and constituting new social domains on a global scale, from virtually borderless electronic markets and Internet-based large-scale conversations to worldwide open source software development communities, transnational corporate production systems, and the global knowledge-arenas associated with NGO networks. This book explores how such "digital formations" emerge from the ever-changing intersection of computer-centered technologies and the broad range of social contexts that underlie much of what happens in cyberspace.

While viewing technologies fundamentally in social rather than technical terms, Digital Formations nonetheless emphasizes the importance of recognizing the specific technical capacities of digital technologies. Importantly, it identifies digital formations as a new area of study in the social sciences and in thinking about globalization. The ten chapters, by leading scholars, examine key social, political, and economic developments associated with these new configurations of organization, space, and interaction. They address the operation of digital formations and their implications for the development of longstanding institutions and for their wider contexts and fields, and they consider the political, economic, and other forces shaping those formations and how the formations, in turn, are shaping such forces.

Following a conceptual introduction by the editors are chapters by Hayward Alker, Jonathan Bach and David Stark, Lars-Erik Cederman and Peter A. Kraus, Dieter Ernst, D. Linda Garcia, Doug Guthrie, Robert Latham, Warren Sack, Saskia Sassen, and Steven Weber.

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About the author

Robert Latham is Director of the Social Science Research Council Program on Information Technology and International Cooperation. He is the author of The Liberal Moment. Saskia Sassen is the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Her books include The Global City and the forthcoming Denationalization: Territory, Authority, and Rights in a Global Digital Age (both Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 19, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781400831616
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Social Aspects / General
Political Science / Globalization
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Social Science / Essays
Social Science / Sociology / General
Technology & Engineering / Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Saskia Sassen
Where does the nation-state end and globalization begin? In Territory, Authority, Rights, one of the world's leading authorities on globalization shows how the national state made today's global era possible. Saskia Sassen argues that even while globalization is best understood as "denationalization," it continues to be shaped, channeled, and enabled by institutions and networks originally developed with nations in mind, such as the rule of law and respect for private authority. This process of state making produced some of the capabilities enabling the global era. The difference is that these capabilities have become part of new organizing logics: actors other than nation-states deploy them for new purposes. Sassen builds her case by examining how three components of any society in any age--territory, authority, and rights--have changed in themselves and in their interrelationships across three major historical "assemblages": the medieval, the national, and the global.

The book consists of three parts. The first, "Assembling the National," traces the emergence of territoriality in the Middle Ages and considers monarchical divinity as a precursor to sovereign secular authority. The second part, "Disassembling the National," analyzes economic, legal, technological, and political conditions and projects that are shaping new organizing logics. The third part, "Assemblages of a Global Digital Age," examines particular intersections of the new digital technologies with territory, authority, and rights.

Sweeping in scope, rich in detail, and highly readable, Territory, Authority, Rights is a definitive new statement on globalization that will resonate throughout the social sciences.

Robert Latham
Burgeoning national security programs; thickening borders; Wikileaks and Anonymous; immigrant rights rallies; Occupy movements; student protests; neoliberal austerity; global financial crises – these developments underscore that the fable of a hope-filled post-cold war globalization has faded away. In its place looms the prospect of states and corporations transforming a permanent war on terror into a permanent war on society. How, at the critical juncture of a post-globalization era, will policymakers and power-holders in leading states and corporations of the Global North choose to pursue power and control? What possibilities and limits do activists and communities face for progressive political action to counter this power inside and outside the state??

This book is a sustained dialogue between author and political theorist, Robert Latham and Mr. V, a policy analyst from a state in the Global North. Mr. V is sympathetic to the pursuit of justice, rights and freedom by activists and movements but also mindful of the challenges of states in pursuing security and order in the current social and political moment. He seeks a return to the progressive, welfare-oriented state associated with the twentieth century. ?The dialogue offers an in-depth consideration of whether this is possible and how a progressive politics might require a different approach to social organization, power and collective life.?

Exploring key ideas, such as sovereignty, activism, neoliberalism, anarchism, migration, intervention, citizenship, security, political resistance and transformation, and justice, this book will be of interest to academics and students of Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Law, Geography, Media and Communication, and Cultural Studies.

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