Managing the Infosphere: Governance, Technology, and Cultural Practice in Motion

Managing the Infosphere: Governance, Technology, and Cultural Practice in Motion

Managing the Infosphere: Governance, Technology, and Cultural Practice in Motion

Managing the Infosphere: Governance, Technology, and Cultural Practice in Motion

Synopsis

Managing the Infosphereexamines the global world of communications as a space of mobility that overlaps uneasily with the world of sovereign, territorial nation-states. Drawing on their expertise in geography, political science, international relations, and communication studies, the authors investigate specific policy problems encountered as international organizations, corporations, and individual users try to "manage" a space that simultaneously contradicts and supports existing institutions and systems of governance, identity, and technology. The authors examine debates surrounding efforts to assert local control over cyberspace infrastructures as well as efforts to assert global control over technology standards. They compare the infosphere with other spaces of mobility that are partially incorporated within the international political economy, from the world-ocean to the Special Economic Zone of Hong Kong, shedding light on the relationship between the infosphere and the world's dominant political, economic, and cultural structures and institutions

Excerpt

Managing the Infosphere was conceived in the summer of 2003, when one of us (Steinberg) was located in Mountain City, Tennessee, a town of 2,443 residents nestled in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains, about 12 miles from the borders of both Virginia and North Carolina. By any measure, Mountain City is one of the more isolated points in the eastern United States. It is the only incorporated town in Johnson County (pop. 17,499), and much of the 298-square-mile county consists of uninhabited National Forest land. Fewer than 60 percent of adults in the county have a high school degree, and fewer than 7 percent are college graduates (figures for the United States as a whole, by comparison, are 80 percent with a high school degree and 25 percent with a college degree). The nearest access to the Interstate highway system is in Abingdon, Virginia, a 40-minute drive away, across winding mountain roads that become treacherous in winter, and, as the ultimate indicator of isolation in rural, twenty-first-century America, Mountain City is probably one of the very few points in the eastern . . .

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