Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia: Communication in World Order Transformation


How do the new communication technologies shape today's world order? Will the growing use of these technologies cause a shift in security concerns away from "international" to "intra-planetary" issues? Will we witness a proliferation of nonterritorial communities defined in "virtual" space? Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia tracks the ebb and flow of political power and authority as a function of changes in modes of communication.

Part One examines the emergence of printing and its impact on the transformation of medieval to the modern order. Ronald Deibert shows how printing undercut Europe's dependence on a single Christian Commonwealth, feeding the strategic interests of the Protestant Reformation and giving rise to modern state bureaucracies.

In Part Two, Deibert shows how new digital electronic communications such as the Internet -- or hypermedia -- with their unprecedented capability to blur territorial and political lines, will have an effect on all spheres of human interaction, from economic production and political security to knowledge and culture.

With its thought-provoking, sophisticated theoretical approach, Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia uses its survey of changing communication technologies to present a convincing snapshot of what the emerging world order will look like.

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