UNITED NATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Information Technology, Globalization and Social Development Manuel Castells UNRISD Discussion Paper No. 114, September 1999
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THE NEW SOCIO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, NETWORKING, GLOBALIZATION
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AS A STRATEGIC TOOL
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE INFORMATION AGE: INEQUALITY, POVERTY, MISERY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION u Links Between Informational Capitalism and the Growing Social Crisis
THE FOURTH WORLD
REDEFINING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE INFORMATION AGE
For the first time in history the entire planet is capitalist. Even the few remaining command economies are surviving or developing through their linkages to global, capitalist markets. Yet this is a brand of capitalism that is at the same time very old and fundamentally new. It is old because it appeals to relentless competition in the pursuit of profit, and because individual satisfaction (deferred or immediate) is its driving engine. But it is fundamentally new because it is tooled by new information and communication technologies that are at the root of new productivity sources, new organizational forms, and the construction of a global economy. In the following paper, presented at the UNRISD conference on Information Technologies and Social Development (Geneva, June 1998), Manuel Castells examines the profile of this new world, centred around multinational corporations, global financial markets and a highly concentrated system of technological research and development. He stresses the extreme flexibility of the system, which allows it to link up everything that is...
References: Bailey, Paul et al. (1993) Multinationals and Employment: The Global Economy in the 1990s, Geneva: ILO. Benner, Chris (in progress) The Changing Labour Market of Silicon Valley, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley. Carnoy, Martin (1999) Sustainable Flexibility: Work, Family and Community in the Information Age, New York: Cambridge University Press. Castells, Manuel (1996) The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture—Vol. I: The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford: Blackwell. _______ (1997) The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture—Vol. II: The Power of Identity, Oxford: Blackwell. _______ (1998) The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture—Vol. III: End of Millennium, Oxford: Blackwell. Castells, Manuel and Laura d’Andrea Tyson (1988) “High technology choices ahead: Restructuring interdependence” in John M. Sewell and Stuart Tucker (eds.), Growth, Exports and Jobs in a Changing World Economy, New Brunswick: Transaction Books. _______ (1989) “High technology and the changing international division of production: Implications for the U.S. economy”, in Randall Purcell (ed.), The Newly Industrializing Countries in the World Economy”, Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Castells, Manuel and Emma Kiselyova (1995) The Collapse of Soviet Communism: The View from the Information Society, Berkeley: University of California, International and Area Studies Book Series. Dosi, Giovanni et al. (1988) Technical Change and Economic Theory, London: Pinter. Foray, Dominique and Christopher Freeman (1992) Technologie et richesse des nations, Paris: Economica.
UNRISD Discussion Paper No. 114
Hirst, Paul and Grahame Thompson (1996), Globalization in Question, Cambridge: Polity Press. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (1997) “Human Development Report 1997”, New York: Oxford University Press.
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