Thursday, 20 November 2008

Manuel Castells premonition?

Better late than never I get to read the 1996 publication from sociologist Manuel Castell's - this one the 2nd edition from 2000. Note the dates - there will be more to come from this book but it is worth quoting at the outset the following from Volume I:

"...the global economy was politically constituted. Restructuring of business firms, and new information technologies, while being at the source of globalising trends, could not have evolved by themselves, toward a networked, global economy without the policies of de-regulation, privatization, and liberalization of trade and investment. These policies were decided and enacted by governments around the world, and by international economic institutions. A political economy perspective is necessary to understand the triumph of markets over governments: governments themselves called for such a victory, in a historic death-wish. .....

Any individual decoupling from the global economy implies a staggering cost: the devastation of the economy in the short term [Iceland?] and the closing of access to sources of growth. ...Barring a catastrophic meltdown of the financial market, the process of globalization is set, and it accelerates over time." pp147

He did not believe it would happen but how prescient.

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