CCT205 Chapter Summaries


- The network society:
  • this thesis asserts that the spirit of our age is the spirit of the network: the constitutive principles of networks have become the animating force of individual, social, economic, and political life
  • according to Manuel Castells - `as a historical trend, dominant functions and processes are organized around networks
  • networks constitute the new social morphology of our societies, and the diffusion of networking logic substantially modifies the operation and outcomes in processes of production, experience, power, and culture

  • the word `network` describes a structural condition whereby distinct points (often called nodes) are related to one anoher by connections (often called ties) that are typically multiple, intersecting and often redundant


  • the printing press was a key instrument in the politics that drove the Reformation and Enlightenment in Europe, contributing to the merger of political identity and sovereign authority at the level of the nation-state

Globalization: from nation-state to network
  • sovereignty refers to the holding and exercise of supreme political power, the power to make judgements and the power to act to enforce compliance with those judgements
  • Max Weber definition of state – a human community that claims monopoly on the legitimate use of force over a given territory and people
  • a state enjoys a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within its territory, thus generating the exclusivities that define the sovereign authorities of the state
  • the decline of the nation-state under the pressures of globalization is central to the network society thesis

New Media, New politics
  • one of the political outcomes of globalization is a growing crisis in liberal democracy
  • the achievement global democratic government is made even more challenging by the increasing lack of general support for formal processes and institutions of democratic participation, including voting and support for political parties
  • the new politics of the network society are described by Castells as ‘informational politics’ and are connected to network informational technologies