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Imagining the Internet: Communication, Innovation, and Governance

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This book is an impressive survey of our collective and cumulative understanding of the evolution of digital communication systems and the Internet. While the information societies of the twenty-first century will develop ever more sophisticated technologies, the Internet is now a familiar and pervasive part of the world in which we live, work, and communicate. As such it This book is an impressive survey of our collective and cumulative understanding of the evolution of digital communication systems and the Internet. While the information societies of the twenty-first century will develop ever more sophisticated technologies, the Internet is now a familiar and pervasive part of the world in which we live, work, and communicate. As such it is important to take stock of some fundamental questions--whether, for example, it contributes to progress, social cohesion, democracy, and growth--and at the same time to review the rich and varied theories and perspectives developed by thinkers in a range of disciplines over the last fifty years or more. In this remarkably comprehensive but concise and useful book, Robin Mansell summarizes key debates, and reviews the contributions of major thinkers in communication systems, economics, politics, sociology, psychology, and systems theory--from Norbert Wiener to Brian Arthur and Manuel Castells, and from Gregory Bateson to William Davidow and Sherry Turkle. This is an interdisciplinary and critical analysis of the way we experience the Internet in front of the screen, and of the developments behind the screen, all of which have implications for privacy, security, intellectual property rights, and the overall governance of the Internet. The author presents fairly the ideas of the celebrants and the sceptics, and reminds us of the continuing need for careful, critical, and informed analysis of the paradoxes and challenges of the Internet, offering her own views on how we might move to greater empowerment, and suggesting policy measures and governance approaches that go beyond those commonly debated. This concise book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the challenges the Internet presents in the twenty-first century, and the debates and research that can inform that understanding.


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This book is an impressive survey of our collective and cumulative understanding of the evolution of digital communication systems and the Internet. While the information societies of the twenty-first century will develop ever more sophisticated technologies, the Internet is now a familiar and pervasive part of the world in which we live, work, and communicate. As such it This book is an impressive survey of our collective and cumulative understanding of the evolution of digital communication systems and the Internet. While the information societies of the twenty-first century will develop ever more sophisticated technologies, the Internet is now a familiar and pervasive part of the world in which we live, work, and communicate. As such it is important to take stock of some fundamental questions--whether, for example, it contributes to progress, social cohesion, democracy, and growth--and at the same time to review the rich and varied theories and perspectives developed by thinkers in a range of disciplines over the last fifty years or more. In this remarkably comprehensive but concise and useful book, Robin Mansell summarizes key debates, and reviews the contributions of major thinkers in communication systems, economics, politics, sociology, psychology, and systems theory--from Norbert Wiener to Brian Arthur and Manuel Castells, and from Gregory Bateson to William Davidow and Sherry Turkle. This is an interdisciplinary and critical analysis of the way we experience the Internet in front of the screen, and of the developments behind the screen, all of which have implications for privacy, security, intellectual property rights, and the overall governance of the Internet. The author presents fairly the ideas of the celebrants and the sceptics, and reminds us of the continuing need for careful, critical, and informed analysis of the paradoxes and challenges of the Internet, offering her own views on how we might move to greater empowerment, and suggesting policy measures and governance approaches that go beyond those commonly debated. This concise book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the challenges the Internet presents in the twenty-first century, and the debates and research that can inform that understanding.

32 review for Imagining the Internet: Communication, Innovation, and Governance

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Gunther

    Mansell provides an interesting discussion of the paradoxes that underpin the competing conceptions of the internet or information society. This discussion is overdue and Mansell treats it maturely. However, I find the examination of the dominant and alternative social imaginaries to enforce a binary construction and fails to acknowledge the plethora of positions that are available between or outside of these ideas. Furthermore, Mansell's commitment to liberalism and market practices prevents di Mansell provides an interesting discussion of the paradoxes that underpin the competing conceptions of the internet or information society. This discussion is overdue and Mansell treats it maturely. However, I find the examination of the dominant and alternative social imaginaries to enforce a binary construction and fails to acknowledge the plethora of positions that are available between or outside of these ideas. Furthermore, Mansell's commitment to liberalism and market practices prevents discussion of positions outside of systems of exchange, as suggested by the alleviation of conditions of scarcity. Finally, Mansell's attempts to reconcile the paradoxes of scarcity and complexity alternately presuppose the values embodied by the 'good society' or suggests that this good society is produced through resolution of these paradoxes, without discussion of which values are endorsed. This presents a problem for the normative suggestions made in the concluding chapter.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

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    Alexey

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Smith

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yaseen Aqeel

  7. 4 out of 5

    40brown

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    Miguel Caetano

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hani

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    Robert

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    Renee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amar Baines

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    Lucido

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    Jamile Mon

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    Deliadespina

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    K

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    Maria

  18. 5 out of 5

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    Marina

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aziz Ahmad

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kатерина

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kieron Swift

  23. 4 out of 5

    Viv

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

  25. 4 out of 5

    B

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    Mariam Tkeshelashvili

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katriin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abhrajit Ganguly

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jean Jones

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zack Peyman

  31. 4 out of 5

    Nic

  32. 5 out of 5

    JOSIE_PIE

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