While capitalism is characterized by its relentless expansion, always trying to overcome limits of time and space, it was only in the late twentieth century that the world economy was able to become truly global on the basis of the new infrastructure provided by information and communication technologies ( Castells, 2000: 101).
It is interesting to analyze the way the rise of the new global economy came nearly at the same moment of the introduction of new communication and information technologies, such as the internet and satellite communication networks. Many of the features of capitalism rely on the usage of new technologies. Furthermore, according to Manuel Castells, this new economy emerged ‘because the information technology revolution provided the indispensable, material basis for its creation’ ( Castells, 2000:77). There are many studies that analyze the links between technology and globalization. Nevertheless, Manuel Castells’ trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture has received considerable attention and it allows us to have a great understanding of the links between technological development and the global economic and political changes.
However, Derek Hrynyshy (2002) reveals that Castells study laps into the ideology of technological determinism. In his study, Hrynyshy reveals how Castells failure takes place. In the first part of this essay, I will underline the arguments made by Castells within the context of how technology is linked to globalization. Furthermore, the second part of this essay portrays Hrynyshy’s arguments that question Castells deterministic explanation about the same topic. Castells (2000): The way a new economy emerged on a global scale
There is no doubt that knowledge and information has been an essential element for economic growth. The new technologies have not only changed the world on a social level but also on an economic level. Within an economic perspective, Castells (2000) argues that technology has the power to determine the capacity of productivity and organization of society. Information is power, and technology provides information. Therefore, Castells was interested in analyzing the way this new economic system is emerging as a ‘transitional form toward the informational mode of development’ ( Castells, 2000: 78) which is most likely to characterize the coming decades.
Throughout history one can point out the important role in which technology plays to the increase of productivity and consequently to the generation of economic growth. In his study, Castells was interested in analyzing if in fact technology was linked to the increase of productivity or not and if productivity is an indicator of the wealth of nations. His study revealed that ‘in a long term productivity is the source of the wealth of nations. And technology, including organizational and managerial technology, is the major productivity factor’ ( Castells, 2000: 94). Therefore, productivity is able to...