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Communication Power

Communication Power

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We live in the midst of a revolution in communication technologies that affects the way in which people feel, think, and behave. The mass media (including web-based media), Manuel Castells argues, has become the space where political and business power strategies are played out; power now lies in the hands of those who understand or control communication. Over the last thirty years, Castells has emerged as one of the world's leading communications theorists. In this, his most far-reaching book for a decade, he explores the nature of power itself, in the new communications environment. His vision encompasses business, media, neuroscience, technology, and, above all, politics. His case histories include global media deregulation, the misinformation that surrounded the invasion of Iraq, environmental movements, the role of the internet in the Obama presidential campaign, and media control in Russia and China. In the new network society of instant messaging, social networking, and blogging--"mass self-communication"--politics is fundamentally media politics. This fact is behind a worldwide crisis of political legitimacy that challenges the meaning of democracy in much of the world. Deeply researched, far-reaching in scope, and incisively argued, this is a book for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics and character of the modern world. "How could Manuel Castells have predicted that now is the time of the perfect storm? I do not know. But I do know that his new book coincides with the largest downturn in global economies since the 1930s, with the most important American election since the 1960s, with a most radical transformation of world politics in many generations, and with the most profound reevaluation of the lives of modern citizens, from what they value to how they communicate. We have become used to Castells' careful scholarship and penetrating analyses but in this new book he cuts deeper into the heart of the matter. Sometimes he provides illuminating answers and where he cannot, he frames the questions that must be answered. This is a powerful and much needed book for a world in crisis."--Antonio Damasio "Manuel Castells unites the mind of a social scientist with the soul of an artist. His trilogy took us to the edge of the millennium. This book takes us beyond to the critical crossroads of the 21st century, where technology, communication, and power converge."--Rosalind Williams, Director, Program on Science, Technology and Society, MIT