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Global120_SectionPresentation - Saska Sassen Electronic...

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Saska Sassen - “Electronic Space & Power” Electronic space is embedded in the larger dynamics organizing society. Electronic space is inscribed by power, concentration, and contestation in addition to openness and decentralization. We view electronic space as a distributed power due to an absence of hierarchy. Internet is best known electronic space. Distributed power through decentralization, openness, possibility of expansion, no hierarchy, no center, no conditions for authoritarian or monopoly control. Financial markets are open largely through private electronic networks. o Due to increase in: speed, simultaneity, and interconnectivity o These properties have increased the magnitude and concentration as never before. o Global capital market now has power to discipline national governments Ex. Mexico Economic Crisis of 1994 o We are witnessing the formation of new power structures in electronic space, based primarily within private networks. There are 3 ways in which embededness of electronic space can be captured: o There is no fully virtualized enterprise nor a fully digitalized industry. Even highly digitalized economic sectors require a strategic site with infrastructure, labor resources, and a physical building. o The sharpening inequalities in the distribution of the infrastructure for electronic space, whether private networks or the Internet, are all contributing to new geographies of centrality both on the ground and in the electronic space.
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