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Global Geographies of the Internet [Paperback]

Barney Warf

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2012 9400712448 978-9400712447 2013
Today, roughly 2 billion people use the internet, and its applications have flourished in number and importance. This volume will examine the growth and geography of the internet from a political economy perspective. Its central motivation is to illustrate that cyberspace does not exist in some aspatial void, but is deeply rooted in national and local political and cultural contexts. Toward that end, it will invoke a few major theorists of cyberspace, but apply their perspectives in terms that are accessible to readers with no familiarity with them. Beyond summaries of the infrastructure that makes the internet possible and global distributions of users, it delves into issues such as the digital divide to emphasize the inequalities that accompany the growth of cyberspace. It also addresses internet censorship, e-commerce, and e-government, issues that have received remarkably little scholarly attention, particularly from a spatial perspective. Throughout, it demonstrates that in cyberspace, place matters, so that no comprehensive understanding of the internet can be achieved without considering how it is embedded within, and in turn changes, local institutional and political contexts. Thus the book rebuts simplistic “death of distance” views or those that assert there is, or can be, a “one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter” model of the internet applicable to all times and places.

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From the Back Cover

Today, roughly 2 billion people use the internet, and its applications have flourished in number and importance. This volume will examine the growth and geography of the internet from a political economy perspective. Its central motivation is to illustrate that cyberspace does not exist in some aspatial void, but is deeply rooted in national and local political and cultural contexts. Toward that end, it will invoke a few major theorists of cyberspace, but apply their perspectives in terms that are accessible to readers with no familiarity with them. Beyond summaries of the infrastructure that makes the internet possible and global distributions of users, it delves into issues such as the digital divide to emphasize the inequalities that accompany the growth of cyberspace. It also addresses internet censorship, e-commerce, and e-government, issues that have received remarkably little scholarly attention, particularly from a spatial perspective. Throughout, it demonstrates that in cyberspace, place matters, so that no comprehensive understanding of the internet can be achieved without considering how it is embedded within, and in turn changes, local institutional and political contexts. Thus the book rebuts simplistic “death of distance” views or those that assert there is, or can be, a “one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter” model of the internet applicable to all times and places.


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