End of Millennium (The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume III) (Vol 3)

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9780631221395: End of Millennium (The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume III) (Vol 3)

The final volume in Manuel Castells' trilogy is devoted to processes of global social change induced by interaction between networks and identity.

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Review:

Manuel Castells concludes the Information Age trilogy by considering the intersection of the global network society and factional project identities. As always, the scope of Castell's argument is far-ranging. Among the subjects addressed are the collapse of the Soviet Union; the potential emergence of the Asian Pacific as the next region of major world power; and the rapidly increasing growth of a "Fourth World"-- a series of "black holes of informational capitalism" (areas that have been cut off from the flow of wealth and information in the global economy) that refuses to confine itself to national borders--as likely to appear in the American inner city as it is in sub-Saharan Africa. He also raises the specter of a "global criminal economy," a dark counterpart to transnational corporations, and suggests that trends such as fascination with gangster movies "may well indicate the cultural breakdown of traditional moral order, and the implicit recognition of a new society, made up of communal identity and unruly competition." End of Millennium is perhaps the most accessible of Castell's three volumes, expertly reading the pulse of late-20th-century social trends. It's bound to provoke debate about any efforts to shape the trends of the 21st century.

From the Back Cover:

The final volume in Manuel Castells' trilogy is devoted to processes of global social change induced by interaction between networks and identity.

Castells studies empirically the collapse of the Soviet Union, tracing it back to the incapacity of industrial statism to manage the transition to the Information Age. He shows the rise of inequality, polarization, and social exclusion throughout the world, focusing on Africa, urban poverty, and the plight of children. He documents the formation of a global criminal economy that deeply affects economies and politics in many countries. He analyzes the political and cultural foundations of the emergence of the Asian Pacific as a critically important region in the global economy. And he reflects on the contradictions of European unification, proposing the concept of the network state. The new edition of End of Millennium includes a revised chapter on Pacific Asia taking into account recent trends, while the book has also been updated to account for developments in the European Union.

In the general conclusion of the trilogy, included in this volume, Castells draws together the threads of his arguments and his findings, presenting a systematic interpretation of our world.

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