Critiquing Communication Innovation
New Media in a Multipolar World
US–China Relations in the Age of Globalization
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
Challenges to Silicon Valley’s dominant role in conjuring and patenting the world’s technological futures are arising around the world. As digital media technologies emerge from new, globally dispersed locations, a multipolar order of communication innovation seems to be in the making. Yet recovering our ability to imagine futures otherwise requires negotiating conditions—economic, geopolitical, sociocultural, and ecological—rather than reproducing them under the pretext of breaking with the present. The essays in this volume examine research on such conditions critically and comparatively in a variety of geographies. Paying due attention to China’s rise as an innovative platform society and AI powerhouse, this book addresses the broader question of a shifting world order and trends that are shaped by China’s influence but that extend beyond its borders. Looking at multipolar communication innovation through various critical lenses, our technological futures simultaneously appear to be old, new, and uncertain, while the infrastructures and platforms underpinning communication innovation both affiliate communities and set them apart.
Fusing communications infrastructure with sovereign power, this book’s rich collection of essays elucidates new global logics of territoriality, markets, and capital. Marshaling a much-needed critique of multipolar communication innovation, authors working across disciplines identify how modern rules of geopolitics are remade by techno-cultures of invention and design in contest with platform capitalism. The case for infrastructural pluralism is a central axis that motivates the possibility for techno-futures not beholden to either sovereign states or Big Tech commercial interests. This book offers a pathway to collectively imagining a world beyond digital technologies of control.—Ned Rossiter, author of Software, Infrastructure, Labor: A Media Theory of Logistical Nightmares and coauthor of Organization after Social Media