Communication Power (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199681938

Manuel Castells
624 Pages
164 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2013
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  • Manuel Castells is our foremost theorist of the power of communication in modern society and won the Holberg International Memorial Prize in 2012
  • Rich and wide-ranging analysis of the role of communication and social media in shaping responses to political change and financial crisis, drawing on examples such as the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, Internet-based political campaigning, movements to prevent climate change, and the misinformation surrounding the Iraq war
  • This book is a natural progression from his 'Network Society' trilogy - a powerful, forward-looking analysis of communication in the Network Society
  • Builds on some of the themes of Castells' Internet Galaxy (OUP, 2001), and considers the social and political implications of recent phenomena such as social networking and blogging
  • Draws on theories from across the social sciences: politics, sociology, psychology, communication studies, management studies

New to this Edition:

  • The second edition of this timely book will include a substantial new introduction to take into account the role of technology, self-organization, and power in important recent events since first publication, including social movements, political upheavals, protests, and mobilizations such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement

We live in the midst of a revolution in communication technologies that affects the way in which people feel, think, and behave. The media have become the space where power strategies are played out. In the current technological context mass communication goes beyond traditional media and includes the Internet and mobile communication. 
In this wide-ranging and powerful book, Manuel Castells analyses the transformation of the global media industry by this revolution in communication technologies. He argues that a new communication system, mass self-communication, has emerged, and power relationships have been profoundly modified by the emergence of this new communication environment. Created in the commons of the Internet this communication can be locally based, but globally connected. It is built through messaging, social networks sites, and blogging, and is now being used by the millions around the world who have access to the Internet.
Drawing on a wide range of social and psychological theories, Castells presents original research on political processes and social movements. He applies this analysis to numerous recent events—the misinformation of the American public on the Iraq War, the global environmental movement to prevent climate change, the control of information in China and Russia, Barak Obama's internet-based presidential campaigns, and (in this new edition) responses to recent political and economic crises such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. On the basis of these case studies he proposes a new theory of power in the information age based on the management of communication networks.
Justly celebrated for his analysis of the network society, Castells here builds on that work, offering a well grounded and immensely challenging picture of communication and power in the 21st century. This is a book for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics and character of the modern world.


Introduction to the Revised Edition
1: Power in the Network Society
2: Communication in the Digital Age
3: Networks of Mind and Power
4: Programming Communication Networks: Media Politics, Scandal Politics, and the Crisis of Democracy
5: Reprogramming Communication Networks: Social Movements, Insurgent Politics, and the New Public Space
6: Toward a Communication Theory of Power

About the author: 

Manuel Castells is University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California. He is also Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Planning, University of California, Berkeley, where he taught for 24 years. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, of the Academia Europaea, of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics, and of the British Academy. His main books include the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture (Blackwell, 1996-2003), Communication Power (OUP, 2009), and Networks of Outrage and Hope (Polity, 2012). He was a founding member of the board of the European Research Council and is a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

Review from previous edition 
Manuel Castells has shaped himself into the most prominent and influential theorist and analyst of the modern communications and network age. He is the Marshall McLuhan of our time. - John Lloyd, Financial Times
a challenging and intriguing work [in its] ambitions, scope and concepts. - Paschal Preston, Media, Culture & Society, Volume 32 (6), 2010
A sustained inquiry into the nature of political and economic power in the modern world. - Steven Livingston, Political Communicatoin (27)
Castells has done it again, a masterpiece of global perspective and enviable erudition. Moving beyond his trilogy on the information age, Castells focuses on how cultural, economic and particularly political power relationships are constituted and sustained through systematic communication flows. A new line of analysis draws on neuroscience and cognitive psychology to track the role of emotion in political communication. Case studies include global media deregulation, the politics of scandal, framing the war in Iraq, ecological social movements, the Obama presidential candidacy and a fascinating comparison of media control dynamics in Russia and China. - Advance praise from W. Russell Neuman, Evans Professor of Media Technology, University of Michigan

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. - Advance praise from Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California

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. - Advance praise from Rosalind Williams, Dibner Professor and Director, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In this timely book, Professor Castells turns his attention from the impact of the internet on the economy to its impact on communications and politics. I can warmly recommend it to all communications practitioners. But his clear analysis and vivid case studies make this book of interest to anyone who wants to understand the nature of power in today's democracy and the meaning of the campaign that swept Barack Obama into the White House. - Advance praise from Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Communication Policy

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