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<nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?
Ned Rossiter on Mon, 7 Oct 2002 19:40:13 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?


[dear nettimers, pasted below is my paper from the recent dark markets
conference -- a very special event that sought to bring together current
debates in political philosphy, media and political activism, the 'new
economy' and new media criticism.  This paper's very much a work in
progress, written over the 4 days that preceded the event.  Parts of it
obviously need further development, particularly the section prior to the
conclusion.  Much of the argument may piss some of you off, since it
continues the thesis developed in an earlier posting on indigenous
sovereignty and IP. Any comments appreciated .  Ned]


Dark Markets
Infopolitics, Electronic Media and Democracy in Times of Crisis Conference
Museumsplatz 1, Museumsquartier, Vienna,
October 3 & 4, 2002
Organized by the Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0 Public Netbase
http://darkmarkets.t0.or.at/


Ned Rossiter

'Whose Democracy? Information Flows, NGOs and the Predicament of 
Developing States'

Abstract

Everyone likes to claim their organisations operate in ways that adhere to
basic democratic principles.  The complex of informational relations
between African states, supranational entities, corporations, civilian
populations and NGOs is defined by various scalar tensions that seriously
undermine the constitutive dimensions of a democratic polity.  Herein lies
the logic of uneven modernities.  This talk considers the paradoxical role
played by NGOs in developing civic infrastructures, and suggests that
greater focus needs to be placed by NGOs on securing intellectual property
rights for developing states as the condition of political and economic
sovereignty within informational and biotech economies.


Introduction

There's no question that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have more
often than not played vital roles in fulfilling a range of humanitarian
related tasks in numerous states that have been subject to the ravages of
colonialism, environmental disasters, agricultural failure, civil wars and
genocide, internal political and social instability, currency crises, or a
combination of all of these.  In many instances, NGOs have filled a gap in
the vacuum within developing, transitionary or "quasi-states"[1] who, for
various reasons, do not have the capacity to provide social services for
their populations.  As a result of this, NGOs entrench an extant condition
whereby developing states may often not be equipped with the sort of
institutional infrastructures and sociopolitical formations - namely, a
domestic capitalist bourgeoisie and civil society traditions[2] - that
have enabled the formation of democracy within the project of nation
building, as witnessed in the West.  As such, many developing states do
not have the sort of structural conditions in place to experience the
unfolding of modernity.  Or rather, in a dialectical sense, these states
have indeed experienced forms of modernity that are radically dissimilar
in spatio-temporal and ontological ways from that experienced by and
within western liberal democracies.

In many respects, the material conditions of developing states have
enabled the possibility of a range of conditions and experiences in
advanced economies that could be considered as privileges constituted by
legitimately enacted violence.  A large part of this experience can be
accounted for by referring to the histories of colonialism - a project
whereby hegemonic states are able to secure the material resources and
imaginary dimensions necessary for their own consolidation and prosperity.  
These histories have been well documented, but it is worth keeping the
spectre of colonialism in mind when discussing the situation of developing
states, NGOs and informational economies - the subject of my paper today.

My argument in this paper is that in order for developing states to secure
political sovereignty, it is first necessary to obtain a degree of
economic power.  (In this sense my thesis is fairly traditional or
conservative, even crude.)  I suggest that a key way in which economic
power can be obtained for indigenous peoples and developing states is
through intellectual property rights as they pertain to cultural
production and biological knowledge.[3] I maintain that the state form is
an important one in the process of democracy formation, and that it is a
mistake to see the state as obsolete within globalised informational
economies.  Furthermore, I do not see the state as necessarily
antagonistic to the functioning of informational economies.  Indeed, the
discursive figure of the state is built in to member obligations of the
WTO's Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) in 1995 as a key administrative, legal and political actor.[4] The
challenge is to reform IP laws in such a way that meets the needs and
interests of indigenous peoples and those in developing states.

To this end, my argument has attracted hostility from cyber-libertarians
and sectors in open source movements who persist with that rather
ridiculous mantra "information wants to be free", as though there is some
ontology to the technicity of the net independent of the social relations
which make the net intelligible.[5] Cyber-libertarians and IT open source
movements overlook two key things when they advocate the free flow of
information: 1) the world is not a software program: i.e. other forms of
knowledge also exist, and the extent to which information is accessible so
that it might then be transformed into knowledge depends to a large extent
on degrees of cultural capital, not only IT access.  2) To promote and
argue for IP rights for indigenous peoples and developing states does not
preclude the ongoing circulation of information *within* those
communities.  Rather, it ensures that knowledge specific to those
communities is not exploited by transnational corporations (TNCs), who
'own approximately 90% of technology and product patents in the world, and
up to 80% of technology and product patents in developing countries'.[6]
Furthermore, such a pro-IP position recognises that indigenous peoples and
social formations within developing states are quite adept at functioning
both within customary law *as well as* international contract law as it
pertains to proprietary rights over cultural production and biological
knowledge.  That is, we shouldn't overlook the way indigenous peoples
engage in bi-modal regimes of practice.  To do so is to relegate
indigenous peoples and those in developing countries to nostalgic and
violent discourses of pre-modern timeless time.

To a large extent, the anti-IPR response by cyber-libertarians has been
shaped by a north American political tradition that is hostile to and
suspicious of government regulation and intervention.  This, we are all
familiar with.  And in many respects the cyber-libertarian position
colludes with the ideology of liberalism, as it figures in mainstream US
political traditions that place a primacy on the individual over and above
the collective.  And it smacks of hypocrisy and righteousness to hear such
objections from cyber-libertarians when many occupy positions of
privilege, frequently accompanied by salaried day jobs associated with
computer programming, data surveillance or software development.

Finally, my argument with regard to NGOs is that while NGOs occupy a
significant structural relationship with supranational entities, state
apparatuses and local communities - thus constituting what Castells terms
the new form of a "network state"[7] - they do not exploit their political
leverage in any extensive sense by pursuing IP policy reforms and
negotiating with government on behalf of securing intellectual property
rights for local communities.  It strikes me, then, that this is a key
direction for NGOs to pursue *if* they are to maintain an advocacy role
for civilian populations in developing states.


Scalar tensions

In taking up roles traditionally the reserve of the state, NGOs condition
the possibility of three key features, all of which undermine the economic
and political sovereignty of emerging states.

Firstly, with the logic of flexible production, accumulation and
consumption that has corresponded with the emergence of new ICTs and the
capacity to organise social relations in the form of networks, we have
seen an increasing liberalisation of the state and the market.  And with
this process we have seen liberalisation decoupled from democracy, where
the latter ensured a degree of transparency and accountability from the
former: this well and truly vanished with the onset of the "new economy",
as we've seen in the shonky accountancy methods of companies associated
with the tech-wreck, Enron being the most obvious example.

The kind of inflated economic returns in the form of debt management on
the balance sheet has been the basis for neoliberal states to feel secure
in their ongoing pursuit of deregulation and privatisation.  Furthermore,
hegemonic states and the supranational organisations they are aligned with
have been unrelenting in imposing this structural logic of neoliberalism
upon developing states as a condition of receiving financial aid from the
IMF, World Bank and the like.  In the case of developing states this has
led to a range of structural conditions that emulate some of the
structural arrangements peculiar to neoliberal modes of organising social
relations, state bureaucracies and corporate practices.

NGOs often find themselves involved in secondary activities in the realm
of education, providing training and literacy skills to local communities.  
Such activities may be secondary to the key mission of NGOs.  As Rececca
Knuth notes with regard to information flows in complex emergencies,
'There is an acute awareness among relief organizations that short-term
intervention to save lives must be supplemented by long-term
reconstruction initiatives that reconstitute local systems and prevent
future crises'.[8] However, there is a high risk that such long-term
initiatives become fragmented and reproduced, at best, as a series of
short-term interventions undertaken by an assortment of relief agencies in
as much as there is no guarantee that NGOs have either the financial
resources or enduring personnel to commit to long-term reconstruction
projects.

Furthermore, the state no longer holds a structural relation to civilian
populations.  This immediately begins to undermine the constitutive
dimensions of modern democracy.  For example, the task of the modern
university corresponded with the project of nation building, of
establishing what Benedict Anderson called an 'imagined community'.  In
modern times, the university has been a key actor in the process of
democracy formation within the West.[9] The university cultivated an
informed and knowledgeable bourgeoisie and citizenry, trained with the
capacity to deliberate over the political and social life of the nation.  
The university also played a key role in the development of civil society
insofar as it occupied a critical space independent of the state.  Today,
of course, we have seen this role seriously eroded as universities and
academics working within them are constituted within a neoliberal paradigm
as "pseudo-corporate" institutions and "post-intellectuals".[10]

When NGOs become responsible for educating civilian populations, an almost
perverse correlation with the civilising mission of the coloniser kicks
in.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that at a structural level NGOs
occupy a similar territory as TNCs, both of whom contribute to a process
of recolonisation of postcolonial states.  This can result in tensions
between well-meaning NGOs and local populations over the kind of
political, social and cultural values attached to the techniques of
education.  Moreover, the state foregoes the hegemonic process of
negotiating sociopolitical values with civilian populations as they are
articulated through and within the educational apparatuses.  As such, a
key dimension of democracy formation is dispensed with.

Secondly, in adopting the task of educating civilian populations about
procedures for clearing landmines - as in the case of the German
Initiative to Ban Landmines, to take one example[11] - we see a process at
work that is similar to the neoliberal technique of outsourcing.  At a
structural level, then, the state "leapfrogs"  straight into a neoliberal
frame, bypassing the temporal and spatial experiences of the modern
welfare state.  In other words, developing states are structurally
positioned whether they like it or not in flexible modes of delivery,
hence creating a dependency relation on external providers as distinct
from domestically developed systems of learning and the social formations
and cultural values that attend such a process.

In this sense, NGOs, when involved in auxiliary roles such as education,
undermine one of the traditional roles of the state.  As such, NGOs are
assisting in the formation of conditions that also benefit the interests
of TNCs, which seek to obtain by any means possible conditions that enable
unilinear flows of capital, unrestricted by domestically determined
regulatory interventions by the state.  Furthermore, the presence of NGOs,
as external providers of services traditionally the reserve of the state,
reinforces the sort of conditions associated with IMF and World Bank
monetary loans and their structural adjustment programs.  This raises
serious questions with regard to NGOs who claim to occupy an advocacy
position on behalf of civilian interests.  Indeed, I would suggest that
the very notion of civil society as a sort of autonomous space is brought
into question as NGOs find themselves in a paradoxical field of tensions
in which they are at once bound to local communities whilst assisting in
direct and indirect ways the interests of TNCs and supranational
governance.

As many of you will recall, a lively debate tracked this issue on the
nettime mailing list February 1997 with a number of postings critiquing
the Soros network and the inter-relationships between NGOs, corporations
and civil society.[12] Some of the issues and critiques from that time
were synthesised in an interview with Saskia Sassen by Geert Lovink in
1999.  On the issue of accountability, Lovink noted that 'One of the
problems of NGOs - especially if they are linked to large international
organizations - is that for people on the ground, and even for
governments, they are no longer accountable for what they do.  They can
move very quickly and in many ways can behave like finance capital'.[13]
In this sense, NGOs again can be seen to model some of the dynamics of
TNCs and reproduce techniques of organisation peculiar to neoliberalism.  
Deconstructing the question of accountability, Sassen importantly notes:

'... accountable to what and for what?  In some cases, the fact that some
of these organizations are not accountable is actually better, because it
means that a different kind of political project can be enacted - whereas
if an organization is accountable, it often means being accountable to
existing value systems, which in some cases are the very ones best
avoided.  However, many of the big NGOs are profoundly accountable - by
which I mean they are accountable in the kinds of ways and to the kinds of
entities one might not want to demand accountability for or to'.

Then, relating the question back to her own research on the architecture
of global finance and the need to 'invent new systems for accountability
and accountability for different kinds of aims in some of these systems',
Sassen elaborates on the problematic of "transparency":

'There is an architecture, there are certain standards the players adhere
to; and there is transparency, the famous term "transparency", which
implies something that's intrinsically good.  But what is it?  It is
accountability to shareholders and their short-term profit.  But do we
always want this kind of accountability?  No - including from global
finance - so we're presented with the challenge of discovering new types
of accountability, new ways of thinking the question of accountability -
accountability to a larger public good, and so on'.

For the purposes of this paper, I want to highlight that while NGOs may
procure tactical benefits from an absence of accountability, this has to
be weighed against the correspondence such a system of organisation has
with informational secrecy by corporations.  The consequence of this is
fundamentally antithetical to the "transparency" assumed of conventional
notions of democracy.  Or perhaps what is needed now within theoretical
reflections are new concepts of democracy as it figures in
post-governmental networks.  That is, can democracy be conceived in
"post-political" times in which, according to Hardt, there is a 'withering
of civil society'?

Thirdly, the sidelining of the state is also significant at a political
level, since there is no institutional residue or collective memory of
things being otherwise.  And at an imaginary level, the possibility of
different forms of political organisation that correspond with the space
of the nation is not there.  While the neoliberal state has seen the
erosion of traditional differences between the left and the right and the
emergence of "third way" style politics, I think it is premature to
overlook the political function of pseudo-corporate institutions such as
the university and the persistence of trade unions: these are institutions
that are part of what I'm calling a collective residual memory that
contribute to what Ghassan Hage has called the possibility of spaces of
hope.[14] Having said this, I wouldn't want to rule out the potential for
alternative political models emerging from indigenous modes of political
organisation.

In short, I hope the above examples gesture towards, if not convincingly
demonstrate, the paradoxical role of NGOs within quasi-states: probably
against their best wishes, NGOs are situated in such a way that assists in
the imposition of neoliberal systems of organisation upon developing
states.  As such, these states are occluded from the sort of modernising
experiences and processes - its times and its spaces - that have been
fundamental to the constitution of liberal democracy in the West.  I'll
return to the question of democracy in the final section of this paper,
once I establish the political role of IP rights for developing states and
their civilian populations.


Informational flows, scale and borders

With the advent of new ICTs, particularly the internet, NGOs have been
able to consolidate and expand themselves, creating new alliances by
networking with each other through horizontally organised information
flows.  As I noted earlier, the rise of NGOs has coincided with the
emergence of globalised economies.  Similarly, the net has enabled NGOs to
interface with local, state, military and supranational entities.  This
might give the impression that distinctions in scale disappear, and that
tension between and within these sectors no longer prevail.  Certainly
this is not the case, since NGOs often enough contest the powers of the
state in the interests of the "the people" (a politically dubious figure
at best).  With their enhanced capacity to gather and disseminate
information, NGOs have obtained greater legitimacy as political actors,
often challenging the sovereignty of authoritarian governments.[15] The
horizontal expansion of informational flows has led a number of scholars
to claim that a new state form has emerged - a form which Castells has
termed the "network state", one that international relations theorist
Martin Shaw calls the "global state", and a form that Hardt and Negri
attribute to the "post-political" manifestation of "Empire".

The extent to which such a new state form call be called democratic is
highly questionable, however.  Moreover, such a form has not fared well
for communicative relations for those civilian populations deprived of
adequate IT infrastructures; nor should an intensification in
informational flows be assumed to correspond with open systems of
communication.  The commercialisation of the net and its regulation via
domain names and intellectual property regimes functions to close
information flows.  But as I argue below, depending on the extent of
reform, IPRs can be used as a strategic political architecture that at
once maintains the flow of information within informal networks, while
securing a closure against external exploitation.[16]

The lack of any extensive IT infrastructure militates against the
possibility of translocal networks within and across African states,
though there are indications that this is changing.  For the time being, a
reproduction of dependency goes on in which the relatively few users
connected to the few metropolitan ISPs within African states are dependent
on the expansive networks in Europe and the US for their information
flows.  It's for this reason that '133 developing countries have asked the
United Nations to maintain radio stations and other traditional media as a
means of disseminating information, because use of the internet alone
would exclude many people from access to information flows'.[17]

This condition of a "digital divide" is illustrated well in Mathew Zook's
internet mapping projects.  As his map of CONE and country code domains by
city shows,[18] there is a vast concentration of domain names registered
in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific.  This data reinforces the
claim that advanced economies hold a geopolitical monopoly on
informational flows, and it follows that the intensity of networks will be
greater in those cities and regions with the highest concentration of
domain names.  Furthermore, the socio-technical infrastructure in the form
of services and so forth that is necessary to support these informational
nodes will also be greater in those areas with higher concentrations of
domain names.

According to statistics from the Ireland based web publishing and software
company NUA, there were approximately 580.78 million users connected to
the net in May 2002.  Of this figure, 182.67 million and 167.86 million
users are located in North America and the Asia/Pacific respectively.  In
stark contrast to this, Africa has 6.31 million users, and there are even
less in the Middle East, which has 5.12 million users.  In percentage
terms, Mathew Zook's map of Internet Users Worldwide,[19] which is based
on NUA statistics, registers less than 2 per cent of users in most African
states, with the exception of South Africa (4.9 - 13%), compared to over
35% connection rates for populations in North America and Scandinavian
countries.  A recent report published on NUA's site claims that in Africa
there is 'roughly one internet user for every 200 people, compared to a
world average of one user for every 15 people, and a North American and
European average of about one in every 2 people'.[20] Interestingly (and
not surprisingly), each connection in African countries supports 3-5
users.  Connections are confined to major cities, with most capitals
having more than one ISP.  However, there are signs of a recovery of
sorts, with a 20 per cent increase in the number of dial-up internet
subscribers in the past year, according to this NUA report.  This shift
can be accounted for by the rapid privatisation and deregulation of
state-owned telecommunications industries in many African countries over
the past year or so.[21]

The relatively dismal connection rate for African states has prompted
Castells to make the pretty obvious point that 'Most of Africa is being
left in a technological apartheid...'.[22] Such a condition has been
compounded by economic circumstances, with a steady decline in economic
growth over the last decade in Africa accompanied by substantial drops in
the levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  As Ankie Hoogvelt notes,
'Africa's share of all FDI flows to developing countries has dropped from
13 per cent in 1980 to less that 5 per cent in the late 1990s'.[23]
Referring to the crises in Asian "tiger" economies in the late 90s, a
recent report in the International Herald Tribune noted that high levels
of foreign investment flows are no a priori guarantee to fast-tracking
economic development: 'developing countries that allow an inflow of
foreign money into their financial markets are vulnerable to disastrous,
panicky withdrawals, especially if they have not developed sound banking
systems first'.[24]

My point in detailing these vital statistics is not only to add some
empirical weight to my argument.  I also want to signal that with this
seeming change to the telecommunications landscape in Africa, it is even
more necessary for major inroads to be made into the management and reform
of IP rights in African countries.  As much as there might be a
technological leap under way in Africa, this is no guarantee that
individuals and communities possess the means to function within
informational or knowledge economies in which knowledge and ideas are
'embodied in products, processes and organisations', which in turn 'fuel
development'.[25] Such a move requires a vast educational infrastructure
and cultural apparatuses and industries if information is to be codified
in symbolic forms as knowledge.  It also requires investment in
'sustaining the physical state of human capital (health expenditure)'.[26]
Furthermore, such investment and infrastuctural needs has implications for
democracy formation, since the figure of the politically enabled citizen
presupposes an educated and healthy civilian; thus information flows
depend upon a civic infrastructure that includes schools, technical
colleges, universities, library resources, and so forth.  One important
precursor if not parallel to such infrastructure consists of ensuring that
indigenous cultural production and biological knowledge is not alienated
from local communities and individuals.


NGOs and IP and their relationship to the State

Whilst IP regimes can be understood as a form of abstraction that
potentially alienates production from labour, this is not necessarily a
contradiction in terms when IPRs are considered as a strategy to ensure a
degree of economic and political self-determination by indigenous peoples
and those living in developing or quasi-states.  Intellectual property
rights enable developing states to place an economic value and regime of
scarcity on their cultural and biological resources.  New ICTs are the
mechanism for then distributing this property and extracting financial
remuneration from its use by those participating in informational
economies.

Furthermore, the codification of production as property reinforces the
legal authority of the state, since property cannot exist independently of
state recognition.[27] That is, IPRs can assist in the development of the
state apparatuses, albeit ones that are circumscribed by economic
interests, and reinstate their authority to legislate progressive policy
related to privacy rights of their constituents.[28] While IP in and of
itself does not alleviate poverty or misery, it does provide a crucial
potential for leverage out of such conditions, certainly more so than if
IP is handed over to TNCs who have a monopoly on ownership of both
technology and product patents and copyright of cultural production.

Of course there are numerous issues and problems associated with
intellectual property regimes as they currently figure.  IP law reinforces
what Castells identifies as a key characteristic of the 'information age
as a result of its networking form of organization':  namely, 'the growing
individualization of labor',[29] and this functions to undermine
collective bargaining or the regulation of labour and wages by agreements
between unions and the state.  Intellectual property regimes still
attribute proprietary rights to an individual, rather than a collective.  
In this regard, IP does not favour the social form of production peculiar
to many indigenous peoples and people in the developing world, where
production occurs through the form of the collective.  Further reform
needs to occur to current intellectual property law that legitimates
ownership of knowledge that is not fixed in form, and enables indigenous
intellectual property to be protected in perpetuity.  Herein lies a
challenge for NGOs at policy and legal levels.


Conclusion: whose democracy?

In conclusion, I would like to return to the title of my paper, 'whose
democracy?'.  A couple of years ago when I first read Chantal Mouffe's The
Democratic Paradox,[30] I questioned the extent to which her concept of
agonistic or pluralist democracy as a politics of legitimacy that enables
'the struggle between adversaries' rather than antagonistic struggles
between enemies was relevant in any pragmatic sense within an
informational age of network societies.  Certainly I thought Mouffe's
identification of the antagonistic dimension of "the political" as that
which is underscored by the ineradicability of violence, following the
work of Schmitt and others, was insightful and timely as rational
consensus models gained even greater purchase as the only legitimate
models of democracy in town.  But how, I wondered, was an agonistic
politics to be conditioned within the logic of informationalism?

The postnational ideological terrain of network societies has seen the
apparatuses of the state undergo deregulation and privatisation, or, in
the case of developing states, simply bypassed altogether.  Mouffe's model
of agonistic democracy, which is predicated on traditional institutions of
the state as the place in which a democratic polity unfolds, seemed
problematic and decidedly modern in light of the reconfiguration of
statehood at extraterritorial and networked dimensions.

However, in light of my argument today on NGOs, the state, and
intellectual property regimes, I would suggest that it is precisely
through pursuing IP rights for indigenous peoples and civilian populations
in quasi-states that an agonistic politics might unfold.  My reason for
this is that IPRs constitute a hegemonic field of articulation of "the
political" in which the identities of states, peoples, NGOs, corporations
and supranational entities are contested and reconstituted in ways that
challenge a neoliberal order as it currently stands (e.g. the imposition
of structural adjustment reforms on developing states by the IMF and World
Bank as the condition for financial aid).  To avoid engaging with the
problematic of IPRs is not a political alternative.

The auxiliary task for NGOs is to ensure that the people they represent
are able to be situated as political actors within this networked terrain.  
Such networks, as suggested by Florian Schneider, might be considered as
'packets in agony'.  Political legitimacy, I would suggest, is conditioned
in the first instance by indigenous peoples obtaining economic sovereignty
which in turn positions them as political actors in as much informational
flows across scalar dimensions and the expansion of capital depends upon
engaging with what is otherwise a community of others excluded from
informational economies and network societies.


Notes

1 	 R. H. Jackson, Quasi-States: Sovereignty, International 
Relations, and the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 1990), cited in Rebecca Knuth, 'Sovereignty, Globalism and 
Information Flow in Complex Emergencies', The Information Society 15 
(1999): 11-19.
2 	See Ankie Hoogvelt, Globalization and the Postcolonial World: 
The New Political Economy of Development, 2nd ed. (Basingstoke: 
Palgrave, 2001), 176.
3 	Here I am drawing on an argument developed in Ned Rossiter, 
'Modalities of Indigenous Sovereignty, Transformations of the 
Nation-State, and Intellectual Property Regimes', Borderlands 
E-Journal: New Spaces in the Humanities 1.2 (forthcoming 2002), 
http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/issues/Onwhatgrnds_more.html
4 	For a comprehensive overview of the TRIPS Agreement and its 
impact on developing states, see Carlos M. Correa, Intellectual 
Property Rights, the WTO and Developing Countries (London: Zed 
Books/Third World Network, 2000).
5 	See debates on nettime mailing list on the Intellectual 
Property Regimes and Indigenous Sovereignty thread, March-April, 
2002, http://www.nettime.org
6 	Caroline Dommen, 'Raising Human Rights Concerns in the World 
Trade Organisation: Actors, Processes and Possible Strategies', Human 
Rights Quarterly 24 (2002): 26.
7 	Manuel Castells, 'Information Technology, Globalization and 
Social Development', Paper prepared for the UNRISD Conference on 
Information Technologies for Social Development, Palais des Nations, 
Geneva, 22-24 June, 1998.  Available at: 
http://www.unrisd.org/infotech/confern/castelp1.htm#Globalization
8 	Knuth, 15.
9 	See Simon Cooper, 'Post Intellectuality?: Universities and 
the Knowledge Industry', in Simon Cooper, John Hinkson and Geoff 
Sharp (eds), Scholars and Entrepreneurs: the University in Crisis 
(Fitzroy: Arena Publications, 2002), 207-232.  See also Bill 
Readings, The University in Ruins (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard 
University Press, 1996).
10 	See respectively Mark Considine and Simon Marginson, The 
Enterprise University: Power, Governance and Reinvention in Australia 
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Cooper, 2002.
11 	German Initiative to Ban Landmines, http://www.landmine.de/. 
In no way do I mean to single out this NGO, which seems to be doing 
very important work.  I draw on this example simply because it was 
out of a conversation with Markus Haake one night in an old leftist 
bar in Berlin in January 2001 that I came to be aware of the 
auxiliary tasks NGOs undertake as part of their humanitarian 
endeavours.  Call this sloppy scholarship, or whatever.  But that's 
how it goes this time round.
12 	This period is covered in Geert Lovink, Dark Fiber: Tracking 
Critical Internet Culture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002), 115n41, 
296-304.  See also the nettime archives of course, 
http://www.nettime.org.
13 	Geert Lovink, 'Interview with Saskia Sassen on PGOs (for N5M3 
TV)', posting to nettime mailing list, 25 February, 1999, 
http://www.nettime.org.
14 	See Ghassan Hage, 'The Incredible Shrinking Society: On 
Ethics and Hope in the Era of Global Capitalism', Australian 
Financial Review [Review Section], 7 September, 2001, 4-5.  Also 
posted to nettime mailing list, 19 September, 2001, 
http://www.nettime.org.
15 	See Knuth, 15-16.
16 	I say 'informal' networks here in the sense that such 
information flows are governed, for example, by customary law, which 
in itself is a highly 'formal' system, but it can be considered as 
informal in the sense that I invoke it here: i.e. at a discursive 
level such 'informal' systems are constituted as illegitimate insofar 
as they hold little political and legal purchase within systems of 
international and national law.
17 	Paul A. David, and Dominque Foray, 'An Introduction to the 
Economy of the Knowledge Society', International Social Science 
Journal 171 (2002): 17.
18 	See Total Number of CONE and Country Code Domains by City, 
January, 1999, Zooknic Internet Intelligence, 
http://www.zooknic.com/Domains/World_Domains.pdf
19 	See Internet Users Worldwide, August 2001, Zooknic Internet 
Intelligence, http://www.zooknic.com/Users/global_2001_08.html
20 	'Africa Online: Rise in Dial-Up Subscribers in Africa', NUA 
Report, August 14, 2002, 
http://www.nua.com/surveys/index.cgi?f=VS&art_id=905358268&rel=true
21 	See 'Telecommunications and Information Highways in Africa, 
2002', Report Summary, http:www.budde.com.au/africaReports.html
22 	Castells, 1998.  For a somewhat utopian exploration of the 
paradoxes of connectivity in Africa, see Martin Hall, 'Africa 
Connected', First Monday 3.11 (1998), 
http:www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue3_11/hall/index.html
23 	Hoogvelt, 173.  See also Heribert Dieter, 'World Economy: 
Structures and Trends', in Paul Kennedy, Dirk Messner and Franz 
Nuscheler (eds), Global Trends and Global Governance (London: Pluto 
Press and Development and Peace Foundation, 2002), 69.
24 	Paul Blustein, 'IMF Medicine: the Right Cure?', International 
Herald Tribune, 27 September, 2002, 9.
25 	David and Foray, 9.
26 	David and Foray, 10.
27 	See Christopher May, The Information Society: A Sceptical 
View (Cambridge: Polity, 2002), 130.  Ted Byfield makes this point in 
quite different ways: '... systems of property are a by-product of 
the state. extending such a system necessarily involves extending 
and/or deepening the reach of the state'.  Response to the 
Intellectual Property Regimes and Indigenous Sovereignty thread on 
nettime, 27 March, 2002, http://www.nettime.org.  Ted sees this as a 
negative development, though I think that depends entirely upon one's 
economic, sociopolitical and geographic situatedness.
28 	May, 141.
29 	Castells, 1998.
30 	Chantal Mouffe, The Democratic Paradox (London: Verso, 2000).
11





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