How is power constituted in the digital society? Who is powerful – and how can power be countered and contested? The advent of digitally networked technologies has long been thought to foster democratisation and emancipation, to empower people that have previously been marginalised and neglected. Today, we know that the story is more complex: only a few companies dominate the internet ecosystem, democratic uprisings like the much-cited “Arab Spring” have faced severe repressions.
Already with his highly influential trilogy The Information Age, Manuel Castells has highlighted the ambiguities of this development. Traditional forms of power might erode, but new, distributed forms of power emerge, Castells argued back then. In this lecture, he will revisit the development of the last 20 years and explain the re-distribution of power and counter-power in the digital society.
Manuel Castells is Professor of Sociology, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), in Barcelona. He is as well University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He has authored 26 books, including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, 1996-2003, published by Blackwell and translated in 23 languages. This trilogy is probably the most-influential piece of academic work addressing the transformation of contemporary society in the context of the Internet.
|19:00 – 19:15||Welcome and introduction
Caroline Hornstein-Tomić (bpb)
Jeanette Hofmann (HIIG)
|19:15 – 20:00||Power and counter-power in the digital society
Manuel Castells (University of Catalonia / University of Southern California)
|20:00 – 20:30||Moderated conversation and questions from the Audience|
|20:30 – 21:30||Get-together|
Making sense of the digital society
HIIG and bpb are organising an academic lecture series on Making sense of the digital society. The high-profile series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing. Starting with an inaugural lecture by Manuel Castells on December 12, 2017 the series will continue throughout 2018.