"Manuel Castells holds a well–deserved place at the centre of debates over the ′information age′ that he helped to name. Felix Stalder offers a sustained and careful appraisal of Castells′s work, both incisively critical at some points and generously acknowledging the quality of his achievement at others." David Lyon, Queens University, Ontario "This book is a very beautiful model of how one mind engages with another: Felix Stalder has seized the essence of Manuel Castells′s work and its immense relevance to our time. Daring to be positively critical, Stalder enlarges and also defines Castells′s arguments. Thus the book multiplies Castells by Stalder and the result is an instant expansion of the mind of the reader." Derrick DeKerckhove, University of Toronto
From the Back Cover
Manuel Castells highly–acclaimed trilogy, The Information Age, represents the most comprehensive attempt to develop a coherent social theory of the present day. From his early, groundbreaking work on urban change and social movements, to his current work on the social transformations in a globalized world based on the use of new communication technologies, Castells has been at the forefront of contemporary debates for over three decades. At the heart of his theory lies the claim that we are witnessing a shift from vertically–integrated hierarchies to flexible, distributed networks which structure dominant social processes as well as the main challenges launched against them. His scope, rigor and style have earned him favorable comparison with the great classics of sociology, particularly Max Weber. This book provides the first complete study of Castells theory of the network society. It is a critical examination of his analysis of informational capitalism′, of global social movements as the source of new values, and of networked governance. Felix Stalder also provides an original and in–depth account of the theory of the space of flows and of Castells particular notion of the character of informational networks. The book serves as both an excellent introduction to Castells wide–ranging theories and an innovative critique which contributes to ongoing debates in the field.