new or old?
size & shape
This page looks at the state and the information economy.
It covers -
such as Peter Huber to the contrary, the state and the
information economy are not antithetical. Pronouncements
about the state's imminent demise are at best overstated,
at worst shamelessly naive.
global regulation and the death of the state?
In his 1995 tract Being Digital Nicholas Negroponte
a moth-ball which goes from solid to gas directly, I
expect the nation-state to evaporate without first going
into a gooey, inoperative mess, before some global cyberstate
commands the political ether.
... the role of the nation-state will change dramatically
and there will be no more room for nationalism than
there is for smallpox.
years later the nation state looks somewhat more resilient
than the pox. Why? Arguably that is because, as Linda
Weiss noted in The Myth of the Powerless State
(Ithaca: Cornell Uni Press 1998), it fulfils fundamental
needs. Bart Kosko's Heaven in a Chip: Fuzzy Visions
of Science & Society in the Digital Age (New York:
Three Rivers Press 2000) more succinctly declares that
have governments as long as we have atoms to protect.
We have noted the excellent Global Business Regulation
(Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 2000) by John Braithwaite
& Peter Drahos and the drier The Regulation of
International Trade (London: Routledge 1999) by Michael
Trebilcock & Robert Howse.
Globalization in Question: The International Economy &
the Possibilities of Governance (London: Polity 1999)
by Paul Hirst & Grahame Thompson and Eric Helleiner's
States & The Reemergence of Global Finance: From
Bretton Woods to the 1990s (Ithaca: Cornell Uni Press
1996) offer a more positive view than Susan Strange's
The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in
the World Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press
1996) and Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments
(Ann Arbor: Uni of Michigan Press 1998).
John Wiseman's Global Nation: Australia & the Politics
of Globalisation (Cambridge, Cambridge Uni Press 1998)
provides a local perspective. Living On Thin
Air: The New Economy (London: Viking 1999) is another
view from the Left by UK 'knowledge entrepreneur' Charles
Kenichi Ohmae's The End of the Nation State
(London, HarperCollins 1995) and The Invisible Continent:
Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy (New
York: HarperBusiness 2000), like his The Borderless
World, are views by the McKinsey guru. Entertaining
... but the state is alive and well, as you'll find if
you forget your passport
or ABN. There is a less convincing, because more
detailed, recitation in Richard Rosecrance's The Rise
of the Virtual State: Wealth & Power in the Coming
Century (New York: Basic Books 2000).
For a panoramic global perspective why not browse Martin
Van Creveld's The Rise & Decline Of The State
(Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 1999), the big picture
from 1350 to 1998. It is more subtle than Armand Mattelart's
Networking the World, 1794-2000 (Minneapolis: Uni
of Minnesota Press 2000).
William Taylor & Alan Webber edited Going Global
(New York: Viking 1996): interviews with Ohmae, venture
capital czar John Doerr, Nestle Vice-President Barbara
Kux and others. Essential reading if you're a Fast
Company member, otherwise not.
Joel Reidenberg's 2005 paper
& Internet Jurisdiction argues that conventional
wisdom about the erosion of national jurisdictional claims
is flawed, commenting that interactive technologies give
multiple states greater authority to claim personal jurisdiction
and enable states to enforce decisions electronically,
thereby bypassing some problems of foreign recognition
concentration & competition
The role of referees on the digital playing field - level
or otherwise - remains contentious. One starting point
is the valedictory address
on Rethinking Antitrust Policies For The New Economy
by US Asst Attorney General Joel Klein.
Tony Freyer's Regulating Big Business: Antitrust in
Great Britain & America 1880-1990 (Cambridge:
Cambridge Uni Press 1992) and Antitrust and Global
Capitalism, 1930-2004 (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press
2006) provide a useful introduction to competition law
They are more useful than Charles Geisst's facile Monopolies
in America: Empire Builders & their Enemies from Jay
Gould to Bill Gates (New York: Oxford Uni Press 2000)
and the somewhat paranoid Trust On Trial: How the Microsoft
Case is Reframing the Rules of Competition (Cambridge:
Perseus 2000) by Richard McKenzie.
Perspectives on Microsoft,
IBM and AT&T are
offered elsewhere on this site. Paul Ceruzzo's excellent
A History of Modern Computing (Cambridge: MIT Press
1998) in discussing the IBM anti-trust litigation notes
sides, with all their highly paid legal and research staffs,
utterly and completely missed what everyone has since
recognised as the obvious way that computing would evolve
... one expert witness testified that "it is most
unlikely that any major new venture into the general purpose
computer industry can be expected. As late as 1986
one Justice Department economist, still fuming over dismissal
of the case, complained that "IBM faces no significant
domestic or foreign competition that could threaten its
essays in The Future of Software (Cambridge: MIT
Press 1995) edited by Derek Leebaert suggest that the
'road ahead' won't be owned by Microsoft. That is consistent
with the analysis in the iconoclastic, persuasive
Who Owns the Media? Competition & Concentration
in the Mass Media Industry (Mahwah: Erlbaum 2000)
by Benjamin Compaine & Douglas Gomery and in Media
Ownership and Concentration in America (New York:
Oxford Uni Press 2007) by Eli Noam.
Peter Temin's The Fall of the Bell System (Cambridge:
Cambridge Uni Press 1988) and Gerald Brock in Telecommunication
Policy for the Information Age: From Monopoly to Competition
(Cambridge, Harvard Uni Press 1994) consider the fall
of Ma Bell, as much a result of innovations as of government
Another perspective is provided in Manufacturing the
Future: A History of Western Electric (Cambridge:
Cambridge Uni Press 1999) by Stephen Adams & Orville
Butler and other studies noted in our revolutions profile.
next page (innovation)