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IT in Education: Sociological Perspective. The Political Consequences of IT Development: The Rise of the Empire & the Advent of the Competition State. Wing-kwong Tsang Ho Tim Bldg. Room 416; Ext. 6922; wktsang@cuhk.edu.hk; www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~wktsang.

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IT in Education: Sociological Perspective


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    1. IT in Education: Sociological Perspective The Political Consequences of IT Development: The Rise of the Empire & the Advent of the Competition State Wing-kwong Tsang Ho Tim Bldg. Room 416; Ext. 6922; wktsang@cuhk.edu.hk; www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~wktsang

    2. Thinking Sociologically about IT in Education • Think sociologically the relationship between IT and education • Karl Marx’s thesis on base and superstructure • Marx’s thesis on the determinism of means/technology of production and socio-educational institutions • Does IT determine education or education determine IT?

    3. IT Development, Globalization and the Advent of the Empire: A Historical Account • The constitution of the United Nations in 1945 • The constitution of the bipolar world system between the “Free World” and the “Communist Bloc” in post-war era • The International Monetary and Financial Conference was held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, July 1944 • International Monetary Fund (IMF) held its inaugural meeting in 1946 • World Bank formally began operations in 1946 • General Agreement for Trade and Tariff (GATT) was established in 1948. In 1995, it transformed to World Trade Organization (WTO) • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established in 1950

    4. IT Development, Globalization and the Advent of the Empire: A Historical Account • The emergence of the “Third World” and the tri-polar world system in the 1970s • The first meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was held in 1960. The oil crisis in the 1970s triggered by the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. • The Non-Aligned Organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961. It consists of 120 members and 17 observer countries. • The liberalization of the authoritarian regimes among socialist states in the 1980s • The collapses of the soviet bloc in 1989

    5. IT Development, Globalization and the Advent of the Empire: A Historical Account • The US’s “just wars” in the 1990s • The first Gulf War in 1990-91 • Civil War in Somali in 1993 • War in Bosnia in 1993 • War in Afghan in 2001 • The second Gulf War in 2003 • The constitution of the Capitalist Empire in the 21st century

    6. The Nature of the Empire of the 21st century • “Empire refers to a new form of sovereignty that has succeeded the sovereignty of the nation-state, an unlimited form of sovereignty that knows no boundaries or, rather, knows only flexible, mobile boundaries.” (Hardt and Negri, 2003, p. 109) • “Perhaps the most significant symptom of this transformation is the development of the so-called right to intervention. … What stands behind this intervention is not just a permanent state of emergence and exception, but a permanent state emergency and exception justified by the appeal to essential value of justice.” (Hardt and Negri, 2000, p. 18)

    7. The Nature of the Empire of the 21st century • The constitution of the Empire has embodied three classic forms of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy • Monarchical constituents: the US Government and in particular the Pentagon, the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF. • Aristocratic constituents: the G8, the Security Council of the UN, and major transnational corporations • Democratic constituents: General Assembly of the UN and various forms of Non-Government Organization (NGO)

    8. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The concept of the state: A modernist conception • Max Weber’s conception of the modern state: “Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Note that ‘territory’ is one of the characteristics of the state. Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the ‘right’ to use violence.” (Weber, 1946, p.78)

    9. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The concept of the state: … • Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the modern state • “Using a variation of Max Weber’s famous formula, that the state is an X (to be determined) which successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical and symbolic violence over a definite territory and over the totality of the corresponding population.” (Bourdieu, 1999, p. 56) • “The state is the culmination of a process of concentration of different species of capital: • capital of physical force or instruments of coercion • economic capital, • cultural &/or information capital, and • symbolic capital.” (p. 57)

    10. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The concept of the state: … • In summary, the institutional bases of the modern state are made up of three elements • Monopoly and accumulation of physical force and military power • Accumulation of cultural and information capital as bases of legitimation, and inculcation of social identity of citizenship.

    11. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR

    12. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Conception of the Industrial Welfare State (IWS) • The essence of economic nationalism • National tariff policy and trade protectionism • National exchange policy • The developmental state thesis for Asian later comers • National development as dominant objectives of economic policy • State policies and mechanisms intervening industrial development • Export-led industrialization • The essence of corporatist and welfare state • Development of welfare services as forms of social wages, public housing, public health and public education • Corporatist state mediating negotiations between big corporations and labor unions • Public and unemployment assistances as compensation for market failures

    13. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Bob Jessop’s thesis of the Keynesian Welfare National State (KWNS) • Keynesian: It signifies the orientation of economic policies of the state, which aims “to secure full employment in a relatively closed national economy and to do so mainly through demand-side management” (Jessop, 1999, p. 350) such as increase in government expenditure. • Welfare: It signifies the orientation of social policies of the state, which aims to facilitate the process of reproduction of labor power for capitalistic economy. They mainly take the forms of provision of social wages, such as education and training, housing, medical services, other forms of social welfare.

    14. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Bob Jessop’s thesis of the Keynesian Welfare National State (KWNS) • National: It indicates the scale of provision of economic and social policies is confined “within the historically specific (and social constructed) matrix of a national economy, a national state, and a society seen as comprising national citizens.” (ibid) • State: It signifies that statist orientation, which assumes the efficiency of state institutions in supplementing, facilitating, and coordinating economic and social policies within the state boundary.

    15. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The erosion of economic nationalism and the crisis of external governance of the nation-state • The dominance of international institutions, e.g. WTO, MIF, World Bank, etc. • The constitution of the “Washington Consensus” • Fiscal discipline • Public expenditure priority • Tax reform • Financial liberalization • Exchange rates • Trade liberalization • Foreign direct investment • Privatization • Deregulation • Property rights

    16. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The advent of the competition state • Philip Cerny’s conception of competition state: • “Globalization as a political phenomenon basically means that the shaping of the playing field of politics is increasing determined notwithin insulated units, i.e. relatively autonomous and hierarchically organized structures called states; rather, it derives from a complex congeries of multilevel games played on multi-layered institutional playing field, above and across, as well as within, state boundaries.” (Cerny, 1997, p.253) • “Rather than attempt to take certain economic activities out of the market, to ‘decommodifiy’ them as the welfare state in particular was organized to do, the competition state has pursued increased marketization in order to make economic activities located within the national territory, or which otherwise contribute to national wealth, more competitive in international and transnational terms.” (2000, p. 122-23)

    17. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • The advent of the competition state • Policy features of competition state • Erosion of economic nationalism • Retreat of the welfare state • Collapse of societal corporatism between labor and capital • The advent of fragmented state and the process of hallowing out the state by means of privatization, corporationization and marketization • Compliance to the imperatives of global competitions, multinational corporations and transnational agencies of governance

    18. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Bob Jessop’s conception of Schumpeterian Workfare Postnational Regime (SWPR) • Schumpeterian: It signifies the replacement of Keynesian orientation in economic policy by the Schumpeterian orientation, which aims “to promote permanent innovation and flexibility in relative open economies by intervening on the supply-side and to strengthen as far as possible their structural and/or systemic competitiveness.” (Jessop, 1999, 355) In other words, the goal of securing full employment in economic policy has been overshadowed if not completely replaced by the objective of promoting competitiveness.

    19. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Bob Jessop’s conception of Schumpeterian Workfare Postnational Regime (SWPR) • Workfare: It indicates that the welfare orientation in social policy has been superseded by the policy orientation, which focuses on subordinating the logic of social policies to that of economic policies, submitting the demand of social welfare to the demands of labour market flexibility, the imperative of workplace, and the strive for structural or systemic competitiveness. • Postnational: It signifies the withering of the sovereignty of nation-state over economic and social policies within its national territory. It also indicates the prominence of international agencies, such as the IMF, World Bank, OECD etc, in determining economic and social policies at national level.

    20. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire I: Replacement of the KWNS by SWPR • Bob Jessop’s conception of Schumpeterian Workfare Postnational Regime (SWPR) • Regime: It indicates that phenomenon of “hollowing out” of the state, which has been undertaken in capitalist states in the past three decades. It also implies the proliferation of non-governmental or even private agencies in the sector of public-policy provisions. As a result, the cohesive and coercive capitalist states have given way to the governance of policy networks.

    21. The Emergence of the network state

    22. The Emergence of the network state • Manuel Castells in his book Communication Power (2009) re-conceptualizes the modern state as network state. In his own words, he suggests “We witness the transformation of the sovereign nation-state is that emerged throughout the modern age into a new form of state – which I conceptualized as the network state. The emerging network state is characterized by shared sovereignty and responsibility between different states and levels of government; flexibility of governance procedures; and greater diversity of times and spaces in the relationship between governments and citizens compared to the preceding nation-state.” (Castells, 2009, P. 40)

    23. The Emergence of the network state • As a result, “the network state faces coordination problem, with three of aspects, organizational, technical, and political. • Organizational: Agencies invested in protecting their turf, and their privileged commanding position vis-à-vis their societies, cannot have the same structure, reward systems, and operational principles as agencies whose fundamental role is to find synergy with their agencies. • Technical: Protocols of communication do not work. The induction of computer networking often disorganizes the participating agencies rather than connecting them.”

    24. The Emergence of the network state • As a result, “the network state faces coordination problem, … • Political: The coordination strategy is not horizontal between agencies, it is also vertical in two directions: networking with their political oversees, thus losing their bureaucratic autonomy; and networking with their citizen constituencies, thus being obliged to increase their accountability.” (Castells, 2009, P. 41)

    25. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • Erosion of the basis of national democracy • Democracy as unity of identity of the people has been threatened by mobile and virtual identity of global citizenship • Democracy as representation of the people has been threatened by representations of international organizations • Democracy as measure of democratic rule of the people has been threatened by rule of international laws and organizations

    26. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The limitations of national counter-power movement • The three constituents of counter-power movement • Resistance: Passive and implicit resistance of the suppressed against the suppressor • Insurrection: Active and explicit insurrection aiming at to overthrow the suppressor’s regime • Constituent power: Setting up of new state and its ruling apparatus • The paradox of national insurrection in the international context of the Cold War • The Cold War provide the space as well as the arena for counter-power insurrection • The Cold War conditions and codifies national insurrections in pre-defined class terms.

    27. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The politics of the Internet: • Transformation of the nature of social movement: The emergence of network social movement • Replacement of material-based or even class-based social movement of the Cold-War era by post-material social movement or movement mobilized by cultural values. Replacement of struggles of space of place, e.g. class struggle, “position war” by struggle of space of flow, e.g. struggle for cultural ideas • Replacement of vertically integrated organization, such as political parties, trade unions, by horizontally connected, loosely coalized, semi-spontaneously mobilized networks • Social movement are elevating from local political arena to global context by means of the technological infrastructure of the Internet and the symbolic superstructure of the global culture

    28. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The politics of the Internet: • The Transformation of civil society • Formation of citizen networks: New forms of civil associations have emerged in the Internet • The emergence of cyber public-sphere and check-and-balance mechanism operating through the Internet • Paradoxically, the Internet also brings about the “prevalence of ‘scandal politics’” (Castell, 2001, p. 157) and the degradation of the “public” from a group of rational and critical deliberators of public issues to a bunch of spectators on public shows

    29. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The politics of the Internet: • Changes in the political ecology through the Internet • The constitutions of informational warfare and cyber-guerilla-warfare: “The more a government and a society depend on their advanced communications network, the more likely they become exposed to (informational) attacks. Furthermore, unlike conventional or nuclear warfare, these attacks could be launched by individual hackers, or by small, able groups, who could escape detection or retaliation.” (Castells, 2001, p. 158-9)

    30. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The politics of the Internet: • Changes in the political ecology through the Internet • The rise of “noopolitik”: The concept of noopolitik generates from the Greek word noos for ‘the mind’ (Ronfeldt and Arquilla, , 1997). It“refers to the political issues arising from the formation of a ‘noosphere’, or global information environment, which includes cyberspace and all other information systems. Noopolitik can be contrast with realpolitik (and its underlying military power). …In a world characterized by global interdependence and shaped by information and communication, the ability to act on information flows and on media messages, become an essential tool for fostering a political agenda.” (Castells, 2001, p. 160) As a result, public diplomacy has become a new department in international diplomacy.

    31. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • The politics of the Internet: • Changes in the political ecology through the Internet • Swarming operation and the flash mobs: “‘Swarming’ represents a sharp departure from military concepts based on massive build-ups of fire power, armored hardware, and large concentrations of troops. It calls for small, autonomous units, provided with high fire power, good training, and real-time information. These ‘pods’ would form ‘clusters’ able to concentrate on an enemy target for a small fraction of time, inflicting major damage, and dispersing.” (Castells, 2001, 161) Analogues to this ‘network-centric warfare’ at the grassroots level is the flash mob.

    32. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • Hardt and Negri’s proposal of democratic counterpower of the multitude • “The multitude is an active social agent – a multiplicity that acts. The multitude is not a unity, as is the people, but in contrast to the masses and the mob we can see that it is organized. It is an active, self-organizing agent.” (Hardt and Negri, 2003, p.114) • The advent of the Empire spawns crisis to national insurrection but opportunity to global counter-power movement of the multitude

    33. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • Hardt and Negri’s proposal of democratic counterpower of the multitude • “Political action aimed at transformation and liberation today can only be conducted on the basis of the multitude. • To understand the concept of the multitude in its most general and abstract form, let us contrast it first with that of the people. The people is one. The population, of course, is composed of numerous different individuals and classes, the people synthesizes or reduces these social differences into one identity. …

    34. Political Consequence of the Advent of the Empire II: The Crises and Opportunities of Democratic Counter-power Movement • Hardt and Negri’s proposal of democratic counterpower of the multitude • The multitude is composed of a set of singularities—— and by singularity here we mean a social subject whose difference cannot be reduced to sameness, a difference that remains different. …The multitude, however, although it remains multiple, is not fragmented, anarchical, or incoherent. The concept of the multitude should thus also be contrast to concepts,… such as the crowd, the mass, and the mob. …The crowd or the mob or the rabble can have social effects —— often horribly destructive effects —— but cannot act of their own accord. The multitude, designates an active social subjects, which acts on the basis of what the singularities share in common. The multitude is an internally different, multiple social subject whose constitution and action is based not on identity or unity … but on what it has in common.” (Hardt and Negri, 2004; Pp. 99-100)

    35. Topic 4The Political Consequences of IT Development: The Rise of the Empire & the Advent of the Competition State END