Abstract - The Information Society 11(3)

Information feudalism in the information society

Peter Drahos

Storytelling about technology can be optimistic or pessimistic. A pessimistic story based on the assumption that a small number of states will dominate the emerging international regulatory order is presented. Many sectors of the economy that have to do with information industries have been deregulated and integrated into the global economy. The story takes the form of an imagined history of the information society to the year 2015. It is based on research work being undertaken in relation to a funded project on international business regulation. This historical scenario is presented as a possible future, not an inevitable one. The conclusion draws some parallels between information society and the feudalism of the dark ages, including the growth in private power.

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