Abstract - The Information Society 14(2)

Virtual Control and Discipline on the Internet: Electronic Governmentality in the New Wired World

Michael D. Mehta and Eric Darier

Current interest in the electronic highway is the latest expression of a technotopia which is about to resolutely tilt western contemporary society into post-modernity, or at least into virtual modernity. The enthusiasm for the electronic highway is already having numerous "power effects." One of these effects is to radically intensify modern forms of power in a new regime we call electronic governmentality. This paper examines these effects by drawing on examples from the Internet, and demonstrates how this communication and information infrastructure challenges some of our most tightly held beliefs about progress, technology and power.

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