Globalization and the Evolution of the Informational Network Economy: Past, Present, and Future Technological Change


The dissertation provides a unique, new holistic perspective on globalization as a long-term process. It puts current changes in a historical context in a systematic fashion, unpacking the global political, economic, social, and cultural implications of this change. Identifying distinct phases in the global system development, it traces the resemblance of past commercial networks with emerging digital networks and contrasts them with industrial production systems. It first advances existing evolutionary models and provides new tools for the analysis of our contemporary modernity, from the system- to the individual level. It then employs these tools to explain how globalization affects the micro- and macro structures of national economies; the role of states; the dispersion of power in the global world system, and its impact on major global war. After a brief introduction to the existing globalization literature and providing and overview of the work in chapter one, chapter two lays out the different theoretical approaches to long-term studies of structural change and provides the reader with an overview of the evolutionary framework applied in this work. Chapter three provides a discussion of the new leading sectors, presenting a wide range of empirical information. Chapter four and five trace the evolution of the structure of the “informational network economy” (iNet economy) and thus the effects of globalization on the macro-level of national economies and analyzes the evolving new leading sectors of the current global system (networking and the information and communication technology complex; biotechnology and life sciences; environmental and new power technologies). Chapter six provides further empirical evidence of the proposed model of globalization, offering a unique perspective on the past, presence, and future of major power rivalry behavior in the international system. Chapter seven summarizes the major findings of the work and provides a speculative outlook on possible global developments.

[Dissertation]. Indiana University
Joachim K. Rennstich
Joachim K. Rennstich
Professur Internationale Soziale Arbeit und Empirische Forschungsmethoden

Mein Forschungsfokus umfasst die langzeitliche Entwicklung hin zum digitalen Kapitalismus, Digital Literacy und innovative Lehrmethodenentwicklung und Begleitforschung.