Political Change and Technical Change



Imagine some future world. How would you begin to describe it? For many people, the easiest solution is to focus on the technology available in such a place: the labour-saving devices, the means of oppression, the cultural choices, the communication networks. Not everyone would think like this, but most would. It is, after all, the way our popular culture often works. In futuristic adverts, in science fiction films or novels, the world is evoked through the technology. Such shorthand taps an important intuition: social and political change is marked and moved by technical change. If this intuition is accurate, then the implications for the study of politics are obvious. No student of politics can afford not to be a student of technology.


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© John Street 1992

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