“ICTs, the Knowledge Economy, and Neo-Liberalism”

Hull, Richard. 2001. “ICTs, the Knowledge Economy, and Neo-Liberalism”. Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History & Science., 8(3-4), ISSN 1042-2234 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

It is a common argument that ICTs have enabled a new epoch in which information andknowledge play a central role, economically, socially and politically. This paper suggeststhat such arguments – despite any ‘radical’ intentions – are in danger of perpetuating neo-liberalism by promoting government intervention into the production and use of information and knowledge. It argues (1) ‘Knowledge’ as a unit of analysis was linked tothe emergence of neo-liberal theories in 1930s. (2) Those theories used what wereapparently ‘problems’ with knowledge to justify markets. (3) They also entailed aparadoxical coupling of ‘post-positivist’ epistemology with sovereign ethics. (4) Thatcoupling was apparent in the social science input to ICT development from late 1950s.(5) Social science analysis of ICTs then mistakenly extrapolated from the specific to thegeneral. (6) Current social & political theory which utilises ‘knowledge’ or ‘information’ as units of analysis must deploy the same paradoxical coupling, and hence run the risk of perpetuating neo-liberalism.

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Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)



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Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2015 14:29

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 11:18

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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