Manuel Castells

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Manuel Castells

Pioneering social science researcher on the network society, author of a 3-volume book on the topic.


"Manuel Castells (Hellín, Spain, 1942) is a Professor in Communication, technology and society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona. Besides these functions Castells is Professor Emeritus in Sociology and Urban and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Castells especially got well-known for his trilogy The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture (1996-2003), in which he introduced the term network society. Castells notes that the technological developments since the early seventies had a profound impact on the economy. The economy nowadays is truly global in the sense that the capital markets aren’t restricted to boundaries anymore. The important money flows are now moving in an abstract, global space, according to its own logic, and are no longer manageable. The consequences of this development are not abstract: they are felt in many ways in society, politics and culture.

More on this you can find in the documentary called ‘De automaat’ (Dutch for ‘The machine’) (1998) that Bregtje van der Haak made for forerunning Dutch television program ‘Backlight’ called ‘DNW’.

Castells is the founder of the Aftermath Network. Shortly after the start of the financial crisis of 2008 he gathered at the request of the wealthy Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, a small group of international top-intellectuals to think more deeply about the crisis. In ‘Where is the anger?’ (an other episode of Backlight) Castells explains why and how people express their anger over the financial crisis caused by banks." (

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