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INA is a project initiated by Professor
Miguel Angel Centeno of Princeton
Department and is being pursued in collaboration with
Hargittai of the same department and numerous Associates.
O T I V A T I O N
Globalization involves a variety of links
expanding and tightening a web of political, economic and
cultural inter-connections (Mittelman 1997, Hirst and Thompson,
1996). Most attention has been devoted to merchandise trade
as it has had the most immediate (or most visible) consequences,
but capital, in and of itself, has come to play an arguably
even larger role than the trade in material goods. Human movements
also link previously separate communities. Labor, while still
subject to much greater control than capital, moves transnationaly
while tourism now involves an estimated 600 million international
travelers a year and serves as a major economic sector for
several countries. Finally, there is the cultural connection.
The ubiquity of CNN is already something of a cliché,
and entertainment industry budgets now make calculations on
the basis of a global market. Hollywood and Silicon Valley
software entertains and informs the world. All the individual
data would indicate that we are undergoing a process of compression
of international time and space and an intensification of
international relations. The separation of production and
consumption that is the heart of modern capitalism appears
to have reached its zenith. Globalization is not just another
"buzz-word" (globaloney?), but very much a real
and significant phenomenon.
But, what does it mean? What does a globalized
world look like? Despite the extensive discussion on globalization
and international interdependence, we still have a relatively
limited idea of what this new world looks like. We understand
that there are more international connections taking place,
that a wider variety of goods and services are being exchanged
across boundaries, that more and more people live their professional,
family, and intellectual lives in more than one country, and
that cultural autarky is no longer possible. Yet, we know
little more than that. How fast have we integrated? What does
the global web look like? Who is in the center and who is
on the margins? Have these positions shifted over the past
Network analysis is perfectly suited to
these types of questions and represents the best metaphor
for the new global system (Castells 1996). Unlike other metatheoretical
approaches, network analysis assumes a multipolar social world
(Knoke and Kuklinski 1982). While most other methods consider
hierarchical relationships in pyramidal forms, network analysis
can define them in an infinite variety of geometric shapesÑprecisely
what one may expect from a global web. Network analysis can
tell us the relative density of global connections, the relative
strength of ties between countries and regions, and the extent
to which these have changed over the past two decades.
Some initial work has already been done
on measuring various forms of global contact using network
language and methods (Nemeth and Smith 1985, Smith and White
1992, Snyder and Kick 1979). This research has included studies
of trade patterns, capital flows, airplane traffic, and telephone
communication. It has also included analysis of the transmission
of idea and policy frameworks (Meyer, et al 1997). Thus far,
however, much of this work has been focused on generating
models or findings of interest to network theorists. They
have rarely been used to understand globalization. More importantly,
the different data sets rarely speak to each other (Kellerman
1993 is a rare exception). While we might know the pattern
of relationships in trade or communications, we do not know
how these are linked to transnational labor movements, tourism,
or the spread of cultural icons such as CNN or even the Spice
Girls. How do the exchanges of goods, money, services, and
persons relate to the transmission of ideas and policy paradigms?
The combination of various network data
sets and analyses would allow us to link network position
in a particular field (e.g. telecommunications) with that
in another (e.g. migration). With longitudinal data, we could
begin to explore the extent to which position in a particular
network could explain or predict subsequent position in another.
By adding non-network data such as economic growth rates,
policy votes, or cultural trends, we could also test the explanatory
power of network position in and of itself. These efforts
would allow us to begin addressing some of the most important
questions in contemporary social science:
- What are the relationships between political
decisions and economic outcomes?
- How are policies shaped by cultural understandings?
- How do economic markets transform cultures?
- What is the hierarchy of global power?
What is the shape of the global hierarchy?
- Are we heading towards a new multipolar
world? Would culture, political alliances, or economic links
define these poles?
- How interdependent are we?
Such an exercise will also inform further
research on networks. One major weakness of network analysis
is that while it has already produced interesting work where
networks serve as the causal variable, the shape of any individual
network is rarely explained or analyzed as a dependent variable
(Emirbayer and Goodwin 1994). By linking a variety of measures
of social, political, and economic ties, we may begin to discover
which types of relationships beget the others.
** View the works
cited in the previous section.
U R P O S E
The purpose of the Archive is to assemble
data sets relevant to empirical research on mapping the global
web in a central location and to standardize them so the various
indicators can be combined. Given the immense amount of work
that defining a global web involves we argue for disseminating
the raw data as widely as possible so as to recruit the largest
possible number of collaborators.
Specifing project components include:
- Collecting various network data
sets (e.g. communication, trade, tourism, policy issues,
- Establishing a uniform format for these
so that they can be combined in models
- Making data publicly available on our
R O J E C T S
This project has several thematic components.
We are specifically interested in global communication and
information technologies, international inequality, and issues
of international security.
The first project undertaken by the Archive
concerns "Mapping the Global Web."
Global Communication and Information
The enthusiasm associated with new information
technologies often overlooks the fact that globally there
are only a few active members in the new information infrastructure.
If the Internet serves as the electronic foundation for globalization,
then the global web is much more hierarchical than many realize.
Over 95% of Internet connected machines are in developed societies
while users and companies of one country - the United States
- account for over 90% of the most popular Web sites. At the
same time, due to the multiplicity of services made possible
by new information technologies, small communities across
the globe have greater access to an international audience.
The global web represents an opportunity for a more democratic
international system, but also for the intensification of
inequality. Who is really taking part in the information exchange?
Who is benefiting from it and how? What does it mean to be
excluded from it? What does the information web really look
like? Such basic questions remain largely unanswered. The
Archive would provide a map for understanding the composition
and consequences of the global information society by emphasizing
the relational position of countries in a world of communication
flows. Providing parallel data on other international exchanges
would allow us to integrate developments in international
communications into a broader vision of globalization.
The triumphalism that often characterizes
discussions of globalization too often neglects the fact that
it has not affected everyone equally. No matter what indicator
one may use (trade, communication, etc.) significant parts
of the world are essentially outside of the new global society.
In some cases, whole countries are excluded, e.g. North Korea
is isolated ideologically, Sierra Leone economically. This
is not to say that the global economy or political divisions
do not affect what goes on in these countries, but that the
vast majority of citizens and institutions do not regularly
interact with the rest of the world. Generally, we may speak
of the global society as consisting of a core group of countries
largely defined by the OECD with some "hangers-on".
On the bottom, there is a group (much of Africa, for example)
largely isolated from these trends. In-between are perhaps
the most interesting countries where significant groups of
people and large parts of the economy have been transformed
by international contacts, but where isolated regions and
groups also exist in significant numbers. What is the precise
shape of this global hierarchy? What accounts for the different
rates of participation? What does it mean to be excluded?
Such basic questions remain largely unanswered. Our project
would provide a map for understanding the composition and
consequences of the global society by emphasizing the relational
position of countries in a world of flows and exchanges.
T A F F
Miguel Angel Centeno
Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Email: cenmiga at princeton dot edu
Department of Sociology
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Email: eszter at princeton dot edu
R E D I T S
The Staff would like to thank the following
for their assistance regarding various tasks involved with
the creation and maintenance of the Archive.
Paul DiMaggio of the Sociology Department at Princeton University
for his general support of the project and his helpful comments
on various written materials regarding the Archive.
Stanley Katz of the Woodrow Wilson School
of Public and International Affairs at Princeton for his helpful
comments on the project proposal.
Rich Persaud for his helpful comments regarding
the data management part of the project.
Frank Dobbin of the Sociology Department
at Princeton University for his comments on our mission statement.
Sue White, United Nations Librarian in the
Social Science Reference Center of Firestone Library, Princeton
University for her suggestions regarding the archival aspect
of the project and copyright issues.
Don Broach, Data Specialist in the Social
Science Reference Center of Firestone Library for suggestions
regarding the data archival part of the project.
The Sociology Department of Princeton University
for hosting the center.
Jon Harris of Flaming
Toast Productions, LLC for the design and production of
to Motivation text above
Emirbayer, Mustafa and Jeff Goodwin, 1994.
"Network Analysis, Culture, and the Problem of Agency."
American Journal of Sociology, 99, 6, pp. 1411-54.
Hirst, Paul and Grahame Thompson. 1996.
Globalization in Question. London: Polity Press.
Kellerman, Aharon. 1993. "Interdependence
and Autonomy in International Communications", in Edward
Bakis, Ronald Abler, and Edward Roche, eds. Corporate Networks,
International Telecommunications and Interdependence. London:
Knoke, David and James H. Kuklinski. 1982.
Network Analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Meyer, John, J. Boli, G.M. Thomas, and F.O.
Ramirez. 1997, "World Society and the Nation State",
American Journal of Sociology, 103.
Mittelman, James H. 1996. "How Does
Globalization Really Work". In James H. Mittelman, ed.,
Globalization: Critical Reflections. Boulder: Lynne Rienner
Nemeth, Roger, and David Smith. 1985. "International
Trade and World System Structure: A Multiple Network Analysis",
Review, 8, 4, 517-560.
Smith, David, and Douglas White. 1992. "Structure
and Dynamics of the Global economy: A Network Analysis of
International Trade 1965-1980," Social Forces, 70, 4,
Snyder, David and Edward Kick. 1979.
"The World System and World Trade: An Empirical Exploration
of Conceptual Conflicts", Sociological Quaterly, 20,1,