The Rise of Network Ideas: From Cybernetics to Governance
Why is it that we describe our societies in terms of networks? Academic and popular literature usually suggests that computers and the internet produced the network society. However, there is another story to be told. Vincent August reveals how social and political thought deliberately enforced cybernetic network ideas to re-shape the way we think about society and politics. In a historical perspective, the talk traces concepts of complexity, self-regulation, and network governance from their origins in cybernetics via the “silent revolution” of the 1970s to the present. In a systematic perspective, it examines the demands for diversity and creativity as well as the massive shift in our understanding of subjectivity and power that resulted from the rise of network ideas.
Vincent August is a researcher at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.