From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

MAPPING THE INTERWEB
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/index.html

“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 shapes –
precisely 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).
How do the exchanges of goods, money, services, and persons relate to
the transmission of ideas and policy paradigms?”

GLOBAL ARMS TRADE
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/weapons.html
TRANSPORTATION METHOD
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/transportation.html
RED TAPE
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/government.html
WATER WARS
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/water.html
STARBUCKS / McDONALDS GLOBAL PRESENCE
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/starbucks.html

PAPERS
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/papers/index.html

DATASETS
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/data/index.html

LINKS
http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/links/index.html#top

CONTACT
General Inquiries Email: ina [at] princeton [dot] edu

Director: Miguel Angel Centeno
Department of Sociology
Email: cenmiga [at] princeton [dot] edu
Web: http://www.princeton.edu/~cenmiga

Associate Director: Eszter Hargittai
Department of Sociology
Email: eszter [at] princeton [dot] edu
Web: http://www.eszter.com

M 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 two decades?

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 shapes –
precisely 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.

P 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, migration)
Establishing a uniform format for these so that they can be combined in
models
Making data publicly available on our Website

P 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 Technologies

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.

International Inequality

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.”