Publication Details

Lee, Kwang-Suk (2008). Globalization, Electronic Empire, and the Virtual Geography of Korea’s Information and Telecommunications Infrastructure. The International Communication Gazette 70(1): 5–22. Available at: http://gaz.sagepub.com/content/70/1.toc


The present study focuses on the electronic infrastructural condition for current global capitalism. This study briefly surveys the genealogy of globalization theories, focusing especially on Marxist interpretations of capital accumulation on a global scale. The study situates the historical- geographical condition of South Korea’s informatization in relation to the new world system which Hardt and Negri have described as ‘empire’, the replacement for classical imperialism. Based on this concept of ‘empire’, the article explores how Korea has been rapidly and successfully incorporated into the imperial network by mobilizing its citizens toward high-speed telecom mobility and connectivity across the country. It concludes, however, that behind Korea’s public image as a global IT leader, the other, darker side of Korea’s informatization is composed of the complex and intricate traits of the local, exhibited under extreme state interventionism and uneven geographies of central- ity and marginality.



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