Manuel Castells has written a lot about the network society. For me, his writing is more relevant now than ever before.
According to Castells there are four different forms of power under these social and technological conditions:
- Networking Power: the power of the actors and organizations included in the networks that constitute the core of the global network society over human collectives and individuals who are not included in these global networks.
- Network Power: the power resulting from the standards required to coordinate social interaction in the networks. In this case, power is exercised not by exclusion from the networks but by the imposition of the rules of inclusion.
- Networked Power: the power of social actors over other social actors in the network. The forms and processes of networked power are specific to each network.
- Network-making Power: the power to program specific networks according to the interests and values of the programmers, and the power to switch different networks following the strategic alliances between the dominant actors of various networks.