This work brings prime concepts together that define the world we now live in - virtuality and globalization - to explain the nature of digital political economy. Its central focus is the interconnected exploration of the theoretically rich fields of virtuality and globalization studies to produce a unique and accessible synthesis across them, drawing on concrete examples from around the world and statistics throughout, to illustrate how key changes are currently taking place.
Youngs argues it is only through a thorough understanding of virtuality and globalization that current and future political economy can be fully understood. Political, economic, cultural and technical processes that are part of both phenomena are now integral to state/market linkages and structures of production and consumption. While growing mobility and cross-border communication has historically been a factor of geospatial realities, virtual connections have taken these possibilities into a whole new realm, and, it can be argued, added to liberal ideologies of free flow and exchange (political, economic and cultural).
Key issues addressed include the mediated nature of finance and knowledge thanks to ICTs and the virtual interconnections, spaces and relations they are enabling. Youngs takes up questions of time and speed, mobility and boundary-crossing, as influential in our interpretation of finance and knowledge, drawing on the case of the on-going credit crunch.
The book provides a new context for thinking about the range of ICTs (through computing, communication and mobile devices) as integrated parts of the changing world we now live in and, importantly, the symbolic as well as material environments that shape it.