Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property
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Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property

Volume 3

Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

The fields of intellectual property have broadened and deepened in so many ways that commentators struggle to keep up with the ceaseless rush of developments and hot topics. Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property is a series that is designed to help authors escape this rush. It creates a forum for authors who wish to more deeply question, investigate and reflect upon the evolving themes and principles of the discipline.
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Chapter 7: New economic models, new forms of state: the emergence of the ‘info-imperium’ state

Blayne Haggart


The international political economist Robert W. Cox argues that different periods give rise to different forms of state, reflecting mutually beneficial interdependencies between the state and dominant parts of society and favouring certain forms of economic development over others. This chapter marries Cox’s analysis of historic blocs and state-society complexes to Susan Strange’s conception of structural power in order to better conceptualize the implications of the rising importance of the control of knowledge for the global political economy. The marriage of a dominant surveillance- and knowledge-based business model, combined with state interest in ubiquitous surveillance and stronger intellectual property rights is remaking the global political economy at a fundamental level. Using the United States as the example of the most advanced ‘info-imperium state’, the chapter argues that the shared goal of total surveillance of all online activity by leading Internet companies and the state, and the related pursuit of wealth creation through the commodification of knowledge, are emblematic of the emergence of a new form of state, which this chapter terms the info-imperium state.

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