The term is introduced — within a highly critical frame — here. The almost perfect coincidence with techno-commercial NRx (or proto-Patchwork tendencies) is so striking that the adoption of ‘extrastatecraft’ as a positive program falls into place automatically.

Keller Easterling is an architect, writer and professor at Yale University. Her most recent book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), examines a new global network woven by money and technology that functions almost like a world shadow government. Though it’s hard to grasp the full extent of this invisible network, Easterling argues that it’s not too late for us to change it.

If it’s not too late to ‘change’ it, it’s not too late to intensify and consolidate it. Tech-comm NRx is obviously doing OK, if it already looks this scary.

December 20, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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16 Responses to this entry

  • The Electric Philosopher Says:

    Initial (and obvious) impression: China was ahead of the game when Deng was around. I don’t find this that surprising.


    admin Reply:

    The SEZs played a huge role in my political-economic education.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Any possible elaboration on this or a pointer to relevant literature?


    ryan Reply:

    this is a great primer

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    If that’s the one that admin posted originally, I recall skimming through that previously. Thanks for the reminder that I need to dig into the endnote references though.

    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 4:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Electric Philosopher Says:

    More interesting: will the PRC be able to maintain its ‘walking on two legs’ model of a capitalist(ish) economy with undemocratic government? That such a system is possible is already beyond doubt, but is it sustainable in the long run? I mean: sustainable under Western pressure for reform?


    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 4:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Zimriel Says:

    The China model is sustainable until / unless China screws up first. Here’s one event that comes to mind: a catastrophic flood or other accident that affects relatives of critical army colonels. This would open fissures into which western NGOs could step.

    It’s just that these days it seems more likely the US will collapse before that happens.


    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 4:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • The Electric Philosopher Says:

    ‘merican ‘collapse’ doesn’t strike me as being particularly likely in the short-term, but that isn’t true of a substantial decline in influence and ability. But we’re straying from the point of this post a little: the point, rather, is that new powers are rising to undermine the long-standing de facto authority of the Western (American) powers.


    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 4:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    Looks great … just bought it.

    Is it just me or was this a horrible year for books? For the past 8 years I’ve done a “best books of the year” list for my clients. Usually I’ve had like 25 on it. This year … two. One on Beethoven and one on weightlifting. Perhaps I’m not trying, perhaps the book is a dying art form, or perhaps all the good ideas are flushed out in blogs better than they are in books. In most cases by the time somebody gets around to making a book about something the issue at hand is old hat. Good example being the 2014 book “Genes, Race & DNA, a troublesome inheritance.” Perhaps nobody gave a damn because the issue is being debated already on the net and the book brought nothing to the table among people who care. I bought it but never read it. There was no point. Dude was doing intellectual mop-up disguised as pathbreaking work.

    Addendum: Same problem is occurring in movies, which are now worthless generally speaking. The action is in video games and long-form TV drama. Was watching the atrocious Redskins in a bar last Sunday and they were showing commercials for video games. Seemed odd but I guess that’s where the money is.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    “Talent goes where it is needed”


    bob sykes Reply:

    Rather talent goes where the money is. Which is why we don’t have new symphonies or Broadway shows.


    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 5:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Extrastatecraft | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on December 20th, 2014 at 8:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    Verso Books comes out with some good stuff. They have been publishing the works of a certain literary theory figure who has done a 180 from leftism to political realism and who has offered a serious challenge to literary and critical theory through his new work. He shall remain nameless, but the fact that his works are continuing to be published by Verso tells ms that there is an element at that publishing house that represents the generative nexus of Far Left and Far Right.


    Posted on December 22nd, 2014 at 1:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    Love the Progies in comments lamenting, “devoid of culture.” Oh, the irony…


    Posted on December 22nd, 2014 at 6:27 am Reply | Quote
  • nydwracu Says:

    Architects again?


    Posted on December 23rd, 2014 at 12:18 am Reply | Quote
  • ryan Says:

    “The almost perfect coincidence with techno-commercial NRx (or proto-Patchwork tendencies) is so striking that the adoption of ‘extrastatecraft’ as a positive program falls into place automatically.”

    Easterling actually advocates for “mapping” zone technology back onto the city, as a positive program.

    Somehow this consistently gets lost in her message, perhaps due to the “highly critical frame”, and is almost never the topic of discussion during interviews/lectures.

    “The smartest spatial entrepreneurs will probably design a new urban software. A new zone protocol, a Zone 2.0, might be wise to simply reconsider the isomorphic topologies and dispositions of the extra-urban enclave. There may no longer be a need for the double of Mumbai in Navi Mumbai, or the zone on the outskirts of Nairobi. Mapping the same incentives, scripts and technologies on the city itself is an enormous yet undisclosed political change that simultaneously delivers bandwidth, wealth, security and employment to cities that have been left to decay as a vestige of the state governance. It is a move that manipulates both active and object form.”


    “The zone format, for instance, is the functional equivalent of an early, stand-alone word processing programme waiting to be joined by other softwares. The spread and mutation of this zone, despite its failures, demonstrates the power of spatial platforms even in the absence of their fitness.”


    Posted on January 12th, 2016 at 1:49 am Reply | Quote

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