Stefan H. Fritsch
Generally considered one of the central driving forces behind globalization, communication has provided the backbone for deep integration of global trade, finance, culture, and so on. Although the importance of knowledge, information, and communication has been widely accepted in contemporary economic and political thought, their economic function only became the subject of scientific interest from a variety of disciplinary perspectives during the 1930s and 1940s. From the early 1950s on, a growing body of scholarly work from various disciplines began to investigate the role of information and communication for the political economy of empires, states, business enterprises, and individuals. Aside from the generally growing economic significance of information and communication for the economic development of societies, the commodification of information itself has become the subject of investigation by political economists. And since various technologies form the basis of international communication, technology studies in recent decades have tried to explain processes of technological invention and innovation and the impact of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the architecture of international communication. A growing number of scholars have also analyzed the role of individuals, states, and multinational corporations in the political economy of communication and in a broader sense in international relations.