Actor-Network Theory

Moving and mapping (with) Actor-Network Theory

Reading the introduction to the recent Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory reminded me of the famous phrase ‘The king is dead, long live the king’. The editors, Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías and Celia Roberts, begin by declaring that, after its heyday in the 1990s, ANT is now in danger of becoming irrelevant because it has been taken up by an increasing number of scholars with backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines. Its popularization, then, is depicted as compromising its analytical force.

The state of things

Today we live in a vastly transformed state of things: the artifice of artefacts is evident all around us. A parliament of communicationtechnologies, from RFIDS to Bluetooth devices, constantly exchange information and network all around and through us. Wireless networks of communication, control, and cooperation proliferate in mysterious ways, all speaking an infra-language of organization, inscribing new techniques of governance.

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