This is an autobiographical review of the published research that I did over five decades of my academic life, from 1965 to 2015. It highlights the common thread that brings together my intellectual project through a great diversity of topics: the quest for a grounded theory of power. The review presents the gradual emergence of this theory without disguising the difficulties and contradictions in its development. I consider power relationships to be the foundational relationships of society in all domains. Here, I show how my research used this approach to study urban structure and spatial dynamics; the uses and consequences of information technologies; the process of globalization; the formation of a new social structure, the network society; and the interaction between communication and power in a digital environment. Finally, I propose a network theory of power in the network society, the society we are in.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Literature Cited

  1. Arquilla J, Rondfeldt D. 2001. Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp.
  2. Bachelard G. 1934. Le Nouvel Esprit Scientifique Paris: PUF
  3. Banfield E. 1970. The Unheavenly City: The Nature and Future of our Urban Crisis. New York: Little, Brown & Co.
  4. Barzilai-Nahon K. 2008. Toward a theory of network gatekeeping: a framework for exploring information control. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 59:91493–512 [Google Scholar]
  5. Beck U. 2000. Power in the Global Age Cambridge, UK: Polity
  6. Calderon F. 2003. ¿Es sostenible la globalización en América Latina? Debates con Manuel Castells 12 Mexico City: FCE
  7. Cardoso F, Faletto E. 1970. Dependencia y desarrollo en América Latina Mexico City: SigloXXI
  8. Carnoy M, Castells M. 1988. Economic Modernization and Technology Transfer in the People's Republic of China Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Sch. Educ., CERAS
  9. Castells M. 1968. Y a-t-il une sociologie urbaine?. Sociol. Trav. 1:72–90 [Google Scholar]
  10. Castells M. 1972 (1975). La question urbaine Paris: Francois Maspero/La Decouverte
  11. Castells M. 1977. The Urban Question A Marxist Approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
  12. Castells M. 1978. City, Class and Power London: Palgrave
  13. Castells M. 1983. The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press
  14. Castells M. 1988. The Developmental City State in an Open World Economy: The Singapore Experience Berkeley: Univ. Calif., Berkeley Roundtable Int. Econ.
  15. Castells M. 1992. Four Asian tigers with a dragon head: state intervention and economic development in the Asian Pacific Rim. State and Society in the Pacific Rim R Applebaum, J Henderson 33–70 London: Sage [Google Scholar]
  16. Castells M. 1994. L'école française de sociologie urbaine vingt ans après: retour au futur?. Ann. Rech. Urbaine 64:58–60 [Google Scholar]
  17. Castells M. 1996 (2000). The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture 1 The Rise of the Network Society Oxford, UK: Blackwell
  18. Castells M. 1996–1998 (2000–2003). The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture. Oxford, UK: Blackwell
  19. Castells M. 1997 (2003). The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture 2 The Power of Identity Oxford, UK: Blackwell
  20. Castells M. 1998 (2003). The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture 3 End of Millennium Oxford, UK: Blackwell
  21. Castells M. 2001. The Internet Galaxy Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  22. Castells M. 2005. Globalizacion, desarrollo y democracia en Chile. Santiago de Chile: FCE
  23. Castells M. 2009. Communication Power Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  24. Castells M. 2012 (2015). Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  25. Castells M, Barrera A, Castano C, Nadal J. 1986. Nuevas Tecnologias, Economia y Sociedad en Espana 12 Madrid: Alianza Editor
  26. Castells M, Caraca J, Cardoso G. 2012. Aftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  27. Castells M, Hall P. 1994. Technopoles of the World London: Routledge
  28. Castells M, Himanen P. 2014. Reconceptualizing Development in the Global Information Age Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  29. Castells M, Kiselyova E. 1995. The Collapse of Soviet Communism: The View from the Information Society Berkeley: Univ. Calif., Inst. Int. Stud.
  30. Castells M, Kwok R, Goh L. 1990. Economic Development and Public Housing in the Asian Pacific Rim: A Comparative Analysis of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. London: Pion
  31. Dahl R. 1961. Who Governs: Democracy and Power in an American City New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press
  32. Engels F. 1872. Bur Wohnangsfrage [The Housing Question] https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/housing-question/index.htm [Google Scholar]
  33. Foucault M. 1975. Surveiller et punir Paris: Gallimard
  34. Foucault M. 2008. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–79 London: Palgrave Macmillan
  35. Giddens A. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of a Theory of Structuration Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  36. Grewal D. 2008. Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press
  37. Hall P. 1998. Cities in Civilization. New York: Pantheon
  38. Harvey D. 1973. Social Justice and the City London: Edward Arnold Press
  39. Howard P. 2013. Castells and the Media Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  40. Hunter F. 1953. Community Power Structure Chapel Hill: Univ. N. C. Press
  41. Laclau E. 2005. On Populist Reason London: Verso
  42. Lefebvre H. 1968. Le droit à la ville Paris: Anthropos
  43. Lefebvre H. 1970. La révolution urbaine Paris: Gallimard
  44. Marx K, Engels F. 1846 (1932). The Real Basis of Ideology: Division of Labour: Town and Country Die Deutsche Ideologie [The German Ideology], Part IC. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01c.htm
  45. Massey D. 2005. Strangers in a Strange Land: Humans in an Urbanizing World New York: W. W. Norton
  46. Massey D, Brodmann S. 2014. The Social Ecology and Racial and Class Inequality New York: Russell Sage
  47. McChesney R. 2007. Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media New York: New Press
  48. Mumford L. 1961. The City in History New York: Harcourt Brace
  49. Nelson T. 1965. Complex information processing: a file structure for the complex, the changing and the indeterminate. ACM Proc. 1965 20th Natl. Conf.84–100 ACM New York: [Google Scholar]
  50. Pahl R. 1970. Whose City? Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin [Google Scholar]
  51. Park R, Burgess E. 1925. The City Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  52. Poulantzas N. 1968. Pouvoir politique et classes sociales Paris: Francois Maspero
  53. Sorre M. 1952. Les fondements de la géographie humaine Paris: Armand Colin
  54. Stalder F. 2006. Manuel Castells: The Theory of the Network Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  55. Susser I. 2002. The Castells Reader on Cities and Social Theory Oxford, UK: Blackwell
  56. Thompson J. 2000. Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age Cambridge, UK: Polity Press
  57. Touraine A. 1965. Sociologie de l'action Paris: Seuil
  58. Touraine A. 1973. Production de la société Paris: Seuil
  59. Touraine A. 2013. La fin des sociétés Paris: Seuil
  60. Webster F, Dimitriou B. 2004. Manuel Castells SAGE Masters of Modern Social Thought Series 1, 2, 3 London: Sage
  61. Wirth L. 1938. Urbanism as a way of life. Am. J. Sociol. 44:1–24 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error