Proposal preview

Weaving Webs of Connections: The Roles of Information and Communication Services during Waves of Globalisation.

Information flows underlie the process of globalization. The successful movements of labour, goods, or capital is and usually has been procced by communication. From prices to FDI monitoring and employment opportunities, from political, legal and regulatory news to new technical knowledge, information is flowing all around the globe as consequence of a globalizing world. The main institutional actors facilitating these information flows since the First Globalization are Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) firms, public and private, who operate in a global environment shaped by governments and a bilateral as well as multilateral international agreements about communication arrangements.

This panel has two main, related intentions: How did Globalization shape the development of information services firms and institutions? Conversely, how did the facilitation of information flows through the PTT firms and institutions influence the structure and impact of the different waves of economic globalization?

A more detailed description of how exactly these questions may be addressed is given in the attached full proposal. These topics do lend themselves to a comparative approach with global perspectives. One might ask what greater lessons can be learned from the diversity of forms these interactions have taken by comparing countries and regions with differing institutions, or by examining different time periods with different globalization characteristics. Methodologically the panel will combine cliometric approaches with narrative and qualitative analyses, especially those drawing on approaches from business, global and diplomatic history.


  • Florian Ploeckl, University of Adelaide,,

Session members

  • Mark Crowley, Wuhan University,
  • Markus Lampe, WU Vienna,
  • Tom Velk, McGill University,
  • Elisabeth Perlman, US Census,
  • Steven Sprick Schuster, Colgate University,
  • Claudia Rei, Vanderbilt University,
  • Jessica Vechbanyongratana, Chulalongkorn University,

Proposed discussant(s)

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