2015: Volume 8, Issue 1, pp. 9-30

Manifest Spatialization: 
Militarizing Communication in Canada

Patricia Mazepa



Focusing on the political economy of communication and the process of spatialization whereby control over space and time is extended through the use of information and communication technology (ICT), this paper provides an overview of the intersections that draw the Canadian federal government, its military, and the ICT, defence and security industries into relationships that reinforce and extend their control. By attending to historical and current examples, it highlights several sub-processes of spatialization, including corporate restructuring (through vertical and horizontal integration), as well as state restructuring (principally through internationalization and commercialization), which together underpin and support the militarization of communication. From the state’s concentration on conventional war and the “Cold War”, through to the current “War on Terror” and its protection of an integrated ICT infrastructure, communication is increasingly confined within a narrow militarized and corporatized framework. Within this framework, both capital and the military prioritize the development and administration of the “command and control” capabilities of ICT, such that the policies and practices of communication become more exclusive, restrictive and surveilled, and less open, accessible, and universal. The paper seeks to explain how this tripartite combination of “command, control, and communication” is indicative of the process of spatialization, and supports a militarized capitalism and the formation of a cross-border MICC poised to expand and defend it.


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