Topological Prosperity: Tracing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
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This thesis synthesizes theoretical and methodological insights of actor-network theory with the political economy of communication in order to trace the history of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, 2005-2009. The purpose is to demonstrate how a power elite of transnational corporate actants are increasingly structuring transnational border policy, encouraging the deployment of ubiquitous surveillance technology and the liberalization of transborder data flows and markets, primarily for the purposes of maximizing capital accumulation, ideological legitimation and the suppression of resistance. This hybridization of state and corporate actants exemplifies how prosperity partnerships and other similar informal working groups are increasingly being used as powerful vehicles for mobilizing the private sector into influencing border policies throughout North America, effectively creating powerful socio-technical scenarios for influencing global markets. The argument advanced is that borders are increasingly becoming topological spaces which unevenly distributed objects and people across various networks and flows, in turn re-shaping urban landscapes towards private interests. As such, topological prosperity entails configuring networked infrastructures and spaces such as borders and airports in ways which favour particular socio-economic groups, primarily an ascending global economic elite.