government can do about the twists and turns of
world markets in a global economy’. Under the heading of ‘globalisation’, a recent IMF
paper noted that ‘The last decade of the 20th century has been marked by immense
changes in the world economy. The new phase of the technological revolution and the
far-reaching internationalisation of capital have changed the patterns of economic
performance … Hence, on the eve of the new century, there are not only mounting
structural problems, but several new issues that must be addressed properly’ (2000b:
6). A similarly process
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utterly commonplace – even banal – to the extent that to critique it might seem pedantic. But in
fact what we face is a discourse, especially in relation to the processes of globalisation, that takes flow to be a natural and unproblematic way of describing the
temporalities and mobilities of digital, networked capitalism. I wish to challenge
this, demonstrating that flow is not simply a neutral category, but rather, is a
historically contingent mode of representation and givenness. Luc Boltanski and
Ève Chiapello (2007: 143) describe it as, ‘an
, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, when all social organisations registered as businesses or commercial entities were called on to renew their licences (Ho, 2008b : 23), or on the eve of any major anniversaries such as 4 June, the National Day, when some organisations experienced instances of their email accounts or phone lines being hacked into.
However, since 2012, crackdowns have become a more permanent feature of migrant NGOs’ existence, and have lost their circular character. They can vary from tacit pressure on