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On the Methods of Long-Distance Control: Vessels, Navigation and the Portuguese Route to India

On the Methods of Long-Distance Control: Vessels, Navigation and the Portuguese Route to India It is argued that long-distance control depends upon the creation of a network of passive agents (both human and non-human) which makes it possible for emissaries to circulate from the centre to the periphery in a way that maintains their durability, forcefulness and fidelity. This argument is exemplified by the empirical case of the fifteenth and sixteenth century Portuguese expansion and the reconstruction of the navigational context undertaken by the Portuguese in order to secure the global mobility and durability of their vessels. It is also suggested that three classes of emissaries – documents, devices and drilled people – have, together and separately, been particularly important for long-distance control, and that the dominance of the West since the sixteenth century may be partly explained in terms of crucial innovations in the methods by which passive agents of these three types are produced and interrelated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Sociological Review SAGE

On the Methods of Long-Distance Control: Vessels, Navigation and the Portuguese Route to India

The Sociological Review , Volume 32 (1_suppl): 30 – May 1, 1984

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References (72)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1984 The Sociological Review Publication Limited. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing from the copyright holder. The Sociological Review is published by the Sociological Review Publication Limited
ISSN
0038-0261
eISSN
1467-954X
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-954X.1984.tb00114.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It is argued that long-distance control depends upon the creation of a network of passive agents (both human and non-human) which makes it possible for emissaries to circulate from the centre to the periphery in a way that maintains their durability, forcefulness and fidelity. This argument is exemplified by the empirical case of the fifteenth and sixteenth century Portuguese expansion and the reconstruction of the navigational context undertaken by the Portuguese in order to secure the global mobility and durability of their vessels. It is also suggested that three classes of emissaries – documents, devices and drilled people – have, together and separately, been particularly important for long-distance control, and that the dominance of the West since the sixteenth century may be partly explained in terms of crucial innovations in the methods by which passive agents of these three types are produced and interrelated.

Journal

The Sociological ReviewSAGE

Published: May 1, 1984

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