Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

How the West was One? The American Frontier and the Rise of a Global Internet Imaginary


This paper connects the Turner thesis and the construction of a frontier imaginary to contemporary American practices as evidenced by the exportation of advanced Western science and technologies throughout the globe, using the Internet as a representative example. The dissemination of the Internet to non-Western cultures is a major global strategy at present, and the paper finds that this is occurring via the conceptual strokes of the “American West.” The paper argues that visions of a democratic Internet involve the metaphoric evocation of Turner’s frontier democracy and imperial progressivism. However, the “Western” directionality of imperialism is dialectically related to “whole-earth” discourse through a pervading global localism.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View