Despite China's recent emergence as a major global economic and geopolitical power, its association with counterfeit goods and intellectual property piracy has led many in the West to dismiss its urbanization and globalization as suspect or inauthentic. In Underglobalization Joshua Neves examines the cultural politics of the “fake” and how frictions between legality and legitimacy propel dominant models of economic development and political life in contemporary China. Focusing on a wide range of media technologies and practices in Beijing, Neves shows how piracy and fakes are manifestations of what he calls underglobalization—the ways social actors undermine and refuse to implement the specific procedures and protocols required by globalization at different scales. By tracking the rise of fake politics and transformations in political society, in China and globally, Neves demonstrates that they are alternate outcomes of globalizing processes rather than anathema to them.
Joshua Neves is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Film Studies at Concordia University and coeditor of Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global, also published by Duke University Press.