Social Theory & Health

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 20–41

EMPIRE and health website recommendations: Technologies of control

Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/sth.2011.10

Cite this article as:
Usher, W. & Skinner, J. Soc Theory Health (2012) 10: 20. doi:10.1057/sth.2011.10


There is limited literature and empirical data that attempts to theorise or elucidate the repercussions that have eventuated from the e-health phenomenon. Therefore, this exploratory study will identify how modern forms of communication technologies (that is, the Internet, World Wide Web) are being used by Transnational Corporations (that is, pharmaceutical companies) in an attempt to globalise economic markets, online health information, services and products. To assist in the theorisation of these research findings, this article draws upon the work of Hardt and Negri to critically examine the influences that motivate health professionals to undertake a health website recommendation, in terms of globalisation, capitalism and information imperialism. Hardt and Negri, in their exploration of the development and rise of a networked digital information highway, more commonly called ‘The Internet’, give particular attention to the concepts of cyberspace and the impacts of a new form of global juridical sovereignty, known as EMPIRE. Attention will be directed towards outlining how the dominant forces of our time (that is, global pharmaceutical companies and the networked digital highway) have influenced online health information access, and subsequently twenty-first century health-care delivery.


Empirehealth websitese-healthpharmaceutical companieshealth professionalsglobalisation

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education and Professional Studies, Gold Coast campus, Griffith UniversityAustralia
  2. 2.Head of Department, Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel & Sport Management, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith UniversityAustralia