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Globalization | background 12.12.’12. Roadmap Questions Concepts The first globalization The collapse of the first globalization Post WWII, Cold War & what’s next; global issues >> Hans Rosling [Gap Minder]. Questions What is globalization? How should it be studied?

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The first globalization

The collapse of the first globalization

Post WWII, Cold War & what’s next; global issues >> Hans Rosling [Gap Minder]

  • Questions

  • What is globalization?

  • How should it be studied?

    • Related fields > geopolitics, international relations;

    • The concept vs. the process of globalization.

  • Is globalization a new phenomenon?

  • If there are historical precedents, what is new or specific about what’s happening now?

  • Questions

  • Two fundamental questions:

    • Is globalization an adequate concept for the task of describing the current state of affairs?

      • Is it, e.g., specific enough?

    • Is globalization a new phenomenon?

      • Are there lessons to be learned from (recent/modern) history?

      • Are we witnessing unprecedented processes?

  • Steger: “debating whether the concept is useful as a social scientific instrument of analysis and debating whether the process is politically viable or ethically acceptable” (VSI 2000: 13)

  • Questions > Concepts

  • Background: this is a time of major changes, so:

    • We need a conceptual machinery to understand and describe what is going on;

    • Given such an understanding, we could evaluate both what we can do in this context (tools and policies), and what we should aim for (goals and norms).

  • Globalization is a possible conceptual umbrella under which we can try to describe the current state of the world.

    • Distinguish:

      • globalization as a social scientific concept (compare: Durkheim’s anomie);

      • globalization as a political/ideological, normatively loaded concept (compare: communism);

      • globalization in everyday, non-technical use (compare: Oedipus complex).

  • Judt: “Like earlier narratives of endless improvement, the story of globalization combines an evaluative mantra (“growth is good”) with the presumption of inevitability: globalization is with us to stay, a natural process rather than a human choice.” (IFL: 193)

    • Questions > Concepts

    • Is globalization an adequate concept for the task of describing the current state of affairs?

      • What does the concept capture?

    • Steger:

    • “'globalization is happening' contains three important pieces of information: first, we are slowly leaving behind the condition of modernity that gradually unfolded from the 16th century onwards; second, we are moving toward the new condition of (postmodern) globality; and, third, we have not yet reached it.”

    • 4 features:

      • The creation of new and the multiplication of existing social networks and activities that increasingly overcome traditional political, economic, cultural, and geographical boundaries.

      • The expansion and the stretching of social relations, activities, and interdependencies.

      • The intensification and acceleration of social exchanges and activities.

      • People becoming increasingly conscious of growing manifestations of social interdependence and the enormous acceleration of social interactions.

    • Concepts

    • Held et al.

    • “in its simplest sense globalization refers to the widening, deepening and speeding up of global interconnectedness”

      • Compatible with e.g. regional phenomena?

    • “a process (or set of processes) which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions - assessed in terms of their extensity,

    • intensity, velocity and impact - generating transcontinental or interregional flows

    • and networks of activity, interaction, and the exercise of power.”

    • Concepts

    • Held & McGrew:

      • Relevant scale:

    • “In seeking to differentiate global networks and systems from those operating at other spatial scales, such as the local or the national, the globalist analysis identifies globalization primarily with activities and relations which crystallize on an interregional or intercontinental scale”

      • Important dimensions of change:

    • “Central to this globalist interpretation is, nonetheless, a conception of global change involving a significant reconfiguration of the organizing principles of social life and world order. Three aspects of this are identified in the globalist literature; namely, the transformation of dominant patterns of socio-economic organization, of the territorial principle, and of power.”

    • Concepts

    • Hirst & Thompson [the skeptical position]

      • International vs. globalized economy

        • Present economic landscape not unprecedented, but in fact less open than that of 1870-1914 (e.g. workforce circulation);

        • No massive shift of investment and employment from advanced to developing countries (?);

        • Trade, investment and financial flows concentrated in only a few regions;

        • Markets not beyond great power regulation and control.

    • Concepts

      • Giddens: modernity radicalized

    • “Rather than entering a period of post-modernity, we are moving into one in which the consequences of modernity are becoming more radicalised and universalised than before.”

      • Modernity

        • Pace of change;

        • Scope of change;

        • Nature of institutions.

      • Sources of dynamism:

        • Time-space distanciation;

        • Disembbeding;

        • Reflexivity.

    • Concepts

      • Giddens: modernity universalized

    • “The declining grip of the West over the rest of the world is not a result of the diminishing impact of the institutions which first arose there but, on the contrary, a result of their global spread. The economic, political, and military power which gave the West its primacy, and which was founded upon the conjunction of the four institutional dimensions of modernity I shall shortly discuss, no longer so distinctly differentiates the Western countries from others elsewhere. We can interpret this process as one of globalisation, a term which must have a key position in the lexicon of the social sciences.”

    • Concepts

    • Giddens – “the globalising of modernity”

      • Dimensions of modernity:

        • Capitalism

        • Industrialism

        • Military Power

        • Surveillance

    • “Globalisation can thus be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa. This is a dialectical process because such local happenings may move in an obverse direction from the very distanciatedrelations that shape them.”

      • Dimensions of globalization:

        • World capitalism economy

        • International division of labor

        • World military order

        • Nation state system

    • Concepts

    • Keohane & Nye

      • 3 dimensions:

        • Economic > “long-distance flows of goods, services, and capital, as well as the information and perceptions that accompany market exchange.”

        • Military > “long-distance networks of interdependence in which force, and the threat or promise of force, are employed.”

        • Environmental > “long-distance transport of materials in the atmosphere or oceans, or of biological substances such as pathogens or genetic materials, that affect human health and well-being.”

      • Globalism vs. imperialism

      • Recent developments:

        • Density of networks

        • Velocity of flows (e.g. info, goods)

        • Interdependence

    • Concepts

    • Modelski

      • Historical perspective – ongoing and long-term process

    • “The process by which a number of historical world societies were brought together

    • into one global system might be referred to as globalization.”

      • Start of the process ~ 1000 AD > Moslem world; Europe takes over via naval superiority ~ 1500 AD > imperial Europe

        • Question: “Who benefited from globalization?”

    • Globalization 1.0

    • Belle époque globalization & the British Empire / Pax Britannica

      • Similarities

        • Scale & key regions

        • Trade

        • Ideology & language

        • Security arrangements

      • Differences

        • Dominant actors & fault lines

        • Technology & communication

        • Migration

        • Countercultures

  • “the Holocaust can be seen, among many other things, as the final catastrophe accompanying the breakdown of what some historians call the first globalization, the expansions of world trade of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It collapsed in three stages: World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. Its fatal flaw was its dependence upon European empire. The process of decolonization began within Europe itself, as the Balkan nation-states liberated themselves first from the Ottoman Empire and then from the dominance of their British, German, Austrian, or Russian imperial patrons. ”

  • (T. Snyder – Hitler’s Logical Holocaust, NYRB 2012)

    • Globalization 2.0 > PaxAmericana?

  • Changing hierarchies

    Changing hierarchies

    Changing hierarchies


    Wikipedia > UN&USCB data




    Total land area: 130168 km2

    Population: 156118464 [156 mil.]


    Total land area: 108489 km2

    Population: 7148785 [7 mil.]

    Data: CIA WFB