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POLS 374 Foundations of Global Politics. Lecture 7 Explaining Globalization Professor Timothy C. Lim California State University, Los Angeles tclim@calstatela.edu. Explaining Globalization. Explaining globalization requires an integrated, multi-dimensional theory

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POLS 374 Foundations of Global Politics


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pols 374 foundations of global politics

POLS 374 Foundations of Global Politics

Lecture 7

Explaining Globalization

Professor Timothy C. Lim

California State University, Los Angeles

tclim@calstatela.edu

explaining globalization
Explaining Globalization
  • Explaining globalization requires an integrated, multi-dimensional theory
  • Specifically, the author proposes a theory that looks at five interrelated shifts …
explaining globalization3
Explaining Globalization
  • … the major trend—the growth of transplanetary and supraterritorial connectivity—is interlinked with four other trends:
    • shift from capitalism towards hypercapitalism in respect of production
    • a shift from statism towards polycentrism in respect of governance
    • a shift from nationalism toward pluralism and hybridity in respect of identity
    • a shift from rationalism towards reflexive rationality in respect of knowledge
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Explaining Globalization
  • The author’s overall (theoretical) approach uses …
  • liberalism and political realism to explain the significance of states and other governance arrangements
  • Marxism to explain the importance of capitalism
  • constructivism to explain the relevance identity politics
  • postmodernism to explain the role of knowledge power
  • and feminism to explain the role of gender relations
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Explaining Globalization
  • Building Blocks:The Importance of Capitalism and Production in Explaining Globalization
  • Basic Point:No explanation of globalization can be complete—or even reasonably accurate—without significant attention paid to the capitalist mode of production
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Explaining Globalization
  • What is capitalism?
  • Capitalism is a social order where economic activity is oriented first and foremost to the accumulation of surplus—i.e., profit
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Explaining Globalization
  • Accumulation is part of a cycle
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Explaining Globalization
  • Other features of capitalist society:
    • Thoroughly monetarized
    • Competition-based
    • Capitalism is not just an economic system, but also an all-encompassing social system
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Explaining Globalization
  • How does capitalism spur or “cause” globalization?
    • Market Expansion
    • Accounting practices
    • Asset mobility or global sourcing
    • Enlarged arenas of commodification
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of governance in globalization
    • Key Point: Globalization cannot unfold without some form of governance arrangement
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of governance in globalization
    • Definitional Note:
      • Governance here is defined rather broadly—in the generic sense of “regulation.”
      • Thus governance refers to processes whereby people formulate, implement, enforce, and review rules to guide their common affairs
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of governance in globalization
    • Four ways in which governance spurs globalization
      • Provision of infrastructure
      • liberalization of international transactions
      • guarantees of property rights for global capital
      • sponsorship of global governance arrangements
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of governance in globalization
    • In sum, the author tells us that governance has played a key role in globalization. This is hard to deny—and an important lesson to keep in mind
    • However, it’s not exactly clear how governance is a “cause” of globalization: instead, we might think of it as a precondition or an essential facilitating factor, for governance itself doesn’t really necessitate globalization (it can do just the opposite), but without it, globalization simply isn’t possible
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of identity in globalization
    • Circumstances surrounding the construction of identity have promoted globalization in three main ways:
      • First, national “selves” have been substantially formed and sustained in relation to foreign “others” within a transworld realm
      • Second, a number of nations have developed in part as transplanetary diasporas
      • Third, increased attention to various non-territorial identities (like those based in faith, gender, and race) has promoted the growth of supraterritorial social connections
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of identity in globalization
    • To simplify: We might say that the ability to think globally or to conceptualize an identity beyond the horizons of a single geographic space can play a significant role in spurring globalization
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of knowledge in globalization
    • Reflects a postmodernist view, which asserts that the ways in which knowledge is “understood” has a fundamental impact on the world
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of knowledge in globalization
    • The author’s main point: Modern society conceives of knowledge from a rationalist perspective: rationalism, by its nature, is premised on a universalist foundation: there is only one truth, the truth of science, or, as one famous saying puts it …
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of knowledge in globalization

Suggests that there is an unequivocal truth “out there” in the world, waiting to be “discovered.” The truth can be hidden from us, but the truth itself never changes.

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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of knowledge in globalization
    • The upshot:The entire planet can be united in a single search for truth, and this truth can and should be the basis for all societies
    • This understanding of knowledge (which is inseperable from power) can play a key role in spurring globalization
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Explaining Globalization
  • Forces of knowledge in globalization
    • A real world example: Consider Bush’s articulation of essential truths in the world today:
      • “You can't put democracy and freedom back into a box”
      • “Faith crosses every border and touches every heart in every nation”
      • “Government should be ‘whenever possible, market based’”
      • “You are either with us or against us”
  • The Lesson: These “truths” reflect the dominant power of the United States and Western perspectives more generally: they are portrayed as universal truths, and therefore are thought to be unassailable. Those who challenge these “truths” are heretics, terrorists, evil-doers, fanatics, and so on. They don’t deserve to be heard; indeed, they deserve to die.
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Explaining Globalization
  • Conclusion: Explaining Globalization
    • To explain globalization, we need to adopt a multidimensional perspective; we can’t afford to have (theoretical) tunnel vision
    • Explaining globalization, in other words, isn’t simple: minimally, according to the author, it requires an explanation that examines the interrelationship among four aspects of capitalism, five features of state and other governance, three qualities of national and other identity construction, and four implications of rationalist knowledge