By Patrick Hayden, Chamsy El-Ojeili

This hugely available textual content presents a accomplished evaluate of globalization and its results. Exploring the insights of quite a lot of severe theorists, this ebook argues that debates approximately globalization can't be divorced from struggles for emancipation or from the contradictory realities of latest society. essentially equipped round thematic chapters designed to impress pupil inquiry, the booklet demonstrates how the perspectives of serious theorists are the most important to knowing the worldwide approaches shaping the area today.

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According to Giddens (1990: 10), our world is a particularly ‘fraught and dangerous one’, in the sense that our ‘second’ or ‘reflexive modernity’ is, Beck (2000) argues, burdened by problems, crises, and hazards. These risks have become central ahead of the distributional questions that had dominated first modernity. Risk is about the unintended consequences of the first modernity of Enlightenment, scientific progress, collectivism, and technological advance and control (Debrix, 2005), and these consequences ‘come to be a dominant force in history and society’ (Beck, 2000: 400).

In this period, big power expansionist rivalries increased, challenges to this expansion in the peripheral and semi-peripheral areas of the world rose, and the working class expanded in size, organizational strength, and assertiveness – these factors together destabilizing the geopolitical situation (Chirot, 1986). To remain a great power, it was felt, one had to expand, and this period saw a desperate scramble for control of overseas territory (Chirot, 1986). Thus, while in 1880 25 million square kilometres of the earth’s surface was under the control of the big colonial powers, by 1913 this control had extended to 53 million square kilometres (Osterhammel and Petersson, 2003).

These theories are outlined here because they have significant connections to, and affinities with, analyses of contemporary globalization, and they provide important tools of understanding for the critical theoretical assessments of globalization that we will focus on in the chapters that follow. While we think each of these theories has important merits, and we see them as provocative and helpful tools in theorizing Theorizing Globalization: Introducing the Challenge 29 our globalizing moment, it is important to keep in mind the ease with which these theories might be overreaching in describing the novelty of the current social order.

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