By Colin Hay, David Marsh (eds.)

Globalization, inside of educational, political and company circles alike, conjures an ever becoming range of institutions, connotations and attendant mythologies. during this quantity a distinct array of overseas lecturers investigate the contribution of the globalization thesis, in its a number of guises, to our knowing of social, political and fiscal switch in modern societies. They disclose, problem and demystify a few of the exaggerated and overgeneralized claims made approximately globalization, while constructing a particular 'third wave' viewpoint at the global we inhabit and the strategies presently reconfiguring it.

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Among the political factors considered are world-wide liberalizations of markets for goods and capital as well as of conditions for direct investments and privatization programmes both in industrialized and developing countries. Such developments, it is argued, open hitherto protected sectors up to economic activity, inspired by a dominant liberal paradigm in economic policy making. Major technical changes have occurred both in communications and computer technology, allowing new financial transactions, but also more generally lowering distance costs.

It is not surprising then that financial markets have featured very prominently in descriptions of the turmoils associated with globalization – even at an early stage in the debate (cf. Strange 1986, Hiss 1988). The combination of wide-spread liberalization of financial markets with quantum leaps in the development of computer and Table 5. Markets for Selected Derivative Instruments: National Principal Amounts Outstanding at year end, 1986–92 ($US billion equivalent) 1986 1990 1991 1992 Exchange-traded instruments Interest rate futures Interest rate options Currency futures Currency options Stock market index futures Options on stock market indices 588 370 146 10 39 15 8 2 291 1 454 600 16 56 70 95 3 520 2 157 1 073 18 59 77 136 4 783 3 048 1 385 25 80 81 164 Over-the-counter instruments Interest rate swaps Currency and gross-currency interest rate swaps Other derivative instruments 500 (E) 400 (E) 100 (E) 3 451 2 312 578 4 449 3 065 807 – – – 561 577 – 7 578 7 497 Memorandum item Cross-border plus local foreign currency claims of BIS re posting banks Source: Hirst and Thompson 1996: 41 E = estimate – 4 031 7 352 Unpacking the Globalization Debate 41 communication technology (and the invention of ever more sophisticated financial instruments made possible by the latter two) has led to an explosion in the volume of a number of financial instruments.

The word ‘globalization’ has been in use since the early 1960s. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, The Spectator concluded as early as 1962 that ‘globalization is, indeed, a staggering concept’. Academic use of the word only began in the early 1980s, but has taken off enormously in recent years. Whatever one may think of the merits of the debate, globalization is unquestionably an academic growth industry. As Figure 1 shows, publications on globalization started to appear in the first half of the 1980s, at a rate of one to three per year4 In the late Unpacking the Globalization Debate 23 IBSS Loc: Books Loc: Articles Number 200 150 100 50 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 0 Year Figure 1.

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