Global Transformations Website

Welcome to the Global Transformations Website, which serves to support and extend the resources of those who use the Global Transformations books series. The series comprises four books:

  • Global Transformations, which is a path-breaking volume on the changing nature and shape of globalization over time.
  • The Global Transformations Reader, which offers a comprehensive set of texts on the great globalization debate – texts which are representative of all the major points of view and research traditions on this topic.
  • Governing Globalization, which explores how globalization is governed, the problems of governance and what can be done about these.
  • Globalization Theory, which aims to extend our understanding of how globalization can best be examined and explained.

In this website you will find a variety of useful texts and tools to help further the study of globalization and the debates about it … (full text Homepage).

Interviews; Essays; Authors; Related Titles; Links;
Feedback /Contact.

Researching Globalization: David Held and Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt and Jonathan Perraton: 

  • Theoretical Backdrop
  • Political-Legal Indicators
  • Military Indicators
  • Economic Indicators
  • Migration Indicators
  • Culture Indicators
  • Environment Indicators
  • Invitation

How can globalization be mapped? How can it be measured? Where should empirical research on globalization begin?

In order to help address these questions, this guide sets out an approach to globalization and an initial research agenda that can be followed-up by all those with an interest in this area. The document is meant to provide some interesting starting points for empirical inquiry and a guide to particularly helpful sources.

Data can be difficult and time-consuming to collect. It is always important to know why one is collecting certain kinds of information and what relevance it has. The theoretical background to the suggestions in this guide can be found in David Held and Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt and Jonathan Perraton, Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture, especially the Introduction (pp. 1-31) and the Methodological Appendix (pp. 453-456). But a few guiding orientations can be offered here.

Theoretical backdrop:

A detailed account of our conception of globalization can be found here. The document is entitled ‘What is Globalization?’. See also the paper by David Held and Anthony McGrew, ‘Globalization’, on the same site.

The following points help clarify the meaning of globalization and an approach to its delineation:

  • 1. Globalization can best be understood as a process or set of processes rather than a singular condition. It does not reflect a simple linear developmental logic, nor does it prefigure a world society or a world community. Rather, it refers to the emergence of interregional networks and systems of interaction and exchange. In this respect, the enmeshment of national and societal systems in wider global processes has to be distinguished from any notion of global integration.
  • 2. The spatial reach and density of global and transnational interconnectedness weave complex webs and networks of relations between communities, states, international institutions, non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations which make up the global order. These overlapping and interacting networks define an evolving structure which both imposes constraints on and empowers communities, states and social forces. In this respect, globalization is akin to a process of ’structuration’ (Giddens) in so far as it is a product of both the individual actions of, and the cumulative interactions between, countless agencies and institutions across the globe.
  • 3. Few areas of social life escape the reach of processes of globalization. These processes are reflected in all social domains from the cultural through the economic, the political, the legal, the military and the environmental. Globalization is best understood as a multifaceted or differentiated social phenomenon. It cannot be conceived as a singular condition but instead refers to patterns of growing global interconnectedness within all the key domains of social activity. To understand the dynamics and consequences of globalization, therefore, demands some knowledge of the differential patterns of global interconnectedness in each of these domains. For instance, patterns of global ecological interconnectedness are quite different from the patterns of global cultural or military interaction. Any general account of the processes of globalization must acknowledge that, far from being a singular condition, it is best conceived as a multidimensional process.
  • 4. By cutting through and across political frontiers globalization is associated with both the de-territorialization and a re-territorialization of socio-economic and political space. As economic, social and political activities are increasingly ’stretched’ across the globe they become in a significant sense no longer primarily or solely organized according to a territorial principle. They may be rooted in particular locales but territorially disembedded. Under conditions of globalization, ‘local’, ‘national’ or even ‘continental’ political, social and economic space is re-formed such that it is no longer necessarily coterminous with established legal and territorial boundaries. On the other hand, as globalization intensifies it generates pressures towards a re-territorialization of socio-economic activity in the form of subnational, regional and supranational economic zones (e.g. the EU, NAFTA), mechanisms of governance (e.g. the WTO) and cultural complexes (e.g. the Asian diaspora). It may also promote the ‘localization’ and ‘nationalization’ of societies. Accordingly, globalization involves a complex de-territorialization and re-territorialization of political and economic power. In this respect, it is best described as being aterritorial.
  • 5. Globalization concerns the expanding scale on which power is organized and exercised, that is, the extensive spatial reach of networks and circuits of power. Indeed, power is a fundamental attribute of globalization. In an increasingly interconnected global system, the exercise of power through the decisions, actions, or inactions, of agencies on one continent can have significant consequences for nations, communities and households on other continents. Power relations are deeply inscribed in the very process of globlization. In fact, the stretching of power relations means that sites of power and the exercise of power become increasingly distant from the subjects or locales which experience their consequences. In this regard, globalization involves the structuring and restructuring of power relations at a distance. Patterns of global stratification mediate access to sites of power, while the consequences of globalization are unevenly experienced.

Indicators of interconnectedness and the enmeshment of states in regional and global processes: … (full big long text).

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