Globalization in World History  book cover
3rd Edition

Globalization in World History

ISBN 9780367279868
Published August 29, 2019 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

In this third edition of Globalization in World History, Peter Stearns explores the roots of contemporary globalization, examining shifts in the global flow of people, goods, and ideas as early as 1000 CE. Exploring how four moments in history have accelerated the process of globalization, Stearns’s narrative details how factors such as economics, migration, disease transmission, culture, the environment, and politics have influenced the nature of globalization as we understand it today.

This revised edition includes:

  • Updates to the whole study with appropriate recent references;

  • New brief transition sections that focus attention on the Mongol period, debates over the role of the eighteenth century, and the partial retreat from globalization after World War I;

  • A new final chapter that deals with the rise in attacks on globalization during the most recent decade, from populist objections to the implications of growing authoritarianism, raising the question of whether a new transition is taking shape around us today.

Through an interdisciplinary approach that links political, sociological, and historical perspectives, Stearns provides a comprehensive overview of globalization and the historical factors that have shaped it. This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of world history, economic history, and political economy.

Table of Contents

  1. Globalization and the Challenge to Historical Analysis
  2. Emerging Patterns of Contact, 1200 BCE – 1000 CE: a preparatory phase
  3. 1000 CE as Turning Point: the birth of globalization?
  4. Transition: the Mongol Period
  5. 1500 as Turning Point: the birth of globalization?
  6. A Late-18th Century Transition
  7. The 1850s as Turning Point: the birth of globalization?
  8. The Great Retreat, 1914-1945, and a New Transition
  9. Globalization since the 1940s: a new global history?
  10. A New Retreat? Another Decade of Disruption
  11. Conclusion: The Historical Perspective


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Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University. He has written widely on issues in world history and regularly teaches courses on various facets of globalization.