In what are generally understood as unsettled times, this book explores the possibility and desirability of bringing integrated theory back into globalization research. While there can hardly be a single and all-encompassing ‘grand theory’ of globalization-in-itself, is there scope for the development of a general and systematic approach to globalization dynamics, past and present. In other words, can theorizations of the global be holistic and integrative, taking place in tandem with methodological frameworks that consider the contradictory and uneven layering of different transnational practices across all social relations?
Is it possible to develop a general and integrated approach to globalization that links theory and practice in a socially engaged way, and is it desirable to do so? Many relevant academic and non-academic developments suggest not. For example, the postmodernist turn at the end of the last century expressed a profound ‘incredulity’ toward ‘grand narratives’ in the social sciences and humanities. A decade later, some neo-Marxist critics condemned the ‘follies of globalization theory’. More recently, the ‘post-truth’ interventions of national populists suggest not only that ‘globalism’ is the political enemy but also that attempts to understand its patterns and manifestations are relative or irrelevant.
Taking Manfred Steger and Paul James’ acclaimed book Globalization Matters as a back-drop against which to interrogate these issues, contributors from a variety of disciplinary, analytical and normative standpoints deliver a thoughtful and much needed assessment of the scholarship of globalization and the ways it is theorized.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Globalizations.
Table of Contents
1. A modest proposal: global theory for tough – and not so tough – times
2. What was globalization?
Valentine M. Moghadam
3. Eurasian globalization: past and present
Habibul Haque Khondker
4. Coloniality and globalization: a decolonial take
Walter D. Mignolo
5. Green- or rose-coloured lenses for Globalization Matters? Transdisciplinary epistemic practices and paradigmatic transformations in ecologies and equalities
Sara R. Curran
6. Glocal as hybridity, hegemony and reflexive engagement
Didem Buhari Gulmez
7. Humanity for itself? Reflections on climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic
8. The new conceptual vocabulary of the social sciences: the ‘globalization debates’ in context
9. The human development and capabilities approach as a twenty-first century ideology of globalization
Devin K. Joshi
10. How to theorize globalization: a comment
11. Globalization in question: why does engaged theory matter?
Paul James and Manfred B. Steger
Barrie Axford is Professor Emeritus in Politics at Oxford Brookes University UK, where he was founding director of the Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society (GPES). His books include The Global System, Theories of Globalization, The World-Making Power of New Media: Mere Connection? and Populism Versus the New Globalization.