1st Edition

Why Globalization Matters Engaging with Theory

Edited By Barrie Axford Copyright 2022
    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    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 journal Globalizations.


    Barrie Axford

    1. A modest proposal: global theory for tough – and not so tough – times

    Barrie Axford

    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

    Roland Robertson

    8. The new conceptual vocabulary of the social sciences: the ‘globalization debates’ in context

    Victor Roudometof

    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

    Saskia Sassen

    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, 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.