The logic and dimensions of globalisation

From VCSEwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

When Rischard describes the basic dynamising forces of globalisation (demographic growth, new economics), he is silent about what is behind these forces. Some other sociologists try to explain it; the basic difference among them lies in whether they speak of a single ‘logic’ or of multi-causal ‘logics.’ The difference expresses the Weberian controversy between economic domination and pluralism in economic-social-cultural interpretations.

The left-inclined I. Wallerstein represents the former opinion, and has developed the thesis saying that progress toward globalisation is determined by the intrinsic logic of capitalism. He defines its roots in the 16the century (whereas in other authors the era only starts with the discovery of America). The world of capitalist economics, according to the author, consists of three elements, namely (a) a single market controlled by the profit maximisation principle; (b) state structures restraining free actions of the market in order to improve profit expectations of one or multiple groups; and (c) appropriation of surplus value in an exploitation system, which includes a central space (home countries of the main companies, including MNCs), and peripheral and semi-peripheral countries (former colonies, or present-day developing countries).

J. Rosenau represents the other standpoint, according to which the era of national states has passed as they now have to share their powers with international organisation (IMF, WTO, World Bank), with MNCs, and with trans-national social and political movements (Greenpeace, Amnesty International, etc.). Polycentric politics have appeared. The world is interconnected by communication technologies.

Finally, a third important theory must be cited: the global risk society theory, authored by U. Beck. It states that the awareness of globality is reinforced by ecological shocks, such as the 2005 hurricane Katrina, which caused the flooding of New Orleans. The author of the theory says that a new situation may induce an awareness of a shared fate, which in turn could bring to life a cosmopolitan understanding of man’s position within the world and lead to the cancellation of boundaries between man, animal and plant.


  • Beck, U. (2002). Macht und Gegenmacht im globalen Zeitalter. Frankfurt a/M: Suhrkamp.
  • Central Intelligence Agency (2004) Mapping the Global Future, Report of the National Inteligence Council´s 2020 Project Based on Consultations with Nongovernmental Experts Around the World. National Intelligence Council, Pittsburgh. URL
  • Hammond, A. (2000): Which World, Scenarions for the 21st Century, A Shearwater book, Washington.
  • Held, D., Grew, A. (2000): The Global Transformation Reader. Cambridge, Polity Press.
  • Richard, J. F. (2002): High Noon: twenty global problems, twenty years to solve them. New York: Basic Books.
  • Rosenau, J.N. (2005) Globalization, Security, and the Nation State: Paradigms in Transition (edited with Ersel Aydinli). State University of New York Press.
  • Soubbotina, T. P. with Sheram, K. A. (2000) Beyond Economic Growth: Meeting the Challenges of Global Development, World Bank Development Education Progamme, Washington.
  • Wikipedia, Globalization. (2007, January 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:29, January 24, 2007, from