Globalization in Historical Perspective

  • Randall D. Germain
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Globalization is considered by many to be the key social, economic and political development of the late twentieth century. Its significance is often presented as a challenge to both modernity and capitalism, the twin foundations of the contemporary era. Where modernity is bound up with the triumph of the modern state, globalization works to dissolve the bonds of identity which lie at the heart of the state’s claim to authority. And where capitalism is predicated upon a particular relationship of market to society, globalization threatens to undermine and recast these relations. Globalization, such claims run, both relocates the efficacy of the state and recasts the constitution of the market. In this sense modernity, capitalism, globalization and its consequences are part of a train of developments which have taken us from a modern into a post-modern age. Like an express train racing through a tunnel, they have clear origins and transparent trajectories whose meanings are easily acknowledged and well understood.


Market Economy World Economy Eighteenth Century Social Practice Historical Perspective 
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© Randall D. Germain 2000

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  • Randall D. Germain

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