Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summary and Reflection on Globalization, week #3

Summary and reflection

“Globalization: A Very Short Introduction” by Manfred B. Steger

At first, I was wondering why he put the title, like “Very Short Introduction” because it doesn’t look short at all from the length of the article, but I came to realize that the amount Globalization covers through time and space is so huge, so he seems to focus on the tremendous scale of the topic, I think.

As he mentions, “Globalization refers to expansion and intensification of social relations and
consciousness across world time and world space.”, Globalization is not a new phenomenon at all, but started even since the prehistoric period. Especially, the invention of writing and wheel and role of Chinese Empire as a geographical bridge in Premodern Period (3500 BC – 1500BC), and spread of ‘liberal’ ideas of individualism, rise of the power of European metropolitan center and merchants, and religious warfare in Early Modern Period ( 1500 – 1750) were the main factors for globalization in the period.

And, what appealed to me most as global factors in Modern Period (1750-1970) were more significant involvement of Australia and Pacific islands into European-dominated network, popular use of public transportation (railways, shipping, or air transport) possible by communication technology, like telegraph, telephone, wireless radio, film, etc. Also population growth provided USA, Canada, Australia with a lot of benefit, caused by their immigration and a lot of global companies, like Coca-Cola, Campbell soup, Remington type writer came to the markets over the world.

Also, of ideologies of globalization, Steger provided three criteria, which are market globalism, justice globalism, and jihadist globalism. Market globalism reminds me of ‘Capitalism’, representing concept of ‘Free market’ and Justice globalism makes me think of ‘Against market globalism’, with similar concepts to ‘Communism’, not exactly same though, which represents global redistribution of wealth and power. But also, justice globalism insists a lot of ‘our responsibility’ for worldly issues.

One of the interesting views of Steger is the third criteria, jihadist globalism which represents violent fundamentalists in the West who seek to turn the whole world into a ‘Christian empire’. Especially, after 9/11 attack in manhattan from Al caeda, their ideology has been a big issue. But is that a kind of serious ideology which can be considered as a third ideas and beliefs shared by worldly people? Then, Why Christian globalism is missing here? I’m just wondering…


1 comment:

  1. You raise an interesting question, as we discussed in class, about whether Jihadist Globalism belongs on the short list of major ideologies related to globalism. He does make a point of mentioning that he includes any kind of global religious fundamentalist movement in this category. As someone pointed out in class, it does seem kind of pointed that he chose the word most closely associated with Islamic fundamentalism to describe it - but on the other hand, isn't this the kind of religious fundamentalism that is most influential around the world at the moment, by a lot? Might it actually be not reductive but courageous for him to come right out and say this? I'm not sure, myself, but perhaps that argument could be made.