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Unformatted text preview: Globalization is What We Make of It: Contemporary Globalization Theory and the Future Construction of Global Interconnection Garrett Wallace Brown University of Sheffield There are four perennial questions that preoccupy globalization theory. For those who write about globalization, there is a constant attempt to discover what globalization is, when it may have started, what benefits and burdens it offers for global cohabitation and whether globalization is ultimately a good thing or a bad thing.The purpose of this article is to review several new works in contemporary globalization theory and to assess what new answers they offer to these questions.Through this examination it will be argued that although these recent works provide significant improvements to former discussions on globalization, they still tend to lack an obvious insight. Namely, they fail to highlight fully the fact that whatever globalization is, it is as important to think normatively about directing its future as it is to understand its past. In other words, globalization is entirely what we make of it, both in how we cognitively come to understand it, but also in how we decide to shape its future. I think globalization is something you have the privilege to enjoy (Mr Ndlovo). The above was a response given by a prominent village leader in KwaZulu-Natal while I was conducting field research on The Global Funds efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in South Africa. There are obvious infer- ences that can be drawn from such a statement about globalization.The tone and context of his remark insinuated that the word you meant you Westerners, and by privilege to enjoy, he meant that it is largely people from Western industrial countries that reap the benefits of globalization.Although one could dismiss the quote as a somewhat simplistic and nave rendering of the complexities involved in global interconnectedness, it nevertheless tells us something important about how globalization is conceptualized and the difficulties involved with under- standing it. For Mr Ndlovos quote highlights a misconception and a reality, as well as articulating the fact that whatever globalization is, it is not something easily definable or discerned. On the one hand the quote highlights a misconception and simplistic under- representation of the effects of globalization. For the AIDS epidemic is, for once, indigenous to Africa and it is not the direct result of former globalizations which took the form of infection via European exploration and colonization. In addi- tion, the fact that there is an international response to HIV/AIDS is a direct result POLITICAL STUDIES REVIEW: 2008 VOL 6, 4253 2008 The Author. Journal compilation 2008 Political Studies Association of globalization. For it is because of the global media and pressure from interna- tional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that Africas plight has reached some level of global consciousness. In addition, Mr Ndlovos statement fails tosome level of global consciousness....
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This note was uploaded on 06/11/2011 for the course MANAGAMENT 1301 taught by Professor Perry during the Spring '11 term at University of Houston - Downtown.
- Spring '11
- The End of History and the Last Man