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How Much Globalization Can We Bear?




How Much Globalization Can We Bear?

Rüdiger Safranski, Patrick Camiller (Translated by)

ISBN: 978-0-745-63388-6 November 2005 Polity 100 Pages


According to current debates, ’individualization’ has frequently been proposed as the conceptual counterpart to ’globalization’. It has often seemed that nothing would be left once these processes have fully unfolded, other than individual human atoms dispersed on a globe without any political, economic or cultural structures.

Regardless of whether this description is based on any good and valid observation, nobody drew the conclusion that suddenly emerges as evident after reading Rüdiger Safranski’s lucid and timely exploration of the issue: globalization, if it occurs, means a radical change in the human condition. It brings human being in direct confrontation with the world in its totality. Almost unnoticed in broader debate, the scenario of globalization entails a return - in new a radical guise - of the time-honoured question of the ways of being-in-the-world of human beings.

In this compelling new book, the philosopher Rüdiger Safranski grapples with the pressing problems of the global age: ‘Big Brother’ states, terrorism, international security and the seeming impossibility of ‘world’ peace. He suggests that the era ofglobalization should not be thought of as that epoch in world history in which all human beings will see themselves in the same, indistinct situation. There will always be, Sanfranski argues, some need for understanding one’s own situation by drawing boundaries and conceptualizing ‘otherness’ and individuality.

Preface: Understanding Globalization: Between Sociology and Philosophy (Peter Wagner).

1. First nature, Second Nature.

2. Globalization.

3. Globalism.

4. Making Enemies.

5. World Peace?.

6. The Global and the Other Totality.

7. The Individual and the Immune System.

8. Jungle and Clearing.

9. False Glows.

10. Creating Space.


"A slightly eccentric, but very enjoyable, account of globalization."
Australian Journal of Political Science

"We might wonder whether anything new remains to be said on globalization. Reading Rüdiger Safranski's account of the issue, it becomes immediately obvious, maybe surprisingly, that the answer can be highly affirmative."
Peter Wagner, European University Institute and University of Warwick

  • In this new book, Rüdiger Safranski considers our current preoccupation with global developments and threats - catastrophic climate changes, jet-setting, high-tech communications and the perfect 'big brother' state, international security and terrorism.
  • How Much Globalization Can We Bear? offers an engaging and illustrative analysis of the conceptual move from a globalization of endless promise to a globalization which imprisons the individual.
  • The book will be a compelling contribution to the literature on globalization.
  • Will be of interest to the general reader and to students of Globalization, Politics and Sociology.