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Theories of Globalization

Barrie Axford

ISBN: 978-0-745-67135-2 January 2014 Polity 240 Pages


Theories of Globalization offers students and scholars a comprehensive and critical introduction to the concept of globalization. Barrie Axford expertly guides readers through the full range of perspectives on the topic, from international political economy to geography, global anthropology to cultural and communication studies. In so doing he draws out the common threads between competing theories, as well as pinpointing the problems that challenge our understanding of globalization. Key terms such as 'globalism' and 'globality' are carefully explained and central themes like capitalism, governance, culture and history explored in full.

In assessing the contribution made by globalization theory, Axford's account also sheds new light on several crucial current issues. These range from the changing shape of democracy and citizen engagement with governance, to issues surrounding 'just war' and humane intervention, and problems relating to empire and post-colonialism.

This wide-ranging and detailed new book will be essential reading for students and scholars of international politics, sociology and any area where the concept of globalization is discussed and disputed.

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

1 What’s in a Name? Themes, Concepts and Obfuscations 6

2 Theorizing Globalization: Political Science and Sociology 36

3 Theorizing Globalization: Geography, Anthropology and Cultural and Communication Studies 59

4 Theories of Globalization and Space 69

5 Theories of Globalization and Culture 91

6 Theories of Globalization and History 110

7 Theories of Globalization and Governance 130

8 Theories of Globalization and Capitalism 151

9 All Change: Critical Globalization Studies or a Social Science of Globality? 177

Bibliography 191

Index 223

"Barrie Axford’s Theories of Globalization makes a welcome addition to the bookshelves of those interested in globality, globalism, and globalization."
LSE Review of Books

'In this timely volume Barrie Axford, acclaimed scholar of globalization, brings us a critical assessment of the latest debates and distinct schools of thought on one of the most vital concepts of our time. Sweeping, ambitious, and interdisciplinary, this work will be essential reading for students, scholars and anyone concerned with the current state of thinking about our global society.’
William Robinson, University of California, Santa Barbara

"This impressive and wide-ranging text provides a valuable survey of some of the most influential intellectual debates about contemporary globalization."
Matthew Sparke, University of Washington

"Barrie Axford has produced a truly outstanding interrogation of the vast array of theories of - and approaches to - globalization and globality. Adopting a cross-disciplinary stance, he has compiled a volume that is both even-handed and, in the best sense, critical. Axford is to be congratulated for his insightfulness, comprehensiveness and, indeed, wisdom."
Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh and University of Aberdeen

"Barrie Axford's comprehensive book should be part of every university library."
Political Studies Review
  • An exceptionally wide-ranging guide to the key theories, debates and concepts surrounding globalization
  • Puts theories of globalization to work on contemporary issues including warfare, humanitarian intervention, and the politics of empire
  • Genuinely interdisciplinary in scope, the book synthesises, compares and assesses contributions from fields such as sociology, geography, political theory and postcolonial studies
  • Will appeal to students, graduate students and scholars across the social sciences