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The Phenomenon of Globalization

A Collection of Interdisciplinary Globalization Research Essays

Philipp Strobl and Manfred Kohler

The term globalization arouses different feelings. Some people regard it with fear; others consider it the incarnation of a new time – a time when the relations between different cultures and parts of the world intensify increasingly. Consequently, the term is not only used to explain highly diverse phenomena but also to shed light on the alleged darkness of a world in change. In this collective volume, scientists from different academic disciplines and regions of the world wanted to make available their perceptions of this ample term to a broader audience. Twenty contributions comprising nine academic disciplines depict the process of the growing together of the world via different approaches. Apart from the contributions from historians, the reader will find articles from the fields of philosophy, architecture, economics, sociology, political science, journalism, anthropology, and law. This is to offer the reader a small insight into the variety of research about globalization and may contribute to a better understanding of this phenomenon that is treated differently in diverse academic disciplines and different parts of the world.

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Introduction. The Phenomenon of Globalization: A First Orientation: Andreas Exenberger

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Introduction The Phenomenon of Globalization: A First Orientation Andreas Exenberger Globalization is a catch-word, albeit a much used one.1 This becomes clearer and clearer, the deeper one digs into the abundance of texts about globalization and different aspects of this phenomenon. As Jürgen Osterhammel and Niels Peterson phrased it in the introduction to their small book about the history of globalization, one already needs “pathfinder literature” to master this intellectual cornucopia.2 Those who talk or write about globalization often do not talk or write about what it is – and consequently do not really enter communication about this phenomenon. Consequently, whenever the term globalization is used, categories become confused, concepts are mixed, a general meaning is presumed or a very specific applied more or less uncommented (particularly the last point is rather conspicuous in the economic debate about globalization). Sometimes the usage of the term is similar to the re-labelling of perishables, when “global- ization” – maybe for marketing reasons – is simply affixed to something already known and differently named. The most prominent example of this strategy is the mix-up of “globalization” with free trade, liberalization or even progress. But the contrary is also true, of course, and some critiques of globalization equate it with the increasing destructive power of trans-national co-operations or with nothing less than all the evil in the world. Given all these caveats, is the term “globalization” at all suitable as a scien- tific category? I propose a clear “Yes” as an answer to that question, for...

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