Critical Theories of Globalization: An Introduction

Critical Theories of Globalization: An Introduction

Chamsy El-Ojeili

Language: English

Pages: 272


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This highly accessible text provides a comprehensive overview of globalization and its consequences. Exploring the insights of a wide range of critical theorists, this book argues that debates about globalization cannot be divorced from struggles for emancipation or from the contradictory realities of contemporary society. Clearly organized around thematic chapters designed to provoke student inquiry, the book demonstrates how the views of critical theorists are crucial to understanding the global processes shaping the world today.

















Change Karl Marx (1818–83) was a German philosopher, political economist, and social theorist, and the founder of modern communism. Marx studied philosophy at the University of Berlin, where he also became involved in radical politics. Because of his involvement in revolutionary politics, Marx eventually was compelled to leave Germany, first for France and then for Great Britain, where he was supported in large part by his friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels. Marx’s theories were developed

derived from the worker’s surplus labour time (the time over and above that taken to produce an amount equivalent to the costs of sustaining the worker and reproducing the next generation of workers). Profitability, the market, competition, and inequality are thus all central to capitalism. According to Osterhammel and Petersson (2003), the period 1846–80 was an ‘age of free trade’. Britain, in particular, held fast to this idea, even as it started losing popularity from the 1870s and country

provided by these institutions. For example, in Colombia, the IMF Stand-by Arrangement signed by the government in 2002, made new loans conditional on labour reforms that ‘should reduce labour costs by extending daytime working hours and reducing overtime charges and severance payments’. Source: (IMF 2002). Economic Globalization 57 found themselves facing balance-of-payment difficulties (Guardian, 2001a; Cohn, 2003). However, critics charge that over the years, particularly since the debt

cent. That is, while we see rises in the manufacturing workforce across the G7 countries between 1920 and 1970, the picture is very different from 1970 to the 1990s, with reductions across the board towards deindustrialization (though varying in speed and degree) (Castells, 1996). In the European Economic Globalization 81 Union, the percentage of people employed in industry fell from 30 in 1970 to 20 in 1994, and in the US in the same period from 28 to 16 per cent (ILO, 2002). By the

impact on other parts of the world; intensification of flows, with the increased ‘density’ of social, cultural, economic, and political interaction across the globe; increasing interpenetration, so that as social relations stretch, there is an increasing interpenetration of economic and social practices, bringing distant cultures face to face; and global infrastructures, which are the underlying formal and informal institutional arrangements required for globalized networks to operate (Cochrane and

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