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“How should we define globalization?”

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Which areas are affected by globalization?
  3. An attempt at defining the concept of globalization.
  4. Is globalization synonymous with internationalization?
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

Defining the concept of globalization is very controversial and much disputed among economists, sociologists and political observers. There is no single concept of globalization, and commentators are unable to agree on the empirical evidence for its extent. These divisions are, however, considerably less acrimonious that the essentially normative or ideological confrontations that surround the idea (Ian Clark 1997, 35). A vibrant debate on these issues has developed in which it is possible to distinguish three broad schools of thought, which we will refer to as the hyperglobalizers, the sceptics, and the transformationalists (David Held 1999, 257). The aim of this paper is not to analyze the position of each of these schools but to stress the fact that there is a fundamental disagreement about what globalization is and about whether it is actually taking place at all, because the term is often used vaguely and inconsistently and in a very general way, and consequently is very imprecise (Ian Clark 1997, 20; John Baylis and Steve Smith 2001, 14; Eleonore Kofmanand, Gilian Youngs 2003, 3; David Held et all 2000, 2). The concept of globalization is recent. It comes from obscure origins American and French writings in the 1960s, and finds expression today in all the world's major languages (David Held et all. 2000, 1).

[...] We can say that globalization is basically an economic process with consequences for political, social, cultural spheres (Theodore H. Cohn 2000, 10). II) An attempt at defining the concept of globalization According to David Held et all. (2000, 15) globalization implies a stretching of social, political and economic activities across frontiers, such that events, decisions and activities in one region of the world can come to have significance for individuals and communities in distant regions of the globe. In this sense, it embodies transregional interconnectedness, the widening reach of networks of social activity and power, and the possibility of action at a distance (David Held et all 15). [...]

[...] Considerably more work will need to be done to determine what exactly ?globalization? means, because currently we have a variety of definitions with no agreement as to which one is the most pertinent. Taking everything into account, the definition proposed by David Held et all. (1999, 103) seems to me to be the most useful one: ?Globalization means a world society without a world state and without world government [ [Therefore] there is no hegemonic power and no international regime, either economic or political?. [...]

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