The fate of globalization in the 21st century hangs in the balance. Although recent data show that most global integration has been on the rebound after the 2008-9 global financial meltdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, public sentiments about globalization have soured. The neoliberal glorification of globalization as beneficial market integration is running out of steam, while national-populist visions of “deglobalization” exert significant mass appeal. Today’s ostensible globalization backlash scenario seems to be confirmed by soaring inflation rates, global supply chain disruptions, accelerating climate change and ecological deterioration, lagging transitions to greener forms of energy, escalating economic inequality, and rising geopolitical competition among the Great Powers, especially the United States-China rivalry and the protracted Russian-Ukrainian war. On the flipside, however, such grim scenarios reinforce the fact that most of today’s problems are global in nature. This book provides an accessible assessment of 21st-century globalization that draws on global theory and history to engage pressing issues such as digitization, ideological polarization, higher education, demographics, human development, and the environment. Assembling such a big picture of globalization in this young century supports the practical efforts of setting the globe on a more equitable and sustainable path.
Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He has served as an academic consultant on globalization for the U.S. State Department and as an advisor to the PBS television series, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. He is the author of over 30 books and numerous articles on globalization, and social and political theory, including The Rise of the Global Imaginary: Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror (Oxford University Press, 2008); the award-winning Globalisms: Facing the Populist Challenge, 4th ed. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020); and the bestselling Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, 6th ed. (Oxford UP 2023).
Preface & Acknowledgements
List of Figures and Tables
PART I: HISTORIES & THEORIES
The Four Meaning Branches of the Family Tree Called “Globalization”
The Neoliberal Revolution and the “Globalization of Markets”
Concluding Reflections on the Meaning of “Globalization” in this Book
Periodizing Globalization: Perilous Pitfalls
Periodizing Globalization: Alternative Models
The Age of the Embodied Globalization (10000BCE–3000BCE)
The Age of Institutional Globalization (3000BCE – 1600CE)
The Age of Objectified Globalization (1600–1914)
The Age of Disembodied Globalization (1914–2000)
Globalization Theory: The Basics
The Dominant Framework of Globalization Theory
An Alternative Framework of Globalization Theory
The Generalizing Mode
The Domain Mode
The Complexity Mode
PART II: IDEOLOGIES & MOVEMENTS
Political Ideologies and Social Imaginaries
Ideological Struggles of the 21st Century
The Significance of Global Crises
What Is National-Populism?
Mapping Trump’s Antiglobalist Populism
The Populist Paradox
Concluding Reflections of the Future of Antiglobalist Populism
PART III: ISSUES & PROBLEMS
The Institutional Evolution of Global Studies
The Global Studies Story at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
The First Pillar of Global Studies: Globalization
The Second Pillar of Global Studies: Transdisciplinarity
The Third Pillar of Global Studies: Space & Time
The Fourth Pillar of Global Studies: Critical Thinking
Concluding Remarks: Critiques of Global Studies
Four Social Formations of Globalization
Digitization and Disjunctive Globalization
The Production of the Unhappy Consciousness
Concluding Reflections on the Impact of COVID-19
About the Author
In this comprehensive sweep of global history from antiquity to the present, Manfred Steger shows once again why he is considered the sage of global studies. Even in today’s era of antiglobal neo-nationalisms, he reveals that globalization is alive in myriad forms. The concept and its many manifestations are deftly analyzed in these lucid essays, displaying the problems and prospects that will continue to challenge the global world to come.
As a leading theorist of globalization, Steger provides an encompassing map of scholarly thinking about the production and impacts of globalization over the past 25 years. For anyone interested in analyzing globalization’s histories, ideologies, contradictions, imaginings, and negative ramifications, as well as how to envision more just and sustainable futures in light of unfolding planetary crises, this book is an absolute must read.
Students, faculty, and the general public will love Globalization in the 21st Century. In this superbly researched book, Manfred Steger offers a critical analysis that illuminates a path toward a just world order. Truly a landmark work!
Think the debate on globalization is over? Read this book and think again. Here is a blockbuster study by one of the world’s foremost scholars of the past, present, and future of globalization and the political, economic, social, and cultural processes to which it refers. Erudite yet accessible, this book is bound to become a classic for students and scholars of the field. Beyond the academy, it will appeal to a public trying to make sense of the burning issues of our day.