Redefining the Rules of the Economic Game
New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics series
Edited by Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
Conclusion: Globalization as a Double Process of Institutional Change and Institution Building
Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack Globalization is a word that suffers from overuse. Still, behind the overstretched concept lies the reality of an economic world that is neither fully contained nor constrained by national boundaries. Economic organization and coordination increasingly reach across national borders and the impact is being felt both within the transnational sphere and, through rebound and indirect impact, at the national level as well. We started this book by acknowledging the need to take into account this transnational reality and its potentially quite significant impact. We now want to point, however, to its full complexity. The focus in previous chapters has been on globalization as a dependent variable, an ‘object’ to be explained rather than an independent variable or an explanatory factor. Globalization can be taken as a given, a context and reality with a significant impact on economic behaviour and coordination – but also potentially on cultural repertoires, political processes and human interactions. This is indeed the approach that dominates in journalistic contributions as well as in most academic work. Questions tend to bear on how globalization is changing our lives, or in Giddens’ words how it is ‘reshaping our lives’ (2000). Generally, the picture that emerges from that kind of approach is one where globalization is a neutral, impersonal, inevitable and ahistorical force (Guillén 2001). Our collective understanding and project in this book has been both different and complementary. We have treated globalization as a phenomenon in the making, to be described, explained and understood....
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