Chapter 25: Globalization
George DeMartino Introduction The processes of deepening international economic integration that have accelerated over the past quarter century have brought in their train a range of difficult theoretical and ethical questions. Does this integration signal a fundamentally new kind of world economy – commonly referred to as a ‘global economy’ – in which (for the first time) the global market directs economic flows and outcomes? Or does it more prosaically mark a return to the interdependence of earlier historical eras, when widely dispersed national economies were joined in various configurations? Is globalization driven by powerful economic forces over which states have little control, so that political processes and outcomes are now fully determined by economic interests? Or is global economic integration conditioned, enabled and even directed by states that continue to enjoy authority over even global economic actors? Finally, how should we evaluate and perhaps respond to these developments, once we sort out just what they are? These and related questions are deeply contested today – not least because scholars and observers who engage them approach the matter from different theoretical perspectives. It is not at all surprising that political realists differ on these topics from constructivists, or that economic institutionalists, Marxists and neoclassicalists come to blows over these developments. There is by now an extensive literature that examines this terrain. The goal of this chapter is not to review these features of the globalization debate, but instead to turn attention towards some of the most pressing and challenging ethical questions that arise...
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