Edited by D. Bruce Johnstone, Madeleine B. d’Ambrosio and Paul J. Yakoboski
Chapter 1: The Significance of Globalization to American Higher Education
D. Bruce Johnstone Globalization, along with its related parts of speech, “global” and “globalized,” has entered the lexicon of journalists, academics, and policy analysts, multiplying like organisms on a Petri dish. While such terms crowd out some old words like “international” and “internationalization,” they also add new and richer connotations that suggests their origin in much that is new to the decades before and after the turning of the 21st century: new technology, the ubiquity of the computer and digitization, the Internet, the lowering of trade barriers, and the ascendancy of market capitalism. Like many such terms, however, globalization is also almost certainly overused, or at least used with insufficient appreciation of its normative connotations: that is, its disparate and densely packed political and ideological critiques, especially against trade, capitalism, privatization, liberal (that is, market-oriented) economics, and the international organs of expanding free enterprise and trade, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of this normative critique is, well, critical. “Critical” is academic shorthand for the social criticism of (most) international trade and more generally of markets, economic competition, multinational corporations, privatization, and capitalism – at least of the Anglo-American variety, which is thought to encourage all of these aforementioned proclivities in supposed excess, in contradistinction to Nordic, or welfare state, or “soft” capitalism, or simply to garden variety socialism. This discourse is of some interest to me in my capacity as a scholar of international comparative higher education economics and finance, even though my disagreement with...
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