Edited by Jonathan Michie
* Paul Hirst and Grahame Thompson Before we consider the future of ‘globalisation’ we must dene its nature and outline its past. This is a complex and contested concept. If we take growing international interconnectedness – increasing ows of trade, investment and communications between nations – to be what most people mean by the term, then ‘globalisation’ has been happening for the last 50 years. Moreover, new technologies – long distance jets, satellites, IT, bre optic cables – have made international travel, media and nancial exchanges far easier, enabling dramatic increases in trafc volumes. The key questions are threefold. First, are these economic and social processes linking nations since 1945 unprecedented? Second, are these processes developing at the expense of state and national governance, that is, are national economies dissolving into a global marketplace and relations between states becoming secondary to more complex interactions between a variety of economic, social and political agencies? Third, is international economic interconnectedness set to increase or decrease? The history of globalisation Naturally these questions are almost impossible to answer in the scale of a short chapter. We are sceptical about many of the claims in the literature, in particular that national economies are dissolving. We refer readers to what we judge to be the best presentations of both sides of the debate (Held et al., 1999; Hirst and Thompson, 1999). Here we shall focus on two primary issues: the future of international governance and the likely limits to economic globalisation. The rst thing to note is that although we...
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