The Handbook of Globalisation, Third Edition
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The Handbook of Globalisation, Third Edition

Edited by Jonathan Michie

The past 30 years are often depicted as an era of globalisation, and even more so with the recent rise of global giants such as Google and Amazon. This updated and revised edition of The Handbook of Globalisation offers novel insights into the rapid changes our world is facing, and how best we can handle them.
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Chapter 18: Governance in a globalised world

Richard Woodward


The concept of globalisation fundamentally challenges the methodological territorialism that has long defined the parameters of social research. Nowhere is the encounter between the social sciences and globalisation better illustrated than in the discipline of international relations which, as the ‘international’ prefix connotes, takes nation states as the locus of the world’s power, authority and, hence, governance. This chapter contends that the novelty of globalisation for the social world and social research lies in its specification as an ‘ation’ not a ‘nation’. Whereas ‘national’ perspectives proceed on the premise that governance is synonymous with governments, globalisation as an ‘ation’ makes no prior assumptions about the sources of power, authority and governance but instead deems them a matter for empirical interrogation. These investigations have produced new, or lent credence to existing, frameworks and vocabularies that seek to depict the fluidity and messiness of governance in a globalised world. The chapter concludes by considering the merits of three such frameworks: multilevel governance; transgovernmental networks; and neo-medievalism.

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