Globalizations: an introduction to the spatial and structural networks of globality
Professor of Sociology,
University of California, Los Angeles.
Globalization is not single but plural. Spatially, it involves combinations of local, national, inter-national, transnational and macro-regional networks. Structurally, it involves combinations of economic, military, political/ geopolitical and ideological power networks. This paper maps out the principal configurations of these networks. Comprised thus, globalization has been plural, partial, uneven, often disjunctive, and sometimes contradictory. In an earlier phase, its contradictions brought devastating World Wars and imperial collapse. Today globalization remains as disjunctive, though not yet as cataclysmic. Economically, capitalism is globally hegemonic and has substantially integrated the North of the world. Across the South capitalism advances in some macro-regions, but stagnates or retreats across others. It remains spatially complex, split between national, inter-national, transnational, macro-regional and American-dominated networks. Geopolitical and weaponry shifts have generated American military hegemony, more complete in offense than in either the consolidation of victory or defence. Nation-states remain hegemonic in politics and geopolitics, though the dominant inter-national regime of 190 sovereign nation-states is challenged by American imperial, macro-regional and transnational civil society tendencies. The result is a global ideological Babel, split between ideological communities as varied as a "global civil society", macro-regional secular and religious cultures, and nationalism. Globalizations continue their multiple and disjunctive advance - but not toward a singular world society or system.
Theories of Globalization
The term "globalization" refers to the extension and intensification of social relations over the globe. This has been occurring over a long period of time. But since the Owl of Minerva flies at twilight, sociologists have only recently noticed it -- and mostly only in its most recent phase, occurring since World War II. Of course, the mere extension of networks of interaction is not necessarily of much sociological interest: they might be getting bigger but otherwise remain unchanged. Indeed, we might assume this to be the case from current theories of globalization, which bear a remarkable resemblance to traditional theories, now merely extended over the globe.
We can first identify two rival master narratives, liberal or Marxian materialism and cultural idealism. These are opposed by multi-dimensional theories, usually Weberian, envisaging three or four main dimensions of globalization, though these shade off into multi-factor hybrid theories suggesting that "society is infinitely complex", sometimes given a post-modern tweak toward chaos or relativism. Almost all theorists agree about one major change, however. Ironically, whereas in the past most sociologists ignored the nation-state, today they suddenly claim it has declined: the Owl would seem to be flying only after dusk has fallen. But it is not actually the Owl of Minerva, since the nation-state is not declining.
Materialism dominates much of the literature, seeing globalization powered by a revolution in capitalism or technology, particularly communications technology. This is partly due to liberal/ Marxian domination of modern Western thought, partly to domination of the social sciences by the discipline of economics. Economists' very definition of globalization is usually the global integration of markets, operationalized as increasing trade-to-GDP ratios. But even the sociological literature is dominated by research on such topics as multi-national corporations, finance capital, post-Fordism and consumerism. In comparison, our knowledge of political, military or cultural globalization remains stunted. Theoretically, materialism usually sees the capitalist economy as breaking transnationally through locality and nation to create a global economy, and, therefore a global society. Harvey (1989) sees "time-space compression" as the essence of globalization, generated in short spurts as a result of over-accumulation of capital, the last one producing our current global regime of "flexible accumulation". Castells (1996) detects a global "network society", modeled after the post-industrial capitalist enterprise. Capitalist forces are "the dominant driving force of the global system", says Sklair (1995: 59); it is the new "global Empire", say Hardt & Negri (2000). More recently Sklair (2001: 5) announces: "a transnational capitalist class based on the transnational corporation is emerging that is more or less in control of the processes of globalization". These are all materialist models.
World systems theorists differ a little. They avoid the very word globalization, and they also emphasize the political and geopolitical powers of states, arguing that the world system has intensified under successive phases of "world hegemony" by a single state. First the Dutch, then the British and now the Americans achieved leadership and were able to set the rules of the world system. In the previous cases the world system faltered as their hegemony did. Yet they attribute each growth of hegemony to the functional needs of what they explicitly call "the capitalist world system" (Wallerstein, 1974; Arrighi & Silver, 1999). In these respects, they remain true to the Marxian tradition, if emphasizing market more than production relations and adding distinctive theories of geopolitical hegemony.
Others take the idealist side of the traditional sociological divide, seeing globalization as essentially cultural. Robertson defines globalization as "the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole" (1992: 8). Though he accepts that compression is multi-dimensional, he tends to privilege the symbolic realm: globalization is driven by our sense that the world is becoming one - we apprehend and then will it into existence. Lash and Urry (1994: 280) say that globalization is essentially "a de-centred set of economies of signs in space". Though they do focus on capitalism, they perceive this as a set of cultural symbols. Waters starts out as explicitly Weberian, identifying what he says are three main "arenas of exchange". But, he continues, "material exchanges localize; political exchanges [nationalize and] internationalize; and symbolic exchanges globalize .... we can expect the economy and the polity to be globalized to the extent that they are culturalized." - globalization is driven beyond the local and national levels by culture (1995: 7-9). This seems a very weak argument. Are multi-national corporations or smart bombs so confined? Giddens wobbles around a little. He identifies four dimensions of modernity but then says that behind each of them lies "cultural globalization", though he appears to view this rather technologically (1990: 77). Theorists of a "transnational civil society" often privilege the cultural sphere (Keane, forthcoming). All these writers, plus Beck (1992), suggest that recent globalization embodies a distinctive cultural "reflexivity", by which we become aware of our impact upon the globe as a whole and then orient our actions toward devising new global rules of conduct. This, they suggest, involves a different recursive role for ideas in human conduct in our times. (1)
As the economic or cultural order fills up the planet, there is a straining toward the notion of integration in a single world order, world society or world system. Albrow (1996) defines globalization as "those processes by which the peoples of the world are incorporated into a single world society, global society". Tomlinson (1999: 10) notes that "global" has powerful connotations of wholeness and inclusiveness, as the world becomes "one place", subject to the same forces, connected, though he doubts it is yet integrated, preferring the opaque term "unicity", coined by Robertson. In fact the notion of an emerging global system or society stretches back to St-Simon, Comte, Spencer and The Communist Manifesto. Marxists see this occurring through dialectical conflict given by the systemic properties of a global mode of production. Of course, no serious analyst has argued that order has yet arrived to the world, only that we are headed in that direction.
I will instead argue that the processes of global integration are plural. Some reinforce each other, but others are disjunctive, and occasionally contradictory, so that the overall trend is not toward a single world order, system or society.
More extreme in the other direction are theorists who emphasize global incoherence. Though often with a contemporary post-modernist ring, they essentially reproduce traditional multi-factor theories. They emphasize the hybridity and fragmentation of globalization, on multiple "identity politics", rejecting "grand narratives" of explanation (like those discussed above). This is partly because they seek to incorporate the experience of the South as well as the North of the world, and of individuals and small groups (especially small diaspora communities) as well as macro-groups. So Appadurai (1990) enumerates the varied "ethnoscapes", "mediascapes", "technoscapes", "finanscapes" and "ideoscapes" which comprise "the fluid, irregular landscapes" and "disjunctures" of cultural globalization. Nederveen Pietersee (1995) observes hybrid "globalizations" (plural) involving "inherent fluidity, indeterminacy and open-endedness". His spatial analysis sees a strengthening not just of transnational and inter-national relations but also of regions, both within and across nations. Thus globalizations "expand the available modes of social organization", making human society more plural. For example, he says, as states weaken, the economy becomes more hybrid, as border zones, enterprise zones and offshore banking intersect with more traditional political and economic centers.
I doubt whether social complexity -assuming we could actually operationalize it -- is greater today than in the recent past. Regarding this last example, we should remember that more goods were smuggled across borders in the 18th century than ever appeared on the customs records of inter-national trade, while neither class nor nation ever exhausted social actors' conceptions of identity. While accepting that globalization is hybrid, I will resist a giddy descent into fluidity, fragmentation and indeterminacy, preferring the company of the final group of theorists who suggest that we can identify a few among this plethora of networks which are far more powerfully structuring than others. Grand narratives are possible, if rendered more modest in the range of human experience which they seek to explain.
I start with the dual grand narrative preferred by most recent International Relations (IR) theorists. Though they remain unwilling to abandon states as major players, many accept that in a "post-nuclear age" states do not behave as if they live in a Clausewitzian, Westphalian world. They also accept that transnational forces, especially capitalism, are undermining states and producing a broader range of "governance structures" involving some disjunction. Clark (1997) sums up the 20th century geopolitically as "an age of globalization and fragmentation". IR theorists tend to divide along one fundamental dualism. In the 1970s they split between "realists", stressing the continuing salience of states - often in the distinctive form of American hegemony over the state system -- and "interdependence theorists", stressing economic and normative ties between nations carried by transnational capitalism, "global civil society" and "global governance" which is displacing state-centric government (contrast Gilpin, 1987, with Rosenau, 1997; and see Keohane's 1984 synthesis). More recently "constructivists" have surfaced within IR to attack both schools for neglecting the symbolic realm of international relations. This has led them toward traditional sociological idealism, though it could have led them toward the Weberian triad of economy, polity and culture as the three basic axes of society.
But in sociology the Weberian triad lives on. Waters has provided the most powerful triadic account of globalization, in terms of economy, polity and culture (1995: esp 7-8, 165-6; cf Tomlinson, 1995: 17). Like others he subsumes military power within the state (as Weber often did when analyzing the modern world, though not earlier societies). I will reject this. But there are other versions. Martinelli (2002) refers to the authority of a broader collection of classic theorists (including Hobbes, Smith, Durkheim and Toennies) in identifying his own triad of global integration: authority (which includes force and is mostly located within the state), exchange (economic markets), and solidarity (located in familial organizations and collective movements). Of these three, I find "solidarity" difficult to operationalize, and the relationship of the three to actual institutions to be inconsistent. Giddens identifies four "institutional dimensions" of global modernity: capitalism, industrialism, surveillance and military power (1990: 57 ff).His separation of capitalism from industrialism seems odd, since they are almost inseparable in the contemporary economy. He does distinguish military power, but says the modern state monopolizes it. "Surveillance" seems distinct, a function rather than a set of institutions. Giddens links it mostly to the state, but also adds factories, schools and any institution "based upon the control of information". This seems to mix up political and informational power (a rather technicist version of cultural power) - and moves him toward Foucault's rather over-controlled view of society. Giddens' model is difficult to operationalize, much referred to but little-used. But, like other multi-dimensional writers, he is sceptical of a single world society or system. He says globalization "is a process of uneven development that fragments as it coordinates." (1990: 175).
I will develop my own variant of such approaches in a moment. But first I note one defect of almost all the above theories. Globalization, they assert, is transcending, undermining, outflanking or eroding the nation-state. This unites Marxists (Harvey, 1989; Robinson & Harris, 2001), businessmen (Ohmae, 1995; Soros, 2002), political economists (Strange, 1996) and indeed almost all theorists of globalization (Albrow, 1996: 91; Bauman, 1998: 55-76; Giddens, 1990; Lash & Urry, 1994: 280-1; Waters, 1995). Martinelli (2002: 10-11) and Nederveen Pietersee (1995: 102) see the state as declining but caution us not to exaggerate its degree. Geographers have added the term "glocalization" to indicate that the nation-state has been assailed from both above and below. Global economic forces, they say, strengthen not only transnational capitalism but also particular localities within states, like "world-cities" and "Silicon Valleys" which form dense local networks of interaction linked more closely to the global than the national economy (eg Swyngedouw, 1997).
A few have defended the state as maintaining its relevance of states for today's capitalist economy. It is not difficult to show empirically, for example, that state borders remain as significant today as in the recent past, though their roles may be changing somewhat (Hirst and Thompson, 1999; Mann, 1997). Weiss (1999) argues further that it is states themselves that have initiated any retreat, as for example in the development of neo-liberal policies. I will carry the offensive further to argue that nation-states actually constitute globalization. But let me first briefly and sceptically consider the past. When exactly was the nation-state so dominant and when did it decline? Pietersee says that from the 1840s to the 1960s "the nation-state was the single dominant organizational option" for human society. This is hard to credit. Until World War I, for example, states had few economic policies beyond tariffs, whose main purpose (alongside protectionism) was very self-interested: to yield states the cash resources of which they were then starved (Hobson, 1997 ). States acquired planning pretensions in World War I and thereafter, but these were quickly exposed by a great transnational capitalist depression ravaging them all (just as one also had in the 1870s). Then they returned to what they had always done best, make war. But it is really in the period 1945 to 1970 that most identify "the golden age of the nation-state" (eg Hobsbawm, 1994 ). Then decline supposedly set in. Is social change so rapid as this, to go from one dominant set of institutions to another in a mere generation? And why were most sociologists still ignoring the nation-state during its very period of domination? It is not rue (as many assert) that sociologists' fundamental theories of society were then based on the nation-state. The master-concept of modernization theorists and centrist liberals was industrial society; that of left-liberals and Marxists was capitalism. Both concepts were essentially transnational. Of course, most sociologists tended to study their own national "society, but they usually saw this as paradigmatic of industrial or capitalist society.
In fact, such analyses betray little knowledge of history. The last two or three centuries have seen the entwined growth of both nation-states and capitalism and its classes, the one national, the other transnational (Mann, 1993) - and this remains true today. From customs duties plus smuggling to national accounts plus multi-national corporations - not a revolutionary transition. As we shall see, globalization is now characterized by the hegemony of both capitalism and the nation-state (Nederveen Pietersee and Giddens also say this). There are now 190 self-styled nation-states, though one, the United States, has risen to an uneven hegemony. As we shall see, the tension between multi-state regime and imperial politics remains the main governance game in town, though it is true that more transnational actors lobby them than in the recent past.
But a dualism of nation-states and capitalism, even with American pretensions added, would be insufficient. It would not cope adequately, for example, with disorder and armed violence in the world. In this paper I enumerate four: ideological, economic, military and political (the IEMP model). Human groups need meaning systems; they need to extract resources from nature for their material subsistence; they need to defend themselves and (apparently) to ubiquitously attack each other; and they need law and order over controlled territories. Societies - networks of interaction at the boundaries of which exists a certain degree of cleavage - involve ideological, economic, military and political power relations. These contain different logics operating over different spaces, each in principle of equal causal significance, but interacting. Sometimes they reinforce each other, sometimes they contradict each other, but most often they are just different and disjunctive. Contradictions threaten the heart of each other, disjunctions merely create unintended problems for each other, preventing coherence and singular integration. Both result when human interaction expands to fill most of the globe.
Globalization is not single but plural. That is the key structural part of my model. (2) One particular consequence of this concerns hegemony. As many have noted, we cannot discuss globalization today without discussing American hegemony. However, US power is actually very uneven - ranging from almost unchallenged military power to rather feeble political power. This sets off its own contradictions within the globalizing process. Of course, different sociologists may wish to to identify different "basic" structures or processes of human societies. All models push some areas of human experience into centre-state and treat others in a more ad hoc way. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating. I claim only that these four sources of social power can be operationalized more easily than the rival multi-dimensional models mentioned above, and that they roughly correspond to major power networks and institutions in the real world. Hopefully, that will become obvious below.
But since globalization is inherently spatial, we must also add spatial analysis. Like some others, I distinguish varied geographical interaction networks. Mine are six: local, national, inter-national, macro-regional, transnational and global. "Local" is a largely residual category in this analysis, indicating any sub-national network of interaction. National networks are those bounded by states, though they need not be organized by states themselves. Neither of these first two categories need involve any globalization, though they would if combined with any of the next three spatial networks: inter-national (between national units), transnational (transcending the boundaries of the national and potentially global), or macro-regional (transnational but regionally bounded). Inter-national relations include the geopolitical relations between states, which may be either "hard" (the diplomacy of war versus peace) or "soft" (diplomacy concerning economy, environment, common legal standards etc.). Inter-national relations are inherently a-symmetric, since states vary enormously in their powers. Today there is a unique degree of a-symmetry: a single near-hegemonic Power over the world, the United States. This adds the complexity that its national networks may be of global significance (eg its presidential staff or its Jewish lobby) - unlike those of El Salvador or Luxemburg, or even of Britain or Japan.
Macro-regional networks are admittedly fuzzier. They are greater than a single national unit, and may combine some inter-national as well as transnational elements, but they are bounded by regionally distributed value orientations and institutionalized practices spanning over a number of countries. I have already noted that earlier globalization was essentially European. Latin America is a comparable macro-regional network of interaction. Both Europe and Latin America have distinctive histories, cultures and practices influencing their participation in globalization (even without particular reinforcing institutions like the European Union or Mercosur). So do "Christendom" and "Islam", as Huntington (1996) has notably argued. So do the "regimes of political economy" identified by Esping-Andersen (1999: 53-79) -- "liberal", "social democratic" and "corporatist". So do the "developmental states" of the East Asian region. The largest macro-regions identified as important in globalization are the "North" and the "South" of the world. Macro-regions enter casually into most of our analyses but have been little theorized, probably because they are not very precise entities.
So my task is to map out descriptively the principal spatial networks of interaction developing for each of my four major power structures around the world. I will not here address the causal question why is globalization occurring? I begin by briefly considering the major power networks evident in earlier European-led (macro-regional) phases of globalization. These involved capitalist expansion (E), plus military conquest (M), by national-imperial states (P), spreading ideologies (I) of Christianity, individualism and racism, with secularization, liberalism, socialism and democracy added later. These globally expanding networks did not combine to form a single "society" or "world system" because they were different and sometimes contradictory. Capitalism and especially ideologies spread more diffusely and transnationally across the world, less controlled by the military and political expansion. Racism undermined imperialism's ability to integrate its conquered peoples into enduring Empires. Two millennia previously North Africans had become Romans, contributing to the longevity of the Empire. But in the 18th and 19th centuries Africans did not become British. Excluded as racial inferiors, they kicked out their British overlords as soon as they had the opportunity. The militarism of these European states also brought world wars which proved to be their own hubris, eventually destroying their global power. Indeed, their wars both disrupted and re-channeled globalization. The outcome of the Napoleonic Wars enhanced the global power of Britain and the Asian Power of Russia. World War I caused the Russian Revolution generating an autarchic Soviet Empire. World War II generated the two Superpowers and enabled the US to become unevenly hegemonic over most of the world - constructing the base on which recent economic globalizations have occurred. In the past, therefore, globalization was multiple, contradictory and violent, with all four sources of social power entwining to influence its trajectory. Here I attempt to assess the extent to which this remains true, discussing the four power sources in turn, starting with economic power networks. Since the four are obviously intimately connected, this isolation is admittedly somewhat artificial.
Economic Power Relations: Hegemonic but Hybrid Capitalism
Economic power is mobilized by those who control the means of material production, distribution and exchange. In this respect capitalism is now hegemonic in the world, and its logic might potentially provide a single world order. Socialism is for the moment dead, as is the economic autarchy characterizing state socialism and fascism. Apart from a handful of statist hold-outs and rather more conflict-ridden countries, the world's economy is dominated by peaceful, private-propertied profit-seeking on markets which in principle cut right across local, national, macro-regional and all other boundaries. Capitalism, capitalists and other social classes could be seamlessly transnational and singular through the globe. However, in actuality they remain variably confined within and structured by national, inter-national and macro-regional power relations which prevent this. I will distinguish between two economic sectors, industry/ trade and finance and between different classes.
At the beginning of the new millennium trade in goods and services remained overwhelmingly (ie about 80%) confined within national cages. Though this percentage had been gradually declining over several decades, it actually rose again in 2000 and 2001. Only within the European Union is intra-national trade rivaled in scale by cross-border trade - and this is overwhelmingly caged within the EU, which for many economic purposes is a kind of super-state. Economists also find that inter-national price differentials are much greater than intra-national ones, with very little tendency to diminish through time. Borders continue to present transaction costs for capital and trade flows (Frankel, 2000; Rodrik, 2002). Cross-border trade is itself quite complexly organized. About a third of it occurs inside multi-national corporations and so is transnational in a rather distinctive and confined way, since most MNCs bear a clear nationality. Moreover, research on the tendency toward "corporate alliances" between MNCs of different nationalities shows them to be predominantly pragmatic and unstable (Cowhey & Aronson, 1993). A genuine free trade regime across the world would be transnational, but though GATT/ WTO agreements are gradually proceeding in that direction, tariffs and subtler forms of protection still dominate. Krause (1992) estimated genuinely "free trade" at only 15% of world trade, and it cannot be much higher than that today. Production and trade do span the world, but through inter-national more than transnational networks - that is, states jointly negotiate the rules of global capitalism.
Finance appears far more transnational. The scale of its cross-border flows is enormous, and its increasingly "offshore" networks are explicitly transnational. The value of these flows dwarfs the value of world GDP many times over (though this is predominantly an artefact caused by the same bond or stock being traded many times over in the course of a day). Nor do states feel able to arbitrarily intervene to alter financial flows. But financial value is denominated everywhere in national currencies, while opportunities for profit abroad are decisively influenced by the health of each national economy, especially by the level and stability of its currency, interest rates and overall demand. Investment decisions, for example, are as influenced by assessments of each national economy as by those of the particular economic assets under consideration. State policies play major facilitating or hindering roles in these assessments, of course. That is why the level of national involvement in cross-border trade and investment is positively correlated to the size and activism of the state (Rodrik, 1996). States and markets - national and transnational - remained entwined . One is not undermining the other.
In this mixed transnational/ inter-national economy a preponderant role has also been played by a single nation-state. Post-war economic expansion was led by the United States. As the only capitalist Great Power then left standing, US production and trade initially dwarfed that of the rest of the non-capitalist world. The dollar was also the world's reserve currency, backed by gold, in a system negotiated a-symmetrically between the Powers at Bretton Woods and elsewhere. The charters of inter-national regulatory agencies also bore the marks of American leadership. The US appoints the Director-General of the World Bank and possesses the only bloc vote in the IMF which can veto any policy. This was obviously economic hegemony. But the European and Japanese economies then revived. US industrial/ trade domination gave way to a macro-regional trilateralism, divided between US-dominated North America, the European Union, and Japan-led East Asia. There is no longer US hegemony in matters of production and trade - as we see, for example, in the endless niggling negotiations of the WTO. If we wish to talk of hegemony in this sphere, it would be more accurate to label it "Northern", since the Northern countries provide over 80% of world production, trade and finance - and over 95% of economic research and development.
But currency/ credit matters differ. Here the global regime did not change comparably. The US came off the gold standard in 1973, and currencies were no longer fixed against each other. Yet the dollar remains the world's reserve currency, though now its dominance is secured through market rather than diplomatic mechanisms. Gowan (1999) labels this the DWR, the Dollar/ Wall Street Regime. Since values are ultimately denominated in dollars, other nations' reserves and much of their savings must be denominated in dollars, the safest currency, and so the one offering the lowest interest rates. As George Soros (2002) points out, this means that poor Southern countries are thus effectively subsidizing the US far more than they ever receive in development aid - a very pointed form of American hegemony. The world invests through Wall Street in the US economy, allowing American consumers to amass large debts. The US becomes a gigantic debtor nation, a sign not of weakness but of financial hegemony. Thus the US has a unique degree of financial freedom in setting its own political economy. The global currency/ credit regime, seemingly so transnational, actually carries a US national passport.
But such financial hegemony can only dictate the political economy of other states if they fall into debt. Then the US, effectively the creditor bank, can enforce debt repayment terms and "restructure" their economies, using the IMF, the World Bank and other agencies as its tools. But the states of the North and the more economically effective ones of the South are not in debt (they are actually creditors of the US, though they cannot call in their debts). Nonetheless, all states have felt increasing constrictions over their exchange rates and (to a lesser extent)their interest rates from transnational and inter-national forces. But distinctive national and macro-regional regimes of political economy still endure. Focusing initially on welfare states, Esping-Andersen (1990), Huber and Stephens (2001) and others have identified three distinct Western regimes: liberal or Anglo-Saxon; corporatist, conservative Catholic or Rhenish; and social democratic or Nordic. Others have added East Asian states as a fourth "developmental state" regime. Mann and Riley (2002) add a fifth, Latin American patrimonial states. There are others. The liberals are currently the most powerful, since they are led by the US. But since the US cannot coerce its debt-free Northern rivals, they remain broadly free to continue their corporatist, social democratic or state developmental policies regarding economic planning, capital controls, welfare rights, women's rights etc.. The constraints on them are far less than is generally believed. The differences remain evident in income distribution trends, for example. Income inequality has widened considerably since 1980 in the five liberal countries (the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), and barely at all in most corporatist, social democratic or developmental states (Mann & Riley, 2002). (3) Thus the North retains its rival networks of local (ignored here), national, inter-national (including American imperial), transnational and macro-regional economic power. There is quite a high degree of integration between them, but this is achieved primarily by protracted "soft geopolitics", peaceful negotiations among states.
But the main barrier to seamless and highly-integrated economic globalization exists at the broadest macro-regional level, between the North and the South of the world. (4) While the North is being increasingly economically integrated, much of the South is not. What is often called globalization may in fact be merely Northernization. But the division is neither absolute nor static. We should distinguish three macro-regional tiers within the South, which I label integrated, exploited and ostracized.
After 1945 the economic development of Southern Europe, Japan and the Little Tigers of East Asia enlarged a privileged and fairly integrated "West" into a privileged and fairly integrated "North". The boundaries of "the North" will probably soon blur across the most westerly of the former Soviet Bloc countries, across more South-East Asian countries and across a few Latin American countries like Chile and Mexico. Further development over the next decades might then expand to include at least some regions of the two most populous countries in the world, China and India. China alone now absorbs over half of the Northern investment going to the South. Indeed, since the mid 1980s the gap between the North and about one-third of Southern countries has narrowed, in terms of the ratio of trade to GDP and of GDP per capita. Given the enormous populations and regional disparities of some of these countries, they are not yet integrated as national wholes into the Northern economy, but at the end of the 20th century there were some grounds for optimism, even perhaps for the majority of people in the world (since China and India have such immense populations). (5)
Nonetheless, most Southern countries are not so successful. The second tier is caught within mechanisms of unequal exchange with the North. They may have succeeded in moving from dependence on raw materials exports to lower-end manufacturing exports. But prices for such goods have been falling relative to the higher-technology goods dominated by the North. So despite increasing Southern involvement in world trade, the North-South gap in technology and wealth widens for most Southern countries. The South trades but does not yet prosper (Unctad, 2002).
Debt adds more direct exploitation, mostly within the exploited tier. In the 1970s low Northern interest rates encouraged Southern countries to borrow heavily to finance their economic development. Then Northern interest rates shot up, generating a massive Southern debt crisis. In the 1980s the North, led by the US, began to call in the debts with the aid of neo-liberal IMF and World Bank "structural adjustment programs". Loans to tide countries over their debt problems require major cut-backs in Southern state expenditures, welfare programs, labor market regulation and tariffs. Their net economic effect has sometimes been positive, sometimes not. But as yet they fail to narrow the gap between North and South and on balance they widen national inequalities and reduce national cohesion (for Latin America, see Morley's, 2001, calculations).
This is often correctly perceived in the South as constituting economic imperialism and exploitation. Since the US co-ordinates the calling-in of debts, and benefits most from this, the US is particularly blamed. Yet since the creditors are often European or Japanese, this is also macro-regional North-South exploitation. Yet there is a worse fate than this for the third tier, comprising about a third of Southern countries: economic ostracism. The per capita income gap between them and the North continues to widen, and their ratios of foreign investment and international trade to GDP continue to decline. Sub-Saharan Africa has almost dropped out of the international economy (apart from its three oil-exporting localities) and some Middle Eastern and South American countries continue to retreat economically. Where the fall under despotic or fragmenting states, dictators, colonels and warlords appropriate most movable economic resources, making even the label "capitalist" for their economies inappropriate. Most of these countries would welcome more capitalist exploitation. The Northern economy is still expanding, but there are as yet high barriers erected against its becoming truly global. Currently, global economic integration is marred by imperial exploitation and barred by ostracism.
My repeated use of words like "yet" or "currently" might seem an important qualification. Perhaps we are merely in an early phase of economic globalization. After all, the world's economy is still expanding. Liberals and neo-classical economists tend to be optimistic about further growth; while some of their critics suggest that further growth would flow if there was less global neo-liberalism and more sensitivity to each country's and each region's portfolio of resources and comparative advantages (eg Chang, 2002). So let us for the moment imagine further expansion bringing all countries into the world's economy. Would this then be singular, integrated and so truly globalized? Perhaps only to the extent I delineated earlier for the North. The global economy would still contain rival principles of organization - local, national, inter-national (including American hegemonic) and transnational. Moreover, successful development would bring much severer environmental problems. As we see later, these would either strengthen inter-national relations between states or they would ruin the earth. Any integration would have to depend crucially upon continuous, delicate negotiations, centring on those between states. Capitalism may be hegemonic, but it remains spatially hybrid.
Military Power Relations: US Offensive Hegemony
Most views of globalization are somewhat pacific, seeing capitalist exploitation or ostracism as the worst that can happen to the world. Yet during the very period since 1945 in which globalization has surged, wars and civil wars became steadily more numerous and deadly. They especially boomed in the early 1990s when globalization is generally supposed to have surged again (also inconveniently for President Bush the Elder's vision of a "New World Order" declaimed in 1991). Statisticians of wars now dispute whether in the late 1990s wars slightly diminished (Gurr, 1993, 2000) or merely leveled off (Sollenberg & Wallensteen, 2001). But since warfare is largely confined to the South of the world, this is coped with by an ad hoc clause, contrasting Northern "zones of peace" with Southern "zones of turmoil" (Singer & Wildavsky, 1993 ). Those who see globalization as essentially integrative and pacific tend to explain violence as committed by those in peripheral areas, left out of globalization, clinging onto "traditions" and mounting "backlashes" against our modern Western global order. This is the essence of recent popular accounts of conflict by Barber (2001), Friedmann (2000) and Huntington (1996). The leftist version is that American/Western/ Northern imperialism, the essence of globalization, generates the violent backlash (eg Johnson, 2001).
Military power is mobilized by those who control the means of organized violence. In modern times this mostly meant states operating within what became known as the "Westphalian system" conventionally dated from 1648, the Peace of Westphalia (ending the European Wars of Religion). This involved multiple states engaged in "hard geopolitics", building rival alliances and engaging in intermittent wars, activities forming the backbone of modern states and spreading them imperially across the globe. This was for more than two centuries the main inter-national, and violent, side of globalization.
But from 1945 geopolitical and technological developments undermined this Westphalian regime. World War II emasculated most states and left only two Super-Powers standing, both leading large alliances of client states, soon armed with world-obliterating nuclear weapons. War seemed to become obsolete across the North of the world as its states accepted that they could no longer rationally fight wars against each other, and as they accepted the military hegemony of the US. Northern civil society became substantially de-militarized. From 1945 and then again from 1991 the US surged to become the global military hegemon of today. Its military budget for 2002 exceeds the combined military spending of the next 15 Powers! Its projected budget for 2003 exceeds the next 25 states. It is also 26 times greater than the combined spending of the seven "rogue states" it identifies as its enemies (Center for Defense Information, 2002). The US particularly monopolizes the most devastating usable weapons of offensive warfare, "smart [non-nuclear] bombs". There are no signs of any macro-regional alliances emerging to challenge this hegemony.
No model of "hegemonic cycles" can cope with this, since no comparable military hegemon has ever previously existed. Rome never overcame its Northern or Eastern neighbours, China never controlled its Northern neighbours. The US utterly dwarfs Britain's 19th century military leadership. Then the Royal Navy was kept at just greater than the size of the next two largest navies combined - while British army strength only ranked fifth, behind Germany, France, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Only the US has global reach, with re-fueling facilities, staging posts and forward troops spread across the world. Even before 9-11 over 60,000 US troops were likely to be conducting operations and exercises in 100 different countries at any one time. Now Pentagon sources claim US bases in 132 countries, all (except Cuba) with the consent of the host government. The UN also tacitly consents, since the US offers it the only global strike force. In the Gulf War of 1991 an essentially US intervention received widespread support in both North and South. This unprecedented military power is truly hegemonic, in Gramsci's sense. Unlike the British Empire it rests on consensus. The globalization of offensive military power is no longer "inter-national", but hegemonic.
Nonetheless, it is not total. It faces four main challenges. First, consensus is perennially corroded by this being American hegemony. It is not directly at the service of a new global order, of the UN, of capitalism or of Northern capitalism. It is not the military face of a single world order or system, because it represents particular American interests - as defined by those who command political power within the United States. These actors now have the option of unilateral military action to achieve their interests, an option which has been increasingly attracting successive US administrations since 1991. Since such action is not directly geared to the interests of the hitherto-consenting foreigners, it incurs reproach from them. US hawks currently dominating the Bush administration believe they can dispense with consent. So as the US acts more unilaterally, a contradiction visibly emerges, between two potential forms of global military regime, one achieved by unilateral single-state hegemony, the other by UN co-ordinated inter-nationalism. Of course, it is principle possible to compromise between these regimes, which is the view offered by Shaw (2000) of a US-led "world state". But at present we are not headed in the direction of compromise.
The limitations of the UN option are painfully obvious. The UN is directed by the Security Council, which (given its veto system) is subservient to its Permanent Members and agrees on very little. The UN has only directly intervened militarily where both sides to a dispute agree to its presence - even genocide in Rwanda did not stir it into action. Where both parties agree, it can (precariously) keep the peace between their zones of control or provide famine relief or supervise mutual withdrawal or disarmament. Anything more requires the US military, but that comes at a particularistic price of also serving US interests.
But US hegemony also has three areas of vulnerability in strictly military terms. The first might be unlikely to be exposed, since it would be irrational to do so. Nuclear weapons are offesnively supreme. At present there are no effective defences against them. But they also possessed by other Powers. In principle, Russia, China, Britain and France could devastate the US before they received far worse in return. If there is a future proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical, biological -- such a Doomsday scenario becomes more thinkable by some desperate, non-rational political elite somewhere in the world. This is why the US continues to pursue the unproductive attempt at a "Star Wars" defence system. And it why an effective inter-national or hegemonic regime becomes even more urgent for the protection of globalization.
Second, since the US has shared in the pacification of Northern civil society, this has weakened its own stomach for a fight, its ability to take losses among its own citizen-soldiers. In the Lebanon and Somalia US forces withdrew when, respectively, 200 and 20 of its soldiers were unexpectedly killed. Both flights were publicly derided by Osama bin Laden in his 1997 CNN interview - though he under-estimated how smart bombs might now compensate offensively for unwillingness to take casualties. But precision bombing from a great height coupled with avoidance of casualties has its military limitations. US intervention produces a militarism high on offensive devastation, low on the ability to consolidate victory. It lays waste enemies but does not pacify them - as in Afghanistan. We see later that this weakness is compounded by US political and ideological weakness.
Such problems have been intensified and spread wider by the third and most important military vulnerability, to lo-tech "weapons of the weak". Russian tank commander Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 (standing for "Automat Kalashnikov", invented by him in 1947) is a self-loading, automatic assault rifle, easy to produce, clone, fire and service. Its list price in 1998 was $130, though used Kalashnikov clones are traded in Africa for as little as $6. Together with the shoulder-held surface-to-air and anti-tank missile, this is now taking on the strong weapons of states. Ironically, they are undermining Russia's own military might. A single Chechen fighter cradling a $200 anti-tank missile launcher can pop up out of a cellar behind a $1 Million Russian tank and destroy it, if the infantrymen guarding the tank do not wish to expose themselves to guerilla Kalashnikovs. The guerilla also has access to one of the most transnational of all industries. In 2001 over 600 companies in 95 states were manufacturing small arms, many of them conniving in the evasions of the end-user licensing laws governing their products (Amnesty International, 2001). Through the collusion of arms manufacturers and smugglers, this form of transnational globalization somewhat levels the battlefield between states of very different powers.
But the more important role of weapons of the weak is to enable organized gangs to challenge states, contradicting Max Weber's claim that the modern state monopolizes military power. This makes states in the South vulnerable to disaffected elites leading Kalashnikov-wielding gangs, especiallym over terrains suitable for guerilla warfare. Even quite cohesive and powerful Southern states like India or Indonesia (at the cusp of the first and second tiers) cannot pacify some of their peripheral areas. Weaker states like Somalia, the Congo, Liberia, Colombia and Georgia are laid waste by civil wars. These become self-sustaining as the rebels thrive in remote terrains, appropriate valuable resources like drug crops, diamonds and gold, and link with transnational smuggling networks to evade the flickering attention of the Northern Powers. But after 9-11 even the US has reason to fear guerillas in its homeland. Southern dissident movements and refugee camps will probably continue to generate militants with high morale and lo-tech weapons. Small arms, Semtech, mobile phones, the internet, pilot training etc. etc. are purchasable at low market prices through the world. The US is not defensively hegemonic. But more importantly, even its might cannot achieve order across much of the world. Indeed, in terms of the most level of peace and security, about one fifth of the world lacks any integration beyond the barrel of a gun.
So despite extraordinary American military power, there are disjunctions and some contradictions between military offense, consolidation of victory and defence. Though much of the globe is pacified, some sense of threat exists everywhere, while military alongside economic withdrawal of order characterizes many countries in the third Southern tier, its "zones of turmoil". The statistics of armed conflict show little sign of lessening. This can hardly be considered a militarily-integrated globe.
Political Power Relations: Nation-State Hegemony
Political power is mobilized by those who provide territorial regulation of our world. Modern globalization was initiated by the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, then by the Dutch Republic, France and Great Britain, then most European states joined in. As their Empires developed, the homelands became national states, then nation-states, so that political power became hegemonized by imperial nation-states. Colonists and the colonized then revolted, creating post-colonial nation-states. Today 189 self-styled nation-states form "The United Nations", and Switzerland will soon join them. 190 nation-states now people the globe, each enjoying legal sovereignty over its territories. Many are rather feeble; some cannot control their territories; most are "client states" of greater Powers; almost all defer militarily to the US. As in the past, many social networks pass transnationally through their borders. But, even if states do not exercise effective sovereign control, no-one else does - not even the United States. Capitalism cannot overpower feeble states, rather it flees from them, as in the ostracized zone of the South. Nation-states, effective or ineffective, remain the only political sovereigns, with one clear macro-regional exception. The states of the EU (especially those inside the currency union) have ceded important sovereign powers to Euro-level political institutions. NAFTA, Mercosur, ASEAN and the other macro-regional acronymic organizations have not moved nearly as far, for their member states retain almost all their sovereignty, except as the first law of geopolitics applies: weaker states defer to stronger ones. Nonetheless, there are some signs of movement under such leadership toward macro-regional political co-ordination of states.
This law dominates the nation-state system in general. It is embedded in the UN (as it is in all IGOs) where only the Great Powers (of a few years ago) have veto power in the Security Council, and where little can be achieved without the greatest Power, the United States. But in terms of inter-national political regulation the US is a very commanding primus inter pares, not a hegemon. And as a military Superpower the US can devastate the globe but lacks the political resources (including the will) to rebuild it. It aspires to military but not political Empire, unlike the former European Powers, great and small. From the British to the Belgians the European imperialists would mount punitive expeditions capable of seizing native capitals. They were prepared to take losses, even of their own citizens, unlike the US today, for the lives of soldiers were not then considered sacred. They then installed some local native leaders to rule as their clients. If they were unreliable or could not provide order, the Europeans would march in on them and rule the territory directly, as a colony. This required relatively few of their own soldiers and administrators, for it was then much easier to find "natives" who would identify their interests with the Empire - now made more difficult by the global rise of nationalism. US bases now sit as enclaves supporting global strike-power, not local political intervention, and so the US cannot easily control its supposed client states. It cannot stop them from actions creating new enemies for itself. Israel's and Saudi Arabia's enemies have become the enemies of the US. Even Bin Laden, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, recently considered the US's deadliest enemies, were earlier its clients. There is a contradiction between American military hegemony and political modesty. This is aggravated by American ideologies. Though nationalist pride and arrogance back up US military strength, American cultural isolationism and anti-colonialism delegitimate true imperialism.
Apart from the US (and for certain purposes Britain and France) "hard" geopolitics have declined across the North, and in Latin America too. For many, perhaps most, Southern countries matters of war and peace remain important diplomatic issues. Globalization is here mediated by hard geopolitics, as in the past. But recent globalization has also induced a surge in "soft geopolitics" - diplomacy concerning common economic, environmental, safety and judicial problems. Keynesian economic planning is declining within the nation-state, but looming environmental crises generate more inter-national planning. Global warming, polluted air, water shortages, fuel exhaustion require extensive co-ordination among states. Successful industrialization by the South would greatly intensify these problems. States are the only agencies with authoritative regulatory powers over territories, the sea-bed and air-space. Since reason does not govern human conduct, there is no assurance they will succeed. But either states collectively negotiate and plan, or some of our great-great-grandchildren perish. Let us hope that diplomacy concerning economic and environmental issues will maintain the role of nation-states.
Yet here again, we see a contradiction between multi-lateralism and currently growing American unilaterism (eg the Kyoto and ICC disputes), but in soft (unlike hard) geo-politics, since the US is not hegemonic, the victory of multi-lateralism seems more likely. It is true that a proliferation of NGOs has also increased the role of transnational political organization (I discuss this later), but globalization does not sweep away states - not because of the obduracy of tradition, but because globalization continues to operate through states, finding them new roles. Globalization is not only transnational but also inter-national, and this reinforces the contradiction between multi-national and US imperial forms.
Global Ideological Power - Hybridity
Ii would be unlikely that amid such disjunctures and contradictions, the world would have a single ideology or culture. Nor does it. Ideological power is wielded by those who mobilize values, norms and rituals to give "meaning" to the world. This surpasses our actual experience yet appears to make plausible sense of it. Ideologies may be "immanent", actively, reflexively reproducing and so strengthening existing power relations; or "transcendent", creatively solving experienced disjunctions and contradictions to create new meanings and new senses of collective identity (which implies a greater ideological power). Hannerz (1990: 237) says that since "the world has become one network of social relationships, between its regions there is a flow of meanings as well as people and goods." This "world culture" is usually conceived as transcending existing meaning systems, through two main networks, a "transnational civil society" and a global consumer culture, both carried through new transnational media of communication. These are seen as undermining "traditional" local, national or (less commonly) macro-regional identities, especially two major earlier ideologies, of class and nation. However writers like Appadurai and Niederveen Pietersee bridge this dichotomy between globalization and tradition with hybrid "indigenizing" cultures, part global, part ethno-national. Ethnicity and religion (though not class) are seen as "reviving" as local adaptation to the main thrust of globalization. In contrast I will suggest that globalization continues to create rival macro-ideologies and identities, which are neither "traditional" nor "revivals" - including nationalism and religion.
Capitalism has obviously greatly expanded consumer markets over the globe. Indeed, some characterize our era as one of consumer, not producer capitalism. Its most expansive sphere is generally seen as the supply of cheap cultural consumer goods, especially to young people -- clothing and dance styles, fast food and drink, popular music, the transistor radio, TV and movies. Though frequently portrayed (and denounced) as Western or American imperialism, this global youth culture is often more hybrid. For example, popular music now contains eclectic mixtures of "world music", reggae, hip-hop, rock, jazz etc. whose origins span the world. Within single countries, like the US, the single national hit-parade accounts for a much lower proportion of all music sales, as youth tastes widen and become more eclectic. Food has also conspicuously brought varied world cuisines (and therefore varied agricultures and food processing) to restaurants and stores.
To focus thus on consumerism is sometimes criticized as presenting a shallow notion of global culture -- though some alternatively see this as a sign of a declining, less confident West, retreating from the universalizing ideals of the Enlightenment to low commerce (see Tomlinson's, 1999: 83, 93-4, discussion of these issues). Yet popular culture, carried to the masses through very cheap products, actively reproduced and indigenized, might embody more transcendent ideology. It is arguably changing young peoples' courtship and marriage norms, relations with parents, challenging the submission of women (as Ohmae, 1995: 29-39, suggests in Japan, and as religious fundamentalists denounce worldwide). More systematic research is required, but it is not implausible that some global ideological transcendence is occurring in these, the more intimate spheres of human existence.
But higher, more Enlightenment ideals are also said to diffuse through a "global civil society" whose main power is ideological (often termed cultural capital) and whose main networks are transnational social movements and NGOs. These tend to express a liberal/ social democratic humanism, recently expanded by global reflexivity in matters of basic human rights, the environment, and the relations between North and South. These are seen as generating strong scientific and emotional commitment among militants. Albrow says they embody "a sociality which crosses boundaries ... focused on saving the world ... embodying the surplus energy of ordinary people worldwide ... [wielding] human, or more precisely, cultural capital ... they begin to represent an incipient global citizenship" (1996: 141-4; cf Keane, 2003). True, these "ordinary people" turn out to be disproportionately Northern, highly educated professionals, scientists and technocrats, rather privileged, highly mobile and Internet-connected (people like you and me). Within their ranks are clear tensions between perspectives deriving from Northern macro-regions (liberal, social democratic, corporatist), and between these and more Southern perspectives. But historically-comparable class and macro-regional biases did not prevent the revolutionaries of the past from making global achievements. Now, as then, their values often transcend the material interests of the class and macro-region from which they are drawn, enabling them to critique class, gender, ethnic etc oppressions in North and South alike.
In certain respects, therefore, this is transcendent ideology, and it is growing. It is carried by the kinds of "expert systems" emphasized by Giddens; "transnational advocacy networks" staffed by "activists beyond border", say Kekk & Sikkink (1998); it is a world "thick with consultants" says Meyer (1999). Of course, these are still either in oppositional or "staff" (rather than "line") positions, subordinate to the directors, statesmen and generals of globalization who tend to express the more immanent ideologies of capitalism and nation-states. Indeed, since nation-states hegemonize the political system, NGOS are constrained to lobby them, even if they claim to speak in the name of global civil society. Nonetheless, Meyer (1999) notes that though there may be 190 states in the world, they are converging on a single organizational model, adopting the same set of government cabinet offices, the same tertiary education model, the same national parks, at the urging of a transnational community of professionals and technocrats. He calls this a "world polity", though this seems over-enthusiastic.
This transnational civil society has already made some achievements (see Keck & Sikkink, 1998; and especially Keane, forthcoming, for these). Feminists have been especially adept at skipping over unfavorable environments in most of the world's states to achieve new global regulations through the UN and other IGO agencies. There are many environmental and other issues where common human interests might make NGOs quite influential among states. But they have most headway on matters not directly related to economic and especially military power relations. Arms control issues, from nuclear warheads to child-soldiers, are generally stifled by national military-industrial complexes. True, NGO activists at Seattle and elsewhere quickly forced radical changes in rhetoric, and slight changes in policy, from major economic power actors like the IMF and the World Bank (its World Development Report for 2003 presents capitalism with a human face). But the capitalist class has developed its own rival form of transnational organization, building outwars from the multi-national corporation - relabelled by Robinson and Harris (2000) and Sklair (2001) as the transnational corporation. These advocates of a "transnational capitalist class" (TCC) are also somewhat over-enthusiastic (see the various critiques contained in Science and Society, 2000), neglecting the way that capitalists also retain national identities. Nor do they see that the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO etc. are inter-national as well as transnational organizations; and they neglect the specifically American hegemonic elements of the global economy I detailed earlier. The ideology viewed by most global civil society activists as their greatest enemy is, after all, termed "the Washington consensus". Nonetheless, the capitalist class now has a partial transnational, as well as Northern, national and American hegemonic identities. But this cannot be said of labor, which remains overwhelmingly nationally caged (except for professionals and the rather special experience of migrant labor communities). Indeed, this is even true within the EU, for notwithstanding the rhetoric of its "Social Chapter", labor regulation remains the province of the member nation-states. The coming together of US labor unions and global civil society activists at Seattle was more pragmatic than ideological. In spatial terms class structure is a-symmetric - as has been the normal historical pattern.
Consumerism, the TCC and global civil society are all expanding transnational ideological power networks. The first two tend to reinforce each other - and capitalism - while the transnational civil society tends to oppose them both, with more variable relations to the states. But the major contemporary macro- identity and ideology is generally acknowledged to be the nation and nationalism. Anthony Smith (1990), in a widely cited essay, argues that the nation is more deeply rooted in time and space and more emotionally committing than the rather artificial, shallow, interest-driven elements of global culture just reviewed. I would add, surveying the entire world, that it is also more genuinely global, though of course divisive. Smith attributes much of the nation's power to tradition and memory, seeing nations as ethnic and sometimes religious, and seeing these as old and "perennial" in human history, capable of being culturally re-invoked in changed historical circumstances. I share Smith's view of the strength of nations, but I differ over its sources. Like most writers on nationalism, I am more of a modernist. And this makes an important difference.
Smith's argument obviously makes most sense for the oldest nations or nation- states, an assortment of 100-400 year-old European countries, a few inheritors of ancient civilizations (China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia), two unusual diaspora nations (Jews, Armenians) and a few nations with unusually-long histories of resisting oppression in their homeland (eg Chechens, Serbs, Tibetans). These national identities endure and adapt amid globalization. Despite the powers of the European Union, its nation-states and not Europe remain the focus of its inhabitants' sentimental macro-identity. Of course, even old identities adapt. Jews and Armenians now have their own state, involving major changes in their own self-conceptions; today's main form of German nationalism - civic, constitutional, nice guy - is new; American national identity struggles with new global roles - do we have a civilizing mission, bomb the hell out of the evil-doers, or remain as the city on the hill?
But elsewhere in the world nations are rarely very old or indeed very ethnic. In major Southern countries like India and Indonesia, a rather secular and statist nationalism, a product of decolonization sits on top of enormous ethnic pluralism and keeps some distance from macro-regional religions. The sense of being "Indonesian" was only established through the 1950s and 1960s, first in the core islands of Java and Sumatra, then diffusing more broadly, centring on compulsory education in an "Indonesian" language imported from Malaysia. This identity is now dominant, though with perennial ambiguity to Islam and struggling against rival ethnic/ religious identities around peripheral territories. Indian secularism has recently weakened, beset by a less inclusive Hindu nationalism which intensifies conflict across the sub-continent. Across much of the South, national identities and ideologies are feebler, beset by rival regional and ethnic identities normally organizing locally, and by larger macro-regional religious identities. Many of the colonial-era ethnic identities are quite old and "traditional" (though this is usually bitterly disputed among scholars). But they have been transformed by being the communities through which economic and political resources are distributed today.
So very few nations are older or more traditional than capitalism or the Westphalian system. They are overwhelmingly modern, and their numbers have gathered apace as capitalism and Westphalia expanded. Nationalism, capitalism and the state system are equally parts of globalization.
The major religions offer ideological networks which sometimes reinforce nations, sometimes cross-cut them, but most often aggregate them into macro-regional groupings. Huntington (1996) has emphasized the religious fault-lines emerging between these. As he says, religions form genuine cultural macro-regional power networks. His analysis centres on conflict, and he is most plausible when discussing the fault-line between Islam and Christianity. Muslims, he notes, form at least one of the contending sides in about half the world's main armed conflicts, though they comprise only a fifth of the world's population. Today Muslim countries number five of the seven "rogue states" identified as its enemies by the US, the leading Christian Power. Huntington sees this as a "revival" of ancient fault-lines, which does not convince. For most of their history Islam and Christianity lived in peace with each other, while the last great Muslim Power, the Ottoman Empire, was perennially allied to at least one of the Great Christian Powers. Muslim militancy now centres on what we call "fundamentalism" and what its adherents call a purist return to the teachings of the Koran. But this is less a "revival" of ancient teachings (still less practice) than a modern re-reading of rather diverse sacred texts. In fact, the history of this Islamism can be traced back no further than the early 20th century, to resistance to British, French, Russian and finally American imperialism, and to the failure of the Western-influenced liberal, socialist and military movements which took power in the first independent Muslim states after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire . The changing fortunes of anti-imperialism and secularizing Muslim states offers a more powerful explanation of Huntington's data than his own emphasis on ancient fault-lines. And as I have argued, empires and secular states have been right at the heart of modern globalization.
Furthermore, nationalism is also rather modern, not traditional - and Smith himself agrees. It everywhere centres on the modern political ideal of rule by the people in its own state, ie the nation-state. Modernist writers on nationalism tend to a more materialist, reductionist view, tracing it back to either capitalism (eg Anderson, ) or industrialism (Gellner). This is because nationalism first appeared in a Europe which was already becoming capitalist and which was soon to begin industrialization (which is itself slightly awkward for Gellner's theory). But nationalism is essentially a political, not an economic ideology. Thus it has since spread throughout the world, regardless of the presence of capitalism or industrialism - think, for example, of the Khmer Rouge killing in the name of a rural national socialism those who wore spectacles (ie denoting urban-industrial origins) and those who looked Chinese or Vietnamese. In the West we trace the ideal of rule by the people to the Greeks, but a crucial innovation occurred only in the last two centuries: the confusion of two distinct Greek terms for the people, the demos and the ethnos. The masses who should rule form a cultural community which is usually termed ethnic. Often there is some shared culture because the group in question has occupied these territories for a long period under a distinct ruler or as a distinct political region within a larger empire. Or indeed, there may be some older linguistic or religious solidarity. If there isn't much shared kinship or history (the bases for Smith of memory and tradition) then nationalists try to create it. They may experience obstacles where language or religious differences persist or where groups lived in different political units or under rulers who used ethnic or religious markers themselves in distributing political goods (like the Ottoman millet system or colonial divide-and-rule systems). This may create rival ethno-nationalisms, each claiming rule by the demos/ethnos over parts of the same territory. Ethno-nationalism has intensified through the global diffusion of democratic aspirations. This spread from central and eastern Europe in the late 19th century to almost the whole world in the late 20th century (Mann, forthcoming). There is no "ethnic revival". Ethno-nationalism is new, modern and global, a continuous growth through the modern period, not a peripheral reaction against it.
So ideological globalization remains disjunctive. It includes thin but growing transnational networks, a contradiction between consumerist/ capitalist and "civil society" networks, alongside deeper, more divisive national ideologies, quite "traditional" in most of the North, much newer and expansive across most of the South. Its ferocious conflicts over which "people" is to rule fuel most of the wars scouring the "zones of turmoil". It is the modern ideology which ironically condemns them to ostracism and returns them to primitivism. This does not denote traditional versus global ideology, or even the global revival of tradition, but divided traditions and divided globalization.
Globalization is occurring in multiple, disjunctive and occasionally contradictory forms. Its global penetration has both transnational and inter-national elements which have integrated the North and are extending its geographic scope. Virtually no divisions in the North, and few in what I called the integrating and exploited zones of the South, generate armed combat, only milder contradictions and disjunctions resolvable by peaceful negotiation, predominantly between nation-states. But order in the third Southern tier is weakened by a more economically- and militarily- focused imperialism than existed in earlier globalizing periods. Some economic integration, containing imperial elements, diffuses from the US and the North through about two-thirds of the South, but tat that point it falters. US military imperialism can cowe and devastate but it cannot rule. The inter-national geopolitical order provides ad hoc regulation, perennially disrupted by conflict, especially in the third tier of the South. Diverse ideologies express all these power relations, some benign, others rather violent. Such complexity is not new to human societies. Globalization merely changes its scale. Like all forms of social organization globalization brings both peace and war, order and chaos - and will do so for a good while longer yet. We are not moving toward a singular world society or system because the sources of social power are globalizing, and their principles of integration are often disjunctive and occasionally contradictory.
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1. I see no reason why this should be. That human thought is
reflexive and recursive is surely true of all periods of history. Only the fact
that we reflect about the globe as a whole is relatively new.
2. This does not imply a commitment to structure rather than
action. Structures are produced by actors, and then constrain them. My focus is
on enduring and powerful networks of interaction between social actors, though
since I write here at a very macro-level, individual-level actors will barely
3. Some had objected that Australia and New Zealand did not
fit well into the liberal group, but inequality data reveal they are now being
driven toward their fellow-liberals. Those countries in which labor movements
had made major compromises with liberalism at the beginning of the
20th century prove to be those with the least capacity to resist
neo-liberalism at its end. This seems to reveal the long-term resilience of
macro-regional cultures within globalization.
4. The labels "North" and "South" are not geographically
exact. Only a few countries are situated in the oceanic- and Antarctic-
dominated Southern hemisphere of the earth, and two of them (Australia and New
Zealand) are very rich ones.
5. 5 Contrast the optimism
of Dollar & Kraay, 2001, even when critiqued by Chang (2002), with the more
pessimistic analyses of Hoogvelt, (1997) and Petrella (1996:
1. I see no reason why this should be. That human thought is reflexive and recursive is surely true of all periods of history. Only the fact that we reflect about the globe as a whole is relatively new.
2. This does not imply a commitment to structure rather than action. Structures are produced by actors, and then constrain them. My focus is on enduring and powerful networks of interaction between social actors, though since I write here at a very macro-level, individual-level actors will barely appear.
3. Some had objected that Australia and New Zealand did not fit well into the liberal group, but inequality data reveal they are now being driven toward their fellow-liberals. Those countries in which labor movements had made major compromises with liberalism at the beginning of the 20th century prove to be those with the least capacity to resist neo-liberalism at its end. This seems to reveal the long-term resilience of macro-regional cultures within globalization.
4. The labels "North" and "South" are not geographically exact. Only a few countries are situated in the oceanic- and Antarctic- dominated Southern hemisphere of the earth, and two of them (Australia and New Zealand) are very rich ones.
5. 5 Contrast the optimism of Dollar & Kraay, 2001, even when critiqued by Chang (2002), with the more pessimistic analyses of Hoogvelt, (1997) and Petrella (1996: 80).