Globalization first became a buzzword. Davos and the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman celebrated its virtues, its inevitability. But then came the anti-globalizers. Globalization then became a more conventional four-letter word. The Ruckus Society and the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu proclaimed its vices, its vincibility.
As this dialectic has unfolded, it is tempting to think that there is a primeval curse on the phenomenon. After all, if you care to count, globalization is in fact a thirteen-letter word. It has become by now a phenomenon that is doomed to unending controversy, the focal point of always hostile passions and sometimes violent protests. It is surely a defining issue as we move further into the new century. The reasons this has happened cry out for comprehension. Without such understanding, and then informed refutation of the fears and follies that animate the anti-globalizers, we cannot adequately defend the globalization that many of us seek to sustain, even deepen. 1
What is the globalization that is in contention? Globalization can mean many things. Here, however, I plan to focus exclusively on economic globalization; indeed, that is what I shall mean when I simply say “globalization” throughout this book. Economic globalization constitutes integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, direct foreign investment (by corporations and multinationals), short-term capital flows, international flows of workers and humanity generally, and flows of technology: phenomena defined and treated more fully below.
Economic globalization is the favored target of many of the critics of globalization. It is distinct from other aspects of globalization, such