The Dialectics of Globalization: Regional Responses to World Economic Processes: Asia, Europe, and Latin America in Comparative Perspective

By Menno Vellinga | Go to book overview

15
Epilogue: Toward an
Actor-Oriented Approach
in the Study of the
Globalization Process

Menno Vellinga

The notion that modern economic activity is becoming "globalized," that contemporary economics is not territorially rooted but that it functions through flows of resources managed by large corporations with a truly global reach, has become very popular, at least as indicated by the avalanche of books and articles that are being published on the theme. It should not surprise anybody familiar with academic debates that such extreme positions are receiving equally massive comments. This publication is a participant to this debate.

In the discussion on the nature and direction of globalization we find many elements that remind us of the earlier debates in economics and the social sciences on economic internationalization, modernization, and the rise and fall of geopolitical orders. 1 In each of these debates there was the notion of a development toward global homogenization resulting from the workings of strong unifying forces of an economic, social, and political nature. The counterarguments inevitably included an emphasis on the role of counter-movements and on the importance of the regional and/or local context in giving direction to the development process -- very similar to what we are witnessing in the present globalization debate. In these debates the various disciplines tended to follow a slightly different course. Generally, economists have been inclined to underline the impact of global forces and to view economic development as becoming deterritorialized. Social scientists, on the other hand,

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