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Conventionally, globalization is taken to refer to ‘both the compression of the world and the intensification of the consciousness of the world as a whole’ (Robertson, 1992: 9). But to suggest there is much unity in the way in which globalization is either conceptualized or assessed would be particularly misleading. Held and McGrew (2000) argue that a basic split is discernible between globalists, who see globalization as a new trend and are largely supportive of it, and ‘sceptics’ who view the present as ‘a continuation of trends that developed in the period of European colonial expansion’ (Schirato and Webb, 2003: 16). By this second approach, globalization is simply ‘imperialism [which] has acquired a new form as formal empires have been replaced by new mechanisms of ...

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