Politics of Globalization


Edited by: Samir Dasgupta & Jan Nederveen Pieterse

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    List of Tables

    • 1.1 World Languages in Danger of Extinction 31
    • 7.1 Trends in 21st Century Globalization 169
    • 7.2 Relations between United States and East Asian Economies (including China) 171
    • 9.1 Police View of Changing Nature of Protest in the US 213
    • 9.2 Reintroduction of Border Controls in the European Union 223
    • 11.1 Industrial Disputes in India, 1995–2005 277

    List of Abbreviations

    AAAAgricultural Adjustment Act
    ABBAsea Brown Boveri
    ACCAnti-capitalist Convergence
    AGMAnti-globalization Movement
    AIDSAcquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
    AITUCAll India Trade Union Congress
    APECAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
    BKSBharatiya Kamgar Sena
    BRIC(Brazil, Russia, India and China)
    CAFOConcentrated Animal Feeding Operation
    CIACentral Intelligence Agency
    CITUCentre of Indian Trade Unions
    CSOCivil Society Organization
    CSRCorporate Social Responsibility
    ECBEuropean Central Bank
    EGLEnglish as a Global Language
    EQIPEnvironmental Quality Incentive Program
    EUEuropean Union
    FDIForeign Direct Investment
    FTAFree Trade Agreement
    FTAAFree Trade Area of the Americas
    GATTGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
    GDPGross Domestic Product
    GPUGlobal Processing Unit
    IBMInternational Business Management
    IBSAIndia, Brazil and South Africa
    ICANNInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
    ICITAPInternational Criminal Investigation Training Assistance Program
    ICTInformation and Communication Technologies
    IFLAInternational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
    IMFInternational Monetary Fund
    INTUCIndian National Trade Union Congress
    ITInformation Technology
    KLAKorean Library Association
    LISLibrarianship and Information Science
    LPGLiberalization, Privatization and Globalization
    LPMLandless People's Movement
    NAFTANorth American Free Trade Agreement
    NATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organization
    NGONon-governmental Organization
    NSSNational Security Strategy
    NYPDNew York Police Department
    OPECOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
    PNACProject for the New American Century
    POMSPublic Order Management System
    PSEPublic Sector Enterprises
    SFNMSmall Farms of the New Millennium
    STWStop the War
    SWFSovereign Wealth Fund
    TCCTransnational Capitalist Class
    TCSTransnational Capitalist State
    TIATotal Information Awareness
    TNCTransnational Corporation
    TUCTrade Union Council
    UNUnited Nations
    UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme
    UNEPUnited Nations Economic Programme
    UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Education Fund
    UNKRAUnited Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency
    UNSCUnited Nations Security Council
    USDAUS Department of Agriculture
    USISUnited States Information Service
    USMGKUnited States Military Government in Korea
    VRSVoluntary Retirement Scheme
    WBWorld Bank
    WSISWorld Summit on the Information Society
    WTOWorld Trade Organization
    WWFWorld Wide Fund for Nature


    The 21st century momentum of globalization is markedly different from 20th century globalization and involves a new geography of trade, weaker hegemony and growing multipolarity. This presents major questions: Is the rise of East Asia, China and India just another episode in the rise and decline of nations, another reshuffling of capitalism, a relocation of accumulation centres without affecting the logics of accumulation? Does it advance, sustain or halt neoliberalism? The rise of Asia is co-dependent with neoliberal globalization and yet unfolds outside the neoliberal mould. What is the relationship between zones of accumulation and modes of regulation? What are the ramifications for global inequality? The book discusses trends in trade, finance, international institutions, hegemony and inequality, and social struggle. It also discusses what the new trends mean for the emerging 21st century international division of labour.

    The volume integrates the works of the contributing authors into a holistic comparison and contrasts the politics of globalization. Significantly, this collection covers the applied aspects of problem-universal and problem-specific. It provides some new insights of guidance for sociologists and social activists concerning the things that can be done to mitigate the theoretical and applied crisis of the discipline. It also gives a guideline to social scientists to perform or set the roles that attend the theory–practice dilemma. The essays provide numerous logical languages, strategies and suggestions to be a ‘do-gooder’ thinker, and the urge to develop knowledge sociology and practical sociology in order to serve humanity.

    The American decline and growing multipolarity represent a reorganization of capitalism, not a crisis of capitalism. The crisis of capitalism, foretold since 1848, has been over 150 years in the waiting. The classic ‘gospel of crisis’ underestimates the ingenuity of capitalism and the ability of actors to turn crisis to advantage and underrates the heterogeneity and biodiversity of capitalism. What saves capitalism, ultimately, are capitalisms. More precisely, ‘capitalism’ in the singular is too crude a category. Capitalisms in the sense of different philosophies and institutions to organize relations between markets, governments and society may be the framework of the politics of the new globalization. The failure of the Washington Consensus, mismanagement of the Asian and Latin American crises by the IMF and the structural weaknesses of the US economy lead countries to explore alternative policy frameworks.

    Scholars and experts tend to narrowly focus on globalization as an economic phenomenon. Even critics of globalization train the spotlight on the economic aspect of current transformations of the global system. As a result, little attention has been given to the political responses to globalization. This volume attempts to fill that gap by theoretical and empirical exploration of how people respond to political aspects of the globalization process. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives, the chapters in this volume empirically examine the political responses to globalization. The contributors to this volume analyse the problems and consequences of US hegemony, the capitalistic politics of the globalization process, politics of empowerment, ecology, culture, civil society, dual citizenship and community libraries. These articles make important contributions to advancing our knowledge of how globalization processes are politically constructed.

    First, I want to thank Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse, an excellent academician and friend, who gave his valuable time to this book. I am really impressed with his humane nature and academic brilliance. It was a pleasure to work with him.

    The appreciation and encouragement of my friends and colleagues Professor Robyn Bateman Driskell, Professor Pujan Kumar Sen, Professor Yvonne Braun, Professor Sheila L. Steinberg and Joy A. Alemazung have inspired me to explore contemporary sociological issues for a brighter tomorrow. I would like to thank Professor Jay Weinstein who continuously inspires me with his love and humane passion.

    I am indebted to Professor George Ritzer, Professor Nico Stehr, Professor Nicola Yeates, Professor Abbas Mehdi, Professor Ismail Siriner, Professor Peter Kivisto, Professor Rosalind Sydie, Professor Manfred Steger, Professor Ray Kiely, Dr Rajesh Pillai, Professor Julia Silvia Guivant, Professor Steven J. Steinberg, Professor Dai-Yeun Jeong, Professor Damayanti Banerjee, Professor Rajat Subhra Mukherjee, Professor Ranjit Kumar Bhadra, Professor Sanjoy Roy, Professor Mahbuba Nasreen, Professor M. Mizan Uddin, Professor William K. Tabb, Professor Leslie Sklair, Professor Sing Chew, Dipankar Dutta Roy, Gargi Roy Choudhury, Sumita Duttagupta, Dibakar Dasgupta, Dr Kaushik Chatterjee, Dr Sanjoy Sarkar, Krishna Guha, Bhaswati Ghosh, Dr Baishali Sinha, Anita Mukherjee, Aditi Basu, Dr Partha Sarathi De, Mani, Manu, Tanu and Bristi for their good wishes and academic support. I am indebted to all the contributors of this volume for their brilliant, newly commissioned chapters. I want to thank them all for their unflagging encouragement.

    Thanks are also due to Distinguished Professor Immanuel Wallerstein, Professor Amitai Etzioni, Late Professor Andre Gunder Frank, Dr Paul Frank and Professor Samuel P. Oliner for their unceasing inspiration and academic support. I am especially grateful to my wife Sumitra who always encouraged me to work on this volume.

    It has been our pleasure to work with SAGE—we thank them for their unfailing enthusiasm.


    Prologue: New Balance

    Jan NederveenPieterse

    Globalization was something the rich countries did to the rest of the world—for the good of all, of course. Now it is beginning to feel like something someone else is doing to them. (Stephens 2007)

    The world's most valuable company is PetroChina at USD 1 trillion, double the value of Exxon Mobil. Four of the world's 10 most valuable firms are now Chinese. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the world's largest bank by market capitalization. China has overtaken the US as the premier location for foreign direct investment (2003) and the world's largest exporter of technological products (2006). Japan, Korea and Australia now export more to China than to the US. An article notes in passing, ‘America's mass market is second to none. Someday it will just be second’ (Uchitelle 2003). ‘In 2007 the BRICs’ (Brazil, Russia, India and China) contribution to global growth was slightly greater than that of the US for the first time. In 2007 the US will account for 20 per cent of global growth, compared with about 30 per cent for the BRICs' (Gross 2007a). According to its 2005 report Mapping the Global Future, the National Intelligence Council, the centre of strategic thinking in the US intelligence community, projects the following trends:

    The likely emergence of China and India…as new major global players, similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century, will transform the geopolitical landscape with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries. In this new world, a mere 15 years away, the United States will remain ‘an important shaper of the international order’, probably the single most powerful country, but its ‘relative power position’ will have ‘eroded’. The new ‘arriviste powers’, not only China and India, but also Brazil, Indonesia and perhaps others will accelerate this erosion by pursuing ‘strategies designed to exclude or isolate the United States’ in order to ‘force or cajole’ us into playing by their rules. (Kaplan 2005)

    [East Asia] is in the process of creating an economic bloc that could eventually comprise both a regional free trade area and an Asian monetary fund. Such a bloc would claim about one-fifth of the world economy, 20 per cent of global trade, and $1.5 trillion in monetary (mostly dollar) reserves—about ten times those of the United States. Such an East Asian group would be a third economic superpower. (Bergsten 2004: 91–92)

    The free trade area of China and ASEAN established in 2002 is the world's largest with a population of 1.7 billion and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 2 trillion. ‘While East Asia's share of global exports tripled to 19 per cent between 1975 and 2001, exports within the region rose more than six fold in the same period’ (Mallet 2003). The re-Asianization of Asia has been ongoing for some time. China opened a ‘new silk road’ to the Middle East and Eurasia and has taken on a wider role in Latin America and Africa. New trade pacts have taken shape such as the Central Asia Economic Cooperation Organization and the Economic Cooperation Organization of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. ‘New trade corridors show rising trade between Asia and the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Already, Asian–European trade outstrips Asian–US trade’ (Lyons 2007).

    These data come at us like a snowball that keeps getting larger as it approaches.1 Until recently, these changes concerned slow-moving trends, mostly in production, trade, infrastructure and energy. But in the wake of the 2007 credit crisis they have suddenly gone into overdrive, unfolding in international finance, and rather than being tucked away in economic trend reports and newspapers' back pages, have landed on the front pages. While the discussion whether the US sub-prime troubles have sparked a credit crunch, a banking crisis, or, more seriously, a solvency crisis is still ongoing, the ramifications have already spread. With the Western banking system amid a double bubble popping—the American housing market and the easy credit bubble—emerging economies have remained largely unaffected: ‘Emerging markets weather the financial turmoil’ (Chung 2007); ‘Emerging market debt is the new safe haven’ (Booth 2007). Because of cash buffers built in the wake of the Asian crisis, sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) from China to Singapore emerge as sources of liquidity. In the US sovereign wealth funds first met a closed door, were then eyed with suspicion, and in the next phase welcomed with trepidation (Vail 2007), to be finally enlisted in the rescue of American banks. ‘Sovereign funds should lend support to equities,’ a comment explains in the inimitable language of international finance: ‘The acquisition by SWFs of strategic stakes in global companies has the potential to accelerate restructuring’ (Hoguet 2007).2 Third, because of high petrol prices oil exporting countries emerge as financial hubs.

    When financial market bubbles burst, a transfer of assets from the weak and undercapitalised to the strong and liquid invariably follows. The unprecedented scale of the credit bubble that burst last August [2007] suggests that the extent of the resulting wealth transfer will beggar belief. (Plender 2008)

    China had been discreetly moving out of dollar assets and converting its dollar reserves into energy assets in Africa, Latin America, Canada and Iran. ‘Chinese mining and energy companies have been investing in everything from copper in Afghanistan to tungsten in Tasmania’ (Dyer and Tucker 2007). But the financial turbulence of 2007 has changed this pattern. The China Investment Corporation has invested USD 1 billion in Bear Stearns, USD 3 billion in Black-stone and USD 5 billion in a 10 per cent stake in Morgan Stanley. The China Development Bank invested USD 3 billion in Barclays and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has taken a USD 5.5 billion share in 20 per cent of Standard Bank of South Africa, a major transaction between two emerging markets institutions and the largest foreign direct investment in Africa (Gnodde 2007). China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange has bought shares in Australia's three largest banks at USD 176 million each. China's Social Security Fund is in talks with Carlyle, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and TPG Capital (formerly Texas Pacific Group). The overall strategy is clearly one of buying into overseas financial intermediaries (Financial Times 2007).

    According to the chairman of the China Investment Corporation, ‘the fund sees a unique opportunity in the credit crisis in developed markets’ (Anderlini 2007). In the ‘Big Red Checkbook’ several trends come together: the declining dollar (down 23 per cent against major currencies since 2002) depreciates Chinese dollar reserves at the same time that it makes American assets relatively cheap. Combine China's massive current account surplus—or the trillion dollar question—with a turbulent financial environment and, besides converting dollars into assets, buying into financial intermediaries and financial savvy becomes a necessity.

    Besides Asian SWFs, the other major investors to step into the breach are holders of petrodollars. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has taken a USD 7.5 billion share in Citigroup; Dubai and Qatar funds bought a 48 per cent share of the London Stock Exchange; the Kuwait Investment Authority invested USD 700 million in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; to pick a few out of a swath of investments by Middle East funds, again typically in financial intermediaries such as Merrill Lynch. Emerging economies seek to avoid the mistakes of Japan in the 1980s—buying cultural prestige objects that were economically vulnerable. The trend in 21st century international finance is that emerging markets are no longer targets or bystanders but become insiders and market-makers. Financial markets provide liquidity, pool information and share risk; when sovereign wealth funds buy into Western financial powerhouses they become information insiders and market-makers.

    This is the case also aside from the SWF purchases. For some time growth rates in the global South have been significantly higher than in the North and most countries achieve this while running current account surpluses. Initial public offerings in the BRIC represent 39 per cent of the total of Initial Public Offers (IPOs) in the world in 2007, and have been to a large extent internally financed (Authers 2008).

    Niall Ferguson draws parallels between the bankruptcy of the Ottoman empire in the 1870s, which necessitated the sale of Middle Eastern revenue streams to Europeans, and the current shift in the balance of financial power: ‘Today the shift is from the US—and other western financial centres—to the autocracies of the Middle East and east Asia…Debtor empires sooner or later have to do more than just sell shares to satisfy their creditors’ (Ferguson 2008; cf. Ferguson 2004). The references—to satisfying eastern autocracies—are ominous. Ferguson has advocated the extension of American empire on the argument that, like its British predecessor, it brings the world democracy and development.

    In fact the nearest parallel is what happened in the 1997–98 Asian crisis.

    The significant difference is that the debacle in Asia was followed by truly appalling losses in output and employment whereas the US is merely at risk of recession rather than slump. Not only is hypocrisy an issue here. There is folly when people in current-account glass houses throw protectionist stones. (Plender 2008)

    What are at issue are also deeper patterns. It is common for imperial and metropolitan centres to invest in emerging centres to reap profits from their value streams. According to Giovanni Arrighi, wars often played a crucial role.

    But once wars escalated, the creditor-debtor relation that linked the mature to the emerging centers was forcibly reversed and the reallocation to the emerging centers became both more substantial and permanent…The mechanisms of the reversal varied considerably from transition to transition. In the Dutch–British reversal, the key mechanism was the plunder of India during and after the Seven Years' War, which enabled Britain to buy back its national debt from the Dutch and thus start the Napoleonic Wars nearly free from foreign debt. In the British–US reversal, the key mechanism was US wartime supply of armaments, machinery, food, and raw materials far in excess of what Britain could pay out of current incomes. But, in both cases, wars were essential ingredients in the change of the guard at the commanding heights of world capitalism. (Arrighi 2007: 234)

    The reversal of the creditor–debtor relation is now unfolding between the United States and Asia, especially China and Middle East oil exporters. These developments are remarkable from several points of view. First, they unfold in international finance, the central powerhouse of Western influence. In emerging societies, the awareness long exists that competition in production is but one phase, and that the real competition with the West will unfold in finance. Second, it is through financial markets that the US has sought to penetrate and shape emerging markets. Third, it is easy to see that conservative overreach has led to imperial overstretch in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the present credit bubble concerns economic and financial overreach. Wall Street was supposed to be smart. Fourth, finance is traditionally the terrain in which fading hegemons retain their supremacy when it has gone in economic, political and military domains.

    Structural adjustment since 1980 unleashed a series of financial crises culminating in the Asian crisis of 1997–98, which enabled US corporations to buy up assets at fire-sale prices. In retrospect, this may have been the last great round of the US investing in and profiting from the global South. Since then the tide has begun to turn in earnest. First, the Asian crisis and International Monetary Fund (IMF) mismanagement was the complete échec of the Washington Consensus and financial institutions. Second, since then developing countries have taken the challenge of financial competition seriously. Third, all countries scaled back their foreign debts and built financial buffers to weather the financial storms. Fourth, in Asia the turn east towards China began in earnest. Patterns of cooperation that hitherto had been simply economic became institutional, such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) +3 and the free trade agreement between ASEAN and China.

    These are signs of the new emerging balance of 21st century globalization. Whether these are viewed as clear indicators of change or as difficult glyphs to decipher depends on one's perspective. I will first review several questions this presents in relation to American hegemony, considering that assessing the old balance is part of reading the new; then, I turn to the wider question of what these changes mean for the world majority.

    The Afterlife of Hegemony

    Above all, we cannot stop long-term shifts in the economic and strategic balances, because by our economic and social policies we ourselves are the very artificers of these futures changes; we can no more stop the rise of Asia than we can stop the winter snows and the summer heat. (Kennedy 2001: 78)

    American hegemony followed the era of British hegemony, so it is part of a series, part of a stretch of Anglo-American hegemony from approximately 1820 onward, interspersed with periods of hegemonic rivalry. American decline therefore represents a system change with worldwide ripple effects and poses several questions: Does it usher in hegemonic rivalry or a transition toward a new hegemon? As a fading hegemon can the US hold on to its financial lead, as did the United Provinces and Britain, and can it sustain its military supremacy?

    Does American decline lead to a new era of hegemonic rivalry and wars of succession, as in 1870–1945, or is an altogether different configuration in the making? The degree of interweaving of economies and technologies across the world is now so extensive that a retreat to national economies or regional blocs is much less viable than it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries or for that matter, in George Orwell's 1984. High-density globalization and hegemonic rivalry between nations or regional blocks are not compatible.

    This does not imply that what lies ahead is, for instance, a cohesive transnational capitalist class, a global Davos elite and a straightforward global rift between the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum. Local, national and regional interests are deeply anchored, so more realistic are in-between patterns in which national and regional interests and policies matter, interspersed with technological interweaving, transnational corporate links and civil society networks; complex, layered patterns of competition and cooperation, and cooperation through competition.

    Will the US be able to hold on to its financial lead, as did previous hegemons? The US faces major drains on its financial resources. Because of rapid deindustrialization it has become an importer on a vast scale (unlike 20th century Britain), owes interest on a massive debt (unlike the United Provinces) and spends most of its treasure on the military (like 16th and 17th century Spain). The US has experienced rapid erosion of its reserves; even after a weaker dollar makes its exports more competitive it lacks the production and exports capacity for recouping this massive drain. Although the declining dollar whittles away US debt, it is unlikely that the bulk of the debt will ever be repaid. Like 20th century Britain, the US has been waging war on credit and, as in Britain's case, financial vulnerability augurs decline.

    Will the US be able to use its vast military resources to achieve ‘accumulation by dispossession’ and thus prolong its hegemony? Timothy Garton Ash notes, ‘When the next recession comes along, it will be no use sending for the marines’ (Ash 2005). The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate the limited utility of military force and the limitations of US armed forces in ground warfare. Military force is also a temptation. In Michael Lind's words:

    The US remains the only country capable of projecting military power throughout the world. But unipolarity in the military sphere, narrowly defined, is not preventing the rapid development of multipolarity in the geopolitical and economic arenas—far from it. And the other great powers are content to let the US waste blood and treasure on its doomed attempt to recreate the post-first world war British imperium in the Middle East. (Lind 2005)

    It is not straightforward whether US military might is an asset or a liability; it is both, in different arenas. American military specialization has its price—institutionally, in tilting government toward the security apparatus; economically, by transforming enterprises into military contactors; ideologically, by sustaining the superpower syndrome; and culturally, by sustaining a garrison state culture. American military specialization and deindustrialization are to an extent correlated and have precipitated the rise of other forces. Germany and Japan experienced ‘economic miracles’ once they were released from their military–industrial specialization—and, in Japan's case, recruited as an industrial supply platform in the American cold war network, beginning with the Korean War. The US has been experiencing the reverse. American deindustrialization has been correlated with Asian industrialization. By promoting export-oriented growth and relocating garment, electronics and high-tech plants in the Asian Tigers and Southeast Asia, US multinationals reaped super profits, acquired cheap consumer products and boosted Asian industrialization. As a consequence American corporations neglected inward investment and the US yielded its share in global manufacturing to Asia and jacked up its trade deficit. This Pacific Rim symbiosis is now at the point where American trade and current account deficits have become unsustainable and for Asian vendors the risks of holding surplus dollars have begun to outweigh the benefits.

    The American attempts to prolong the uni-polar moment have reinforced this shift. The preoccupation with strategic primacy leaves the terrain to industrial newcomers and leaves space for industrial development in emerging economies, just as in the early 20th century when Latin American countries such as Argentina and Brazil industrialized as the great powers, they were distracted by rivalry and war. Now, ‘If and when the US finally lifts its gaze from the Middle East, it will find itself facing a much better placed and more formidable China’ (Rachman 2007). According to Arrighi, China emerges as the beneficiary of globalization and as the real winner of the war on terrorism (Arrighi 2007: 295, 301). This makes sense if we add, beyond the Iraq war, the Asian crisis. What is at issue in the 21st century turn to the East is both the failure of neoliberalism and the failure of neoconservatism—the two faces of American hegemony.

    All advanced countries have been navigating the transition to a post-industrial economy and face increasing competition brought about by accelerated globalization. But only in the American case, unlike in Europe and Japan, has this been combined with laissez-faire (that is, no national economic policy), Dixie capitalism (low taxes, low services, no unions), military specialization (brawn over brain) and gargantuan debt—all factors that weaken the US' long-term position.

    The picture is mixed. Some countries have an interest in continuing American hegemony of a kind; Asian exporters continue to depend on the US market and continue their vendor financing while others continue to view the American military specialization as a savings on their defence budgets; yet, the overall trend is away from US influence. The instability that the US has been creating is gradually producing ‘the dispensable nation’. According to Michael Lind:

    A new world order is indeed emerging—but its architecture is being drafted in Asia and Europe, at meetings to which Americans have not been invited…Today the evidence of foreign co-operation to reduce American primacy is everywhere—from the increasing importance of regional trade blocs that exclude the United States to international space projects and military exercises in which the United States is conspicuous by its absence. (Lind 2005)

    The walkout of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Cancún in 2003 followed by the failure of the FTAA talks in 2004 illustrates the changing climate. The emergence of a new grouping of developing countries—the G22 led by Brazil, South Africa, China and India—indicates growing clout, as if resuming the momentum of the movement of Non-aligned countries, at least in trade talks. At the international climate talks in Bali, in December 2007, the message of delegates to the United States was blunt: provide leadership, or follow or else get out of the way (Fuller and Revkin 2007).

    The multipolar, multi-currency world that is taking shape involves a shift in the global scenery in which the background becomes foreground, and vice versa. American dramas that used to be influential through the American century are becoming less salient; in the words of an economic trend report: ‘Does it even matter if the U.S. has a cold?’ (Gross 2007b). According to the decoupling scenario cherished in the business press, the world economy can overcome the inevitable drop in American demand by an increase in Asian demand, an expectation that may be overdrawn. ‘American consumers spent close to $9.5 trillion over the last year. Chinese consumers spent around $1 trillion and Indians spent $650 billion. It is almost mathematically impossible for China and India to offset a pullback in American consumption’ (Roach 2007). Stephen Roach's point is taken; yet the bulk of demand in Asia and the Middle East is in capital goods: ‘…emerging markets’ share of global capital spending has risen from 20 per cent in the late 1990s to about 37 per cent today' (Gross 2007b). Thus decoupling also refers to a different kind of demand; emerging markets' demand does not simply substitute consumer demand but concerns industrial inputs and commodities which points to a parallel with the post-war boom, discussed in the following pages.

    New Balance

    The perspective on the new balance that is most obvious—what problems it poses for the US—is also most limited; focusing on the declining hegemon is looking at future trends through the rear view mirror. Fascination with the momentum of hegemonic decline and system change may crowd out more important questions: What do these changes mean for the world majority and for the workers of the world? These are questions too large to be addressed in a single treatment, but I can review some key variables.

    First, in several ways the current period parallels the post-war boom when industrial growth in the US and Europe boosted demand for commodities. Fifty years on, the 21st century involves a similar boom, now centred on Asia, again boosting demand for commodities, again with an overall equalizing effect among countries, and again with financial ramifications.

    The IMF was a big factor when commodity prices were low and financial liquidity was a problem. Since 2002, however, the high commodity prices, especially for Latin American agro-mineral exports, have led to huge trade surpluses and allowed countries to pay off IMF debts and either self-finance or go to commercial private financing, avoiding IMF conditional borrowing. (Petras 2007: 41)

    Thus, the 21st century boom contributes to the changing landscape of global finance. In the 21st century boom industrialism in emerging markets combines with post-industrialism in advanced economies. In 1994 Paul Krugman argued that the ‘Asian miracle’ was a myth and was just a matter of new labour inputs in countries experiencing a demographic sweet spot, without representing new productivity or efficiency. Gerald Segal asked, ‘…does China matter?’ These questions are now well behind us. The rise of Asia is not a fluke and represents much more than America's sweatshop. China has overtaken Japan to become the second largest spender on research and development. ‘The IT sector in the Asia-Pacific region is set to expand nearly twice as fast as its North American counterpart in the five years to 2009, driven by explosive growth in countries such as India’ (Financial Times 2006).

    Another initial assessment was that the influx of massive new labour forces in China, India and Eastern Europe lowers the unit cost of labour and is a boon to employers.

    That long boom was made possible by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of China (and to a lesser extent India) in the 1990s. The effect was to bring hundreds of millions of educated and low-waged workers into the framework of the international capitalist market—who, as the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, put it, have ‘restrained the rise of unit labour costs in much of the world’. Along with the wider weakening of organised labour, the deregulated expansion of international finance and a flood of cheap imports into the rest of the world, the result has been a corporate profits bonanza and power grab which has shaped the economic and political temper of our times. (Milne 2007; cf. Prestowitz 2005)

    Years further down the road the picture looks different. Wages in China and other emerging markets are rising, emerging markets face skills bottlenecks and the bargaining position of skilled labour has strengthened. Thus, by another assessment what is taking place is ‘a major wealth shift from developed economies—that is, from less-skilled labour in developed economies—to emerging market workers’ (Norris 2006). Now the ‘China price’ (based on the lowest labour cost) has become the China prize (for countries contending for Chinese investments) (for example, Weitzman 2005).

    It is a cliché that ‘the next phase of globalization will most likely have an Asian face’ (Stephens 2006). Yet the rise of Asia has often been viewed, by proponents and critics alike, in terms posed by the dominant Anglo-American perspectives. The usual account, from the World Bank to Thomas Friedman, is that the success of emerging markets is due to their adopting American neoliberal capitalism, so the rise of Asia is an extension and assimilation of Anglo-American capitalism. The World Bank claimed the East Asian miracle as evidence that its policy prescriptions (liberalization, deregulation and export orientation) were valid. Alan Greenspan saw the Asian crisis as testimony of the superiority of American capitalism. Thomas Friedman, likewise, views the rise of China and India as evidence of the virtues of liberalization. Robert Wade has criticized the World Bank's view as an instance of ‘…the art of paradigm maintenance’. As Dani Rodrik, Guthrie and others argue, the Washington view overlooks the role of developmental states in establishing the conditions that make it possible to benefit from liberalization.

    David Harvey's thesis of ‘neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics’ and Martin Hart-Landsberg's account of extreme labour exploitation in China also apply Western yardsticks, but in a different sense, and may underestimate the variety of China's developments, such as the role of small and medium size enterprises and the township and village enterprises (TVEs), as argued by Rodrik, Arrighi and others. Pertinent as criticisms of fast-lane capitalism in China are, viewing the East as an extension and variant of the West is too limiting.

    It is more appropriate to view East Asia's resurgence as a comeback in light of East Asian historical dynamics. Arrighi argues that the 20th century convergence of East and West has been due more to the West going East than to the East going West. A case in point is ‘the displacement of vertically integrated corporations, such as General Motors, by subcontracting corporations, such as Wal-Mart, as the leading US business organization’; buyer-driven subcontracting arrangements were a distinctive feature of big business in late imperial China and remain so in Hong Kong and Taiwan (Arrighi 2007; cf. Arrighi et al. 2003). Older, China-centred historical patterns are now being reproduced in East Asia. The role of the Chinese diaspora also reflects long-term trends.

    Another wider perspective is oriental globalization. This argues, in brief, that through most of the global longue durée the world economy has been centred on the Orient. From about 500 CE the Middle East was the centre of the world economy but by 1100 CE the leading edge of the world economy shifted to China and the Indian subcontinent, where it remained until well into the 19th century. Hence, the predominance of the West dates only from the 19th century, the lead of Europe and then the United States refers to a relatively brief period and with the rise of Asia, China and India the world economy is reverting to where it has been centred through most of world history (see Frank 1998; Hobson 2004; Nederveen Pieterse 2006).

    The theme of the new Silk Road also points beyond the West. A new buzzword is Chime to denote the China, India, Middle East trade zone. There has been a more than six-fold increase in direct flights between the Gulf states and China (from seven a week in 2000 to 48 flights a week in 2006).

    ‘We want to go global by going east, not west’, declared the chairman of Emaar Properties—one of the world's largest property developers, based in Dubai…‘The west has got aging populations and ageing economies. The east is where the true glamour lies’, according to a view echoed by top Asian and Arab business leaders. (Barton and de Boer 2007)

    Business studies and economic forecasting focus on emerging markets and their business strategies, which usually means looking at new forces in terms of business success—the rise of multinationals, establishing brands, whether companies in China and India can match the growth paths of Sony or Samsung, and so on.

    Merely counting aggregate growth rates and shares of world economic growth may be misleading. The term BRIC, coined by Goldman Sachs, conceals steep differences; in a phrase, ‘India and China are the only real Brics in the wall.’

    The fundamental difference between China and India on the one hand and Russia and Brazil on the other is that the former are competing with the west for ‘intellectual capital’ by seeking to build top-notch universities, investing in high, value-added and technologically intensive industries and utilizing successful diasporas to generate entrepreneurial activity in the mother country…Russia and Brazil are benefiting from high commodity prices but are not attempting to invest their windfall in long-term economic development. (Lloyd and Turkeltaub 2006)

    China is building a hundred top-notch universities and India also actively competes in the race for brain power. Thus it matters to disaggregate the BRIC and the gospel of emerging markets. What matters is not just frontier capitalism and not just competition in terms of price but in terms of quality, technological upgrading and brand recognition.

    American decline and growing multipolarity represent a reorganization of capitalism, not a crisis of capitalism. The crisis of capitalism, foretold since 1848, has been over 150 years in the waiting. The classic ‘gospel of crisis’ underestimates the ingenuity of capitalism and the ability of actors to turn crisis to advantage, and underrates the heterogeneity and biodiversity of capitalism. What saves capitalism, ultimately, are capitalisms. More precisely, ‘capitalism’ in the singular is too crude a category. Capitalisms in the sense of different philosophies and institutions to organize the relations between markets, government and society may be the framework of the politics of the new globalization. The failure of the Washington Consensus, IMF mismanagement of the Asian and Latin American crises and the structural weaknesses of the US economy lead countries to explore alternative policy frameworks such as the Beijing consensus and the Latin American Bolivarian alternative (ALBA). In view of the role of state forces in industrialization, trade policy and regional cooperation, and sovereign wealth funds in finance, the new globalization may involve a partial return to Keynesian economics, which also dominated during the post-war boom. Western clichés of ‘command capitalism’ and ‘petro dictatorship’ (the references are to Russia, Venezuela and the Middle East) underestimate the role of the state and the lasting importance of developmental states. Also, in the West, the role of economic populism is growing and welfare state liberalism is making a comeback (Lind 2007).

    Rather than hegemonic rivalry or China emerging as a new hegemon, what is taking shape are global realignments. China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa emerge as alternative hubs for new combinations in trade, energy, and security. Path dependence on the American economy and American hegemony is giving way to different arrangements, driven by several dynamics.3

    There are broadly three types of realignment: retrenchment, reformist and revolutionary. Retrenchment refers to the kind of repositioning that protects national or corporate interests, such as central banks and investors reducing their dollar holdings. Reformist repositioning seeks changes that contain also future risk and enhance opportunities in finance, energy, trade and security. The third type of realignment is revolutionary in seeking the overthrow of neoliberal capitalism and American hegemony. At present only Venezuela advocates that ‘capitalism must be transcended’ along with Zapatistas and activists in the World Social Forum and global justice movement. The position of groups such as Al-Qaeda is reformist and defensive of positions in the Middle East and the Islamic world rather than revolutionary.

    Since the global realignments are unfolding according to diverse rhythms and logics, what are emerging are complex irregular uneven moves pointing in different directions. As different centres of influence emerge the terrain shifts to other horizons, other problems, other aspirations. There is no need to romanticize alternative development paths, but there is no doubt that multipolarity is a step in the direction of global emancipation.


    1. Snowballing is the metaphor used for East Asia's ascent beginning with Japan, then the Tigers, then China (Arrighi 2007: 2).

    2. J. Dizard (2007) notes, ‘The reality [of sovereign funds] is just another office full of harried people trying to find safe places to stick hundreds of millions or billions of dollars each month.’

    3. An extended discussion can be found in Nederveen Pieterse (this volume).

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  • About the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Samir Dasgupta, D. Litt., is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India. His research interests centre around development studies and sociology of globalization, applied sociology, urban sociology, economic sociology, gender studies and environment studies. He is the Director of College Development Council, University of Kalyani and member of the advisory committee for Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, The University of Calcutta.

    His major publications include Economic Sociology (Bengali Version) (1983); Sociology Through Objective Mirror (1999); A Short History of Western Sociology (Bengali version) (1998); Global Malady in the Third World: A Reflection (co-authored with Kaushik Chattopadhyay) (2002); The Changing Face of Globalization (edited volume) (2004); Globalization and After (edited by Samir Dasgupta and Ray Kiely) (2006); Discourse on Applied Sociology: Theoretical Perspectives (2007); Dis course on Applied Sociology: Practising Perspectives (edited by Samir Dasgupta and Robyn Driskell) (2007); Understanding Global Environment (2008); Globalization and Humanity (Forthcoming); Globalization, Power and Women (edited by Samir Dasgupta, Yvonne Braun, Robyn Driskell and Nicola Yeates) (Forthcoming); and Gender and Disaster: Global Voice (with Ismail Siriner) (Forthcoming). Professor Dasgupta has authored more than 50 research articles and chapters. He is the President of Society for Applied Sociology, India (SASI) and editorial board member of the international journal Nature and Culture, USA and Leipzig, Germany. Professor Dasgupta is the Chief Editor of the journal Global Applied Sociology.

    Jan Nederveen Pieterse is Professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California Santa Barbara, USA. He specializes in globalization, development studies and cultural studies. He has been Visiting Professor in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Thailand. He is Editor of Journal of Global Studies and Clarity Press and associate editor of Futures, Globalizations, European Journal of Social Theory, Ethnicities, Third Text and Journal of Social Affairs.

    His recent books include Is there hope for Uncle Sam? Beyond the American Bubble (2008); Ethnicities and Global Multiculture: Pants for an Octopus (2007); Globalization or Empire? (2004); Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange (2003); Development Theory: Deconstructions/Reconstructions (2001); White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture (1992); Empire and Emancipation: Power and Liberation on a World Scale (1989, 1990); Christianity and Hegemony (edited) (1992); Emancipations Modern and Postmodern (edited), (1992) and over 350 articles and chapters.

    The Contributors

    Steven Best is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso. He is author and editor of 10 books and has published over 100 articles and reviews on diverse topics in critical anthologies focusing on the work of Frederic Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Soren Kierkegaard, Richard Rorty, Thomas Pynchon and Philip K. Dick. Dr Best has published essays on a wide range of topics in an appropriately interdisciplinary and diverse array of journals. His books and articles have been translated into several languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Swedish, German, French, Polish, Portuguese, Latin American and Brazilian. In 1997, Dr Best's book (with Douglas Kellner), The Postmodern Turn: Paradigms Shifts in Art, Theory, and Science (1997) won the Michael Harrington Award for Best Social Theory Book and, in 1998, The Postmodern Turn also was selected for Choice's Outstanding Academic Books list. In 2001, his subsequent book (with Douglas Kellner), The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium (2001) won Foreward Magazine's Best Philosophy Book of the Year Award. He is currently completing a new book, Animal Liberation and Moral Progress: The Struggle for Human Evolution (Forthcoming) and editing a new volume (with Anthony Nocella and Peter McLaren), Academic Repression: The Crisis of Free Speech in the Academy (Forthcoming).

    Ananda Das Gupta is currently the Associate Professor in Organizational Development, Strategic Human Resources Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics at Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore. He has been engaged in teaching and research for more than 18 years in different universities and institutes across India. He has edited the special issue of International Journal of Social Economics on India, and is currently the guest editor of Social Responsibility Journal. His recent books include Human Values in Management (2004); Ethics in Business (2005).

    Amitai Etzioni after receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1958, served as a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University for 20 years; part of that time as the Chairman of the department. He was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1978 before serving as a senior advisor to the White House from 1979–1980. In 1980, Professor Etzioni was named the first University Professor at The George Washington University, where he is the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. From 1987–1989, he served as the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Professor at the Harvard Business School.

    Professor Etzioni served as the President of the American Sociological Association in 1994–1995, and in 1989–1990 was the founding President of the International Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. In 1990, he founded the Communitarian Network, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to shoring up the moral, social and political foundations of society. He has authored 22 books. His recent publications include Security First: For A Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy (2007); From Empire to Community: A New Approach to International Relations (2004); his autobiography, My Brother's Keeper: A Memoir and a Message (2003); The Monochrome Society (2001); The Road to the Good Society (2001); The Limits of Privacy (1999); The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (1996) which received the Simon Wiesenthal Center's 1997 Tolerance Book Award; The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities and the Communitarian Agenda (1993) and The Moral Dimension: Toward a New Economics (1988).

    Thomas Faist is Professor of Transnational Relations and Development Studies at the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University. He is the author of The Volume and Dynamics of International Migration and Transnational Social Spaces (2000); Transnational Social Spaces (2004) and The Politics of Dual Citizenship in Europe (2007). He currently directs a project on transnational migration and development. He is the deputy editor of The Sociological Quarterly.

    Andre Gunder Frank (1929–2005) was Professor Emeritus of Development Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam; Visiting Professor of International Relations at the University of Miami and Florida International University; and Visiting Professor of History at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. His areas of research were world system, world economy, economic development, economic policy, international political economy, social movements, world history, Latin America, Third World, Russia and Eastern Europe and Asia. His publications in 30 languages include 138 editions of 37 books, 158 chapters in 139 edited readers or anthologies and articles in about 600 issues of periodicals. His books include Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America (1967); World Accumulation 1492–1789 (1978); Crisis in the World Economy (1980); Transforming the Revolution: Social Movements and the World-System (with S. Amin, G. Arrighi and I. Wallerstein), (1990); Underdevelopment of Development: An Autobiographical Essay (1991); The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (contributor/editor with B.K. Gills), (1993/1996) and ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age (1998). Andre Gunder Frank died peacefully on 23 April 2005 in Luxembourg, after a long and brave struggle against cancer.

    Biswajit Ghosh, Ph.D., from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology, The University of Burdwan. He has been engaged in teaching and research for more than 20 years. He has authored 40 articles, including reviews and study modules, and edited/compiled a book on Trafficking in Women & Children, Child Marriage and Dowry: A Study for Action Plan in the West Bengal (2007). He is currently writing a book on ‘Industrial Structure and Labour Movement: Issues, Perspectives and Experiences of Organising Unorganised Labour’. His research interests centre around sociology of development, labour, industry, environment and gender. He is a Joint Secretary of Sociological Association of West Bengal (SAWB), a life member of Indian Sociological Society and an editorial advisor of West Bengal Sociological Review.

    John J. Green, Ph.D., from the University of Missouri-Columbia, is Associate Professor of Sociology and Community Development and Graduate Coordinator for the Master of Science in Community Development Programme at Delta State University. Additionally, he is Director of the Institute for Community-Based Research. His interests include organizations and institutions in the process of development, sustainability, globalization, food and agriculture, health, poverty, disasters and evaluation.

    Gabriel Ignatow is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Stanford University in 2003, and has taught as an instructor at Stanford, an Assistant Professor at Koç University in Istanbul, and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. His research interests are in the areas of globalization and cultural sociology, and his recent books include Transnational Identity Politics and the Environment (2007). He has published articles on globalization in the journals Current Sociology, Globalizations, Global Environmental Politics and Environmental Politics.

    Douglas Kellner, Ph.D., in Philosophy from Columbia University, has been George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education, University of California, Los Angeles from 1997 till date. He is the editor of series for Guilford Press; review manuscripts for University of Minnesota Press, Sage, Routledge, Yale University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, University of Toronto Press, Westview Press, Rowman and Littlefield, University of California Press, SUNY Press, Norton, University of Texas Press and others. His recent and major books include Grand Theft (2000); The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millenium (co-authored with Steven Best) (2001); Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks (co-edited with Gigi) (2001); Toward a Critical Theory of Society (2001); Technology, War, and Fascism (1998); The Postmodern Turn (co-authored with Steven Best) (1997); Articulating the Global and the Local: Globalization and Cultural Studies (co-edited with Ann Cvetkovich) (1996); Baudrillard: A Critical Reader (edited with Introduction) (1994) and Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations (co-authored with Steven Best) (1991).

    Ray Kiely is Professor of International Politics in Queen Mary University of London. He has authored of six and co-edited of two books that includes The New Political Economy of Development (2007); The Clash of Globalisations (2005); Empire in the Age of Globalisation (2005) and Industrialization and Development (1998). He is currently completing a book called Rethinking Imperialism.

    Peter Kivisto is the Richard Swanson Professor of Social Thought and chair of Sociology at Augustana College. Among his recent books are Citizenship: Discourse, Theory and Transnational Prospects (with Thomas Faist), (2007); Intersecting Inequalities (with Elizabeth Hartung), (2007); Incorporating Diversity (2005); and Multiculturalism in a Global Society (2002). Recent articles have appeared in Acta Sociologica, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. He is currently the editor of The Sociological Quarterly. He is a member of the board of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Migration.

    Anna M. Kleiner, Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Southeastern Louisiana University. She has promoted the use of community-based research methodologies to explore and address the social implications of disasters and the local impacts of the globalization of agriculture and food.

    Tomás Mac Sheoin has been involved in anti-nuclear and anti-toxic campaigns in Ireland and the Bhopal Solidarity Campaign in India. His most recent publication is Asphyxiating Asia (2003).

    Leslie Sklair is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London School of Economics; Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London; and President of the Global Studies Association (UK). Editions of his Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives (2002) have been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Persian, Spanish and Korean with an Arabic edition forthcoming. His study of the Fortune Global 500, The Transnational Capitalist Class, was published in 2001 and Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives in 2002. Papers from his current research project, ‘Iconic Architecture and Capitalist Globalization’, have been published in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2005) and CITY (2006). He has written on globalization and capitalism for several major social science encyclopaedias and is on the editorial boards of Review of International Political Economy, Global Networks and Social Forces.

    Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Global Studies and Director of the Globalism Research Centre at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa. He has served as an academic consultant on globalization for the US State Department and as an advisor to the PBS TV series, ‘Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism’. He is the author of 14 books on globalization, nonviolence and the history of political ideas, including The Rise of the Global Imaginary: Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror (2008); the award-winning Globalism: Market Ideology Meets Terrorism (2005) and the bestselling Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (2003; 2nd ed., 2009).

    Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany. His research interests centre on the transformation of modern societies into knowledge societies and associated developments in different social institutions of modern society (for example, science, politics, the economy and globalization). Among his recent book publications in English are Governing Modern Societies (with Richard Ericson), (2000); The Fragility of Modern Societies: Knowledge and Risk in the Information Age (2001); Knowledge and Economic Conduct: The Social Foundations of the Modern Economy (2002); The Governance of Knowledge (2004); Biotechnology: Between Commerce and Civil Society (2004); Knowledge Politics: Governing the Consequences of Science and Technology (2005); Knowledge (with Reiner Grundmann) (2005); Moral Markets (2008) and Who Owns Knowledge: Knowledge and the Law (with Bernd Weiler) (2008).

    William K. Tabb is currently Professor Emeritus at Queens College and Professor of Economics, Political Science and Sociology at Graduate Center, City University of New York. His books include Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization (2004); Unequal Partners: A Primer on Globalization (2002) and The Amoral Elephant: Globalization and the Struggle for Social Justice in the Twenty-First Century (2001).

    Immanuel Wallerstein is a well-known and distinguished sociologist. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and D. Litt from York University. He held a number of chairs in different universities of the world. His publications in different languages include a great number of books, articles and chapters. He was Professor of Sociology at McGill and Columbia Universities. He was a Visiting Professor at the Alicante, Amsterdam, Chinese, British Columbia, Illinois, Montepellier, Ottawa, and Texas universities. Immanuel Wallerstein is the former president of the International Sociological Association (1994–1998), and chair of the International Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences (1993–1995). He writes in three domains of world-systems analysis: the historical development of the modern world-system; the contemporary crisis of the capitalist world-economy; the structures of knowledge. His books in each of these domains include The Modern World-System (3 vols.); Utopistics, or Historical Choices for the Twenty-first Century; and Unthinking Social Science: The Limits of Nineteenth-Century Paradigms. His recent publications include European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power (2006); Africa: The Politics of Independence And Unity (2005); The Modern World-System in the Longue Durée (2005); The Uncertainties of Knowledge (2004); World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (2004) and The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World (2003).

    Nicola Yeates is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy in the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, England. She edits Global Social Policy, Journal of Public Policy and Social Development. Amongst her books are Globalisation and Social Policy (2001); Globalising Care Economies and Migrant Workers (2009) and Understanding Global Social Policy (2008). She is co-editor (with C. Holden) of The Global Social Policy Reader (2009).

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