The Third wave in globalization theory
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
This essay examines a proposition made in the literature that there are three waves in globalization theory—the globalist, skeptical, and postskeptical or transformational waves—and argues that this division requires a new look. The essay is a critique of the third of these waves and its relationship with the second wave. Contributors to the third wave not only defend the idea of globalization from criticism by the skeptics but also try to construct a more complex and qualified theory of globalization than provided by first-wave accounts. The argument made here is that third-wave authors come to conclusions that try to defend globalization yet include qualifications that in practice reaffirm skeptical claims. This feature of the literature has been overlooked in debates and the aim of this essay is to revisit the literature and identify as well as discuss this problem. Such a presentation has political implications. Third wavers propose globalist cosmopolitan democracy when the substance of their arguments does more in practice to bolster the skeptical view of politics based on inequality and conflict, nation-states and regional blocs, and alliances of common interest or ideology rather than cosmopolitan global structures.
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