The outreach of globalization has reached unprecedented proportions. The 21st century has been marked by epochal changes in the global community that have revolutionized interactions among nations. Now more than ever, the relations among nation-states from across the globe are dually growing in complexity and becoming increasingly intertwined. Globalization, due to its expansive nature in scope, though, poses an insurmountably difficult challenge to produce a specific, yet holistic definition that encompasses the total breadth of this process. In response, scholars from the various fields define globalization subjectively- best equating the term with the matter at hand. Aspects of globalization such as the time it originated and its impacts are all contested issues. While there are some commonalities among definitions, it is apparent that there are a multitude of diverging ideologies. The term globalization is thus fluid; contrasting deviating premises of globalization allows for a richer interpretation of term.
Arguing one of the earliest starting points for the phenomenon of globalization, Abu Lughod in her article “The World System of the Thirteenth Century: Dead-End or Precursor?” presents globalization as an indirect” system of world trade and cultural exchange” dating back to the early thirteenth century. Unlike other definitions that regard globalization as Eurocentric, Lughod believes the origins of globalization to have been spurred by Eastern countries, most notably China. Additionally, unlike present day globalization, this interchange of goods and ideas was not direct, but rather through the indirect trade between three major circuits and eight connective subsectors. In context, Lughod definiti...
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...zation, noticeable disparities arise. Though on the surface, globalization seems like a rather simple concept, when it is dissected into its most integral components, its intricacies are uncovered. Some authors like Lughod hold globalization to be a long standing process, with roots traceable prior to the emergence of Western Capitalism. Others, like Stiglitz, believe globalization is a more recent, Western driven process, best notable in the interactions of global organization as they attempt to spread western ideals. In contrast, authors like Guillen attempt to hold a more neutral stance on globalization, instead trying to combine multiple interpretations of the intricate term. In any case, a prevalent common thread among all authors is that globalization is a powerful force that will continue to shape our interactions as we progress farther into the 21st century.
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