Anthony Giddens and Leslie Sklair
Globalisation is a fervidly contested and often
misunderstood concept. It has occupied and divided economists, sociologists
and anti-capitalists alike. Anti-globalisation protestors have regularly
and successfully picketed World Trade Organisation summits as part
of their stand against the might of globalisation. Yet, many economists
tout the benefits of increased trade, sophisticated telecommunications
networks and cross-border investment to developing countries, pointing
to the gains workers and unions throughout the world stand to make
from closer integration.
Most people seem to know whether
they are for or against globalisation, without pausing to consider what
exactly it is and where its effects can be seen. Globalisation might
be a term too slippery to be closely defined, but it is a vibrant debate
worth engaging in.
In this seminar
two major sociologists put forward their versions of globalisation.
For Anthony Giddens, it is a phenomenon characterised by fundamental
changes in the world economy, the communications revolution and trade
between nation-states in physical commodities, information and currency.
For Leslie Sklair, globalisation should be seen as a new phase of capitalism,
one that transcends the unit of the nation-state. In an interview, he
introduces the globalisation debate and stakes out his position within
the arenas in which globalisation is visible and in which it makes
the relationship between globalisation and inequality in the developed
and the developing world.
and describe the role of government in managing the forces of globalisation.
the factors which support the argument that globalisation is a new
phase of capitalism.
and contrast Anthony Giddens' and Leslie Sklair's definition of and
approach to globalisation.
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