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6 - Excavating the Long History of Globalization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 2019

Manfred B. Steger
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Paul James
Affiliation:
Western Sydney University
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Summary

How long is the history of globalization? Most scholars would now agree that the sense of living in a world-space—a space conceived of as global—existed centuries before modern science projected a planet moving around the sun in the relative blackness of space. Different senses of the global go back much further than most casual commentators would allow. Certainly, they go back before the common myth that it was Copernicus who first argued that an erstwhile flat Earth should be understood as a planet. Hence, as we have begun to outline in earlier chapters, the processes of globalization through which the world-as-known became global need to be defined in terms of the historically variable ways in which they have been practiced and socially lived. This chapter questions earlier forms of periodization of globalization and sets out to map the dominant forms of globalization across world history from its earliest embodied beginnings as human settlement stretched across the planet to the relativizing upheaval of the present when globalization is now associated with a Great Unsettling.

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Globalization Matters
Engaging the Global in Unsettled Times
, pp. 137 - 163
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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