Theorizing Globalization Author(s): Douglas Kellner Source: Sociological Theory, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Nov., 2002), pp.

285-305 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: Accessed: 13/10/2008 15:07
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

American Sociological Association and American Sociological Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Sociological Theory.

Theorizing Globalization*
DOUGLASKELLNER University of California Los Angeles

I sketch aspects of a critical theory of globalization that will discuss thefundamental transformationsin the world economy,politics, and culture in a dialectical framework that distinguishes between progressive and emancipatory features and oppressive and negative attributes.This requiresarticulations of the contradictionsand ambiguities of globalization and the ways that globalization both is imposedfrom above and yet can be contested and reconfigured from below. I argue that the key to understandingglobalization is theorizingit as at once a product of technological revolutionand the global restructuringof capitalism in which economic, technological, political, and cultural features are intertwined.From this perspective, one should avoid both technological and economic determinismand all one-sided optics of globalization in favor of a view that theorizes globalization as a highly complex, contradictory,and thus ambiguousset of institutions and social relations, as well as one involvingflows of goods, services, ideas, technologies, culturalforms, and people.

Globalization appears to be the buzzword of the 1990s, the primary attractor of books, articles, and heated debate, just as postmodernism was the most fashionable and debated topic of the 1980s. A wide and diverse range of social theorists are arguing that today's world is organized by accelerating globalization, which is strengthening the dominance of a world capitalist economic system, supplanting the primacy of the nation-state with transnational corporations and organizations, and eroding local cultures and traditions through a global culture.' Marxists, world-systems theorists, functionalists, Weberians, and other contemporary theorists are converging on the position that globalization is a distinguishing trend of the present moment. Moreover, advocates of a postmodern break in history argue that developments in transnational capitalism are producing a new global historical configuration of post-Fordism, or postmodernism, as an emergent cultural logic of capitalism (Harvey 1989; Soja 1989; Jameson 1991; Gottdiener 1995). Others define the emergent global economy and culture as a "network society" grounded in new communications and information technology (Castells 1996, 1997, 1998). For others, globalization marks the triumph of capitalism and its market economy.2 Some theorists see the emergence of a new transnational ruling elite and the universalization of consumerism (Sklair 2001), while others stress global fragmentation of "the clash of civilizations" (Huntington 1996). Driving "post" discourses into
*Address correspondence to: Douglas Kellner, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Moore Hall, Mailbox 951521, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521; e-mail: expert editing and editorial queries, I would like to thank Liza Wirtz. Attempts to chart the globalization of capital, decline of the nation-state, and rise of a new global culture include the essays in Featherstone(1990), Giddens (1990), Robertson (1991), King (1991), Bird et al. (1993), Gilroy (1993), Arrighi (1994), Lash and Urry (1994), Grewal and Kaplan (1994), Wark (1994), Featherstone, Lash, and Robertson (1995), Axford (1995), Held (1995), Waters(1995), Hirst and Thompson (1996), Axtmann (1998), Albrow (1996), Cvetkovich and Kellner (1997), Kellner (1998), Friedman (1999), Held et al. (1999), Hardtand Negri (2000), Lechner and Bali (2000), Steger (2002), and Stiglitz (2002). 2See apologists such as Fukuyama(1992) and Friedman(1999), who perceive this process as positive, while others, such as Manderand Goldsmith (1996), Eisenstein (1998), and Robins and Webster(1999) portray it as negative. Sociological Theory20:3 November 2002 ? American Sociological Association. 1307 New York DC 20005-4701 AvenueNW, Washington,

services. see Steger (2002). as well as one involving flows of goods. it is a cover concept for global capitalism and imperialismand is accordingly condemned as anotherform of the imposition of the logic of capital and the marketon ever more regions of the world and spheres of life. From this perspective. culturalforms. freedom. political democratization. it must be groundedin analysis of scientific and technological revolution and the global restructuring of capital.a culturalhomogenization. Finally. For an excellent delineation and critique of academic discourses on globalization. contradictory. For some." 3What appearedat the first stage of academic and populardiscourses of globalization in the 1990s tended to be dichotomized into celebratoryglobophilia and dismissive globophobia.In turn. and cultural features are intertwined. .and thus ambiguous set of institutions and social relations. or it is just an empty buzzword (see Best and Kellner 1997.culturaldiversity."In addition. For others. and culture in a dialectical frameworkthat distinguishes between progressive and emancipatoryfeatures and oppressive and negative attributes. surprises. whereas others view it generatingnew conflicts and new spaces for struggle. economy. technological.thus increasing the hegemony of the "haves" over the "have-nots. I sketch aspects of a critical theory of globalization that will discuss the fundamentaltransformationsin the world economy. and Smith 2000). politics.distinguishingbetween globalization from above and globalization from below (Brecher. See Best and Kellner (2001). and differentin our currentsituation.and upheavals. There was also a tendency on the partof some theoriststo exaggeratethe novelties of globalization. and people (see Appadurai1996).286 THEORY SOCIOLOGICAL novel realms of theory and politics. to properlytheorize postmodernityone must articulate globalization and the roles of technoscience and new technologies in its construction. Its defenders present globalization as beneficial. supplementing the negative view. 2001).g.but that such discourses can be and are easily misused. and political struggle that open the new millennium to an unforeseeable and unpredictable flow of novelties. and the opening to an exciting new world. globalization is one of the most hotly debated issues of the present era. democracy.claiming thatdiscourses of the "post"dramatizewhat is new.I arguein the affirmative.and so on) do or do not help elucidate the phenomenonof globalization.3 Some imagine the globalization project-whether viewed positively or negatively-as inevitable and beyond human control and intervention. how scientific and technological revolution and the global restructuring of understanding are historical of one capitalism creatingunique configurations globalizationhelps perceive the urgency and force of the discourse of the "post. original. Michael Hardtand Antonio Negri (2000) present the emergence of "Empire"as producing fresh forms of sovereignty.This requiresarticulationsof the contradictionsand ambiguities of globalization and the ways that globalization both is imposed from above and yet can be contested and reconfiguredfrom below. increasedwealth. one should avoid both technological and economic determinism and all one-sided optics of globalization in favor of a view that theorizes globalization as a highly complex. ideas.and on the partof others to dismiss these claims by arguingthatglobalizationhas been going on for centuriesand not that much is new and different.and technologies. it is the continuationof modernization and a force of progress. political. Its critics see globalization as harmful. In this study. to have any force. I will raise the question of whether debates centered aroundthe "post" (e.and increaseddestructionof naturalspecies and the environment. Indeed..for example. I arguethat the key to understanding globalization is theorizing it as at once a product of technological revolution and the global restructuringof capitalism in which economic. generating fresh economic opportunities. culture. For the discourse of postmodernity. postmodernism. globalization critics assert that globalization produces an underminingof democracy. Thus.Costello.bringing about increased domination and control by the wealthieroverdevelopednations over the poor underdevelopedcountries.

Technoscience has generated transistors. 1998. as well as the world of modernity. and a new postindustrialsociety. Technological determinists frequentlyuse the discourse of postindustrialor postmodernsociety to describe currentdevelopments. Best and Kellner 2001). however. Held et al.and peoples across national boundaries. one therefore needs to avoid the extremes of technological and economic determinism.4 For other less extravaganttheorists of the technological revolution.and a turbulentmixture of costs and benefits. which is generating a new posthumanspecies and postmodernworld. either fail to observe the fundamental importance of scientific and technological revolution and the new technologies that help spawn globalization or interpretthe process in a technological determinist framework that occludes the economic dimensions of the imperatives and institutionsof capitalism. and people across national boundaries via a global networked society (see Castells 1996. In order to theorize the global network economy. knowledge.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION TECHNOLOGICAL GLOBALIZATION.mass productionand consumption.This postmodernadventureis markedby an implosion of technology and the human. and informationare the axial or organizingprinciples (Bell 1976). In the movement toward postmodernity. integrated circuits.The technological revolutionpresupposesglobal computerizednetworks and the free movement of goods. high-tech communication systems. exchange. characterizedby "flexible production"or post-Fordism. along with the extension of a world capitalist marketsystem that is absorbingever more areas of the world and spheres of production. Kaku 1997. bureaucraticorganization.technological mutations. From this perspective. culture.Baudrillard claims that humanityhas left behind reality and modernconceptions. ideas. 2000. the human species is evolving into a novel. forms of culture.transportation. Many theorists of globalization. REVOLUTION. and exchange is the presuppositionof a globalized economy. globalization involves both capitalist marketsand sets of social relations and flows of commodities. and condition in which technology. AND THE RESTRUCTURINGOF CAPITALISM 287 For critical social which new technologies serve as the demiurge to a new postmodernity(Harvey 1981).This discourse often producesan ideal-type distinctionbetween a previous mode of industrialproduction. Comglobalization by producing a technological infrastructure puterizednetworks. The transmutationsof technology and capital work together to create a new globalized and interconnectedworld. information. 4See Baudrillard(1993) and the analyses in Kellner (1989b.g. increasingly powerful and sophisticated computer chips.characterizedby heavy industry. satellite-communicationsystems. 1999). postindustrialtechnosociety. and social conformity. technology. 1994). 1997. simulation) have permeated every aspect of society and created a new social environment. technology. .. and a technological revolution that provides an infrastructure for the global economy and society (see Gilder 1989. and consumptioninto its orbit. the Internet and global computer networks make possible for the global economy. and the software and hardwarethat link together and facilitate the global economy depend on breakthroughs in microphysics. technologies of information and social reproduction (e. Hence. Such one-sided optics fail to grasp the co-evolution of science. capital. and capitalismand the complex and highly ambiguoussystem of globalization that combines capitalism and democracy. A technological revolution involving the creationof a computerizednetworkof communication. gains and losses. globalization cannot be understoodwithout comprehendingthe scientific and technological revolutions and global restructuringof capital that are the motor and matrixof globalization. For postmoderntheorists such as Jean Baudrillard(1993).

implementation. claiming that Western science and technology were creating a new organization or framework.5Or. where admincommodification. and culture. nature.A positive discourse envisages new technologies as producinga new economy interpretedaffirmatively as fabricatinga fresh wealth of nations. for instance. Stoll 1995.forms. globalization provides empowering excluded peropportunitiesfor small business and individual entrepreneurs.communication. 5See Kelly (1994.ratherthan seeing the complex new configurationsof economy. Germanphilosopher and Nazi supporterMartin Heidegger talked of the "complete Europeanisationof the earth and man" (Heidegger 1971:15).and lived communities (Borgmann 1994. capitalcreatesa homogeneousworldcultureof commercialization. istration. and domination (Robins and Webster 1999). 1999.and other social benefits. other people. ratherthan seeing the restructuring process and the enormous changes and transformationsthat scientific and technological revolution are producing in the networked economy and society.. a large numberof technophobiccritics have arguedthat new technologies and global cyberspaceconstitute a realm of alienationand reification in which humansare alienated from our bodies. Defenders of capitalism.288 THEORY SOCIOLOGICAL There are positive and negative models of technological determinism. More recently. Shenk 1997. and cultureand the attendantforces of domination and resistance. Virilio 1998). new sons and social groups.surveillance. French Gestell (or "enframing"). . Theorists such as Kevin Kelly. 1999. Technophiles claim that technologies also make possible increased democratization. contextualize the structuring.and use of new technologies in the context of the vicissitudes of contemporarycapitalism. theorist Jacques Ellul (1964) depicted a totalitarianexpansion of technology-what he called la technique-imposing its logic on ever more domains of life and humanpractices. which he called that was encompassing ever more realms of experience.globalizationis merely a continuationof previous social tendencies-that is.The ideologues of the information society act as if technology were an autonomousforce and either neglect to theorize the co-evolution of capital and technology or use the advancementsof technology to legitimate marketcapitalism(i.e. a negative version of technological determinismportrays the new world system as constitutedby a monolithic or homogenizing technological system of domination. In additionto technologically deterministand reductivepostindustrialaccounts of globalization." perceivedas a highly creativeformof capitalismthatgoes beyond its previous contradictions. education. polity. some critical theorists depict globalization as the triumphof a globalized hegemony of marketcapitalism. like Bill Gates (1995. In the same vein. Gates 1995. On this affirmativeview. thus generatinga utopia of social progress. portrayglobalizationprimarilyas the imposition of the logic of capital on the world economy.think that humanityhas entered a postcapitalistsociety that constitutes an original and innovative stage of history and economy at which previous categories do not apply. through technological of theorists conceive globalization simply as a process of the imposition of the logic of capital and neoliberalismon variouspartsof the world. Capital-logic theorists. technology. often engaging in economic determinism. 1998) and the critique in Best and Kellner (1999). culture.tradition. there are economic deterministdiscourses that view it primarilyas the continuaA largenumber revolution. and limitations. Few legitimating theories of the information and technological revolution. entertainment. thanits restructuring rather tionof capitalism. Friedman1999). Slouka 1995. defenders of the "new economy" imagine computer and informationtechnologies producing a "friction-free capitalism. By contrast. polity. however. Gilder 1989. the executive editor of Wired. 1999). by contrast. Fromthese economistic perspectives. the logic of capital and dominationby corporateand commercial interests of the world economy and culture.

and everyday life. The term "technocapitalism" is useful to describethe synthesis of capitaland technology in the presentorganization of society (Kellner 1989a). Hence. Unlike theories of postmodernity(e. and individual freedom (Fukuyama 1992. as well as other cultural. and one-sided. therefore. many currenttheories of globalization do not capturethe novelty and ambiguityof the present moment. marking"theend of political economy" (p.however.The postindustrialsociety is sometimesreferredto as the "knowledgesociety" or "information society.Dominant discourses of globalization are thus one-sidedly for or against globalization. Some poststructuralist theories that stress the complexity of globalization exaggerate the disjunctionsand autonomousflows of capital. culture. a criticaltheoryof globalizationgroundsglobalizationin a theoryof capitalistrestructuring and technological consumption. both positive and negative versions of economic and technological determinismexist.6Workersremainexploited by capitalists. either failing to see the interactionbetween techof capitalism or failing to nological features of globalization and the global restructuring articulatethe complex relations between capitalism and democracy. Baudrillard's)or the knowledge and informationsociety. I am trying to mediate the economic determinismin some neo-Marxianand other theories of globalization and the technological determinismfound in Baudrillardand others. .an economic determinism and reductionismthat merely depicts globalization as the continuationof marketcapitalism fails to comprehendthe emergent forms and modes of capitalism itself.the market and its logic come to triumphover public goods.democracy. and that the theories of Daniel Bell and otherpostindustrialtheorists are thus not as ideological and far off the mark as many of his critics on the left once argued. and goods. culture.g. Yet the term "technocapitalism" points to a new config6In his extreme postmodernstage. Thus. upsides and downsides. the concept of technocapitalismpoints to both the increasingly importantrole of technology and the enduring primacy of capitalist relations of production. In particular. and capitalpersistsas the hegemonicforce-more so thanever afterthe collapse of communism. undialectical. Most theories of globalization. technological determinismfails to note how the new technologies and new economy are partof a global restructuring of capitalismand are not autonomous forces that themselves are engendering a new society and economy that breaks with the previous mode of social organization.with the turntowardneoliberalismas a hegemonic ideology and practice. one should theorize the information or knowledge "revolution" as part and parcel of a new form of technocapitalismmarkedby a synthesis of capital and technology. and it is impossible to theorize globalization without talking about the restructuringof capitalism. Friedman 1999). technology.whoever wants to talk about capitalism must talk about globalization."in which knowlroles thanin earlierdays (see the survey edge and informationare given more predominant and critique in Webster 1995). Hence. Baudrillard(1993) arguedthat "simulation"had replacedproductionas the organizingprincipleof contemporarysocieties. Moreover. which are based on novel developments in science. it would be difficult to deny that contemporary societies are still organizedaroundproductionand capital accumulationand that capitalist imperatives continue to dominate production. See the critique in Kellner (1989b). technology. which involves both innovative forms of technology and economy and emergent conflicts and problems generatedby the contradictionsof globalization. 955). To paraphraseMax Horkheimer.are reductive. which often arguethat technology is the new organizing principle of society.. In general. of the process. It is now obvious that the knowledge and information sectors are increasingly important domains of our contemporarymoment. Likewise. distribution. In order to avoid the technological determinismand idealism of many forms of this theory. and political domains. failing to grasp the contradictionsand the conflicting costs and benefits. In an era of unrestrainedcapitalism.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 289 present globalization as the triumphof free markets. and the state is subservient to economic imperativesand logic. people.

290 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY urationof capitalist society in which technical and scientific knowledge. Kellner 1989a). The disclosure of powerful anti-Western terrorist networks shows that globalization divides the world as it unifies. THE CONTRADICTIONSOF GLOBALIZATION The terroristacts on the United States on September 11 and the subsequent TerrorWar dramaticallydisclose the downsides of globalization-the ways that global flows of technology."in both its fascist and "democratic"state capitalist forms. The emergenceof innovativeforms of technology. and informationtechnology and multimedia play a role in the process of productionanalogous to the function of human labor-power. And it affirms and promotes globalization's progressive features (such as the Internet. and culture.mechanizationof the labor process. and machines in an earlierera of capitalism.The notion of technocapitalism attemptsto avoid technological or economic determinismby guiding theorists to perceive the interactionof capital and technology in the present moment. culture.The events disclose explosive contradictions and conflicts at the heart of . goods. the emergent postindustrialform of technocapitalismis characterizedby a decline of the state and the increased power of the market. critical theorists confront the challenge of theorizing the emergent forms of technocapitalismand novelties of the present era constructedby syntheses of technology and capital in the formationof a new stage of global capitalism. Today.and economy marks a situationparallelto that confrontedby the Frankfurtschool in the 1930s. and people can have destructiveas well as productive effects. and the culture industries and mass culture that served as new modes of social control.undermining of Yet theories racy. This process is generating novel modes of societal organization.ideas. Globalizationis also constitutedby a complex interconnectionbetween capitalism and democracythatinvolves positive and negative featuresand both empowers and disempowandyet creatingpotentialfor fresh types of democers individualsand groups. termsof political economy.which.and polity. information. powerful forms of ideology and domination. politics. or positive. as I documentbelow. that it produces enemies as it incorporates participants. however. as bringing a wealth of products.the rise of giant corporationsand cartels and the capitalist state in " and novel configurationsof culture and everyday life.were forced to theorize the new configurationsbrought about by the transitionfrom market to state-monopoly capitalism (Bronner and Kellner 1989. many globalization present it as either primarilynegative. as the responses to the terrorattacks of September 11 document. In their now classic texts. but it also recognizes the centrality of the phenomenon in the present age. These German theorists. A critical theory is sharplycritical of globalization'soppressive effects and skepticalof legitimating ideological discourse.ideologies.accompaniedby the growing power of globalized transnational corporationsand governmentalbodies and the declining power of the nation-stateand its institutions-which remain.just as its restructuring In urationsof a networkedglobal economy. culture. as well as increasing the power of capital). I would advocate development of a critical theory of globalization that would dialectically appraise its positive and negative features. and modes of struggle. Capital is genis producingnovel configeratinginnovative forms of technology. while noting contradictions and ambiguities.Hence. the Frankfurtschool analyzed:the emergent forms of social and economic organization. and economic opportunitiesto a global arena. a disaster for the human species. makes possible a reconstructionof educationand more democratic polity. who left Nazi Germany.forms of culture and everyday life. computerization and automationof labor. conflicts. extremely importantplayers in the global economy.

as terroristsfrom the Middle East broughtlocal grievances from their region to attackkey symbols of Americanpower and the very infrastructure of New York. and political conflicts and upheaval that put the complex dynamics of globalization at the center of contemporarytheory and politics. Consequently. The events of September 11 also provide a test case to evaluate various theories of globalization and the contemporaryera.7 The experience of September11 points to the objective ambiguityof globalization:that positive and negative sides are interconnected.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 291 globalization and the fact that the technologies of information. Once again. the abhorrentterroracts by Osama bin Laden's network and the violent militaryresponse to the al-Qaedaterroristacts by the Bush Administrationmay be an anomalous paroxysm.communication. ambiguities. policing. the interconnectionand interdependency of the networkedworld was dramaticallydemonstrated.the U. In addition.For my theorizing of war and militarism. and general increase in fear and anxiety have certainly underminedthe naive optimism of globaphiles who perceived globalization as a purely positive instrument of progress and well-being. wealth and poverty.militarism. intensificationof local and global political conflicts. and state repression will be superseded by more rationalforms of politics that globalize and criminalize terrorismand that do not sacrifice the benefits of the open society and economy in the name of security. see Kellner (2002. and culturaland social exchange. while I would conceive it as part of the objective ambiguity of globalization that simultaneously creates friends and enemies. as the new millennium has exploded into dangerousconflicts and interventions. in the frameworkof this paper. forthcoming). the events of September 11 have promoteda fury of reflection." economy. The use of powerful technologies as weapons of destruction also discloses current asymmetries of power and emergent forms of terrorismand war.I want to arguethatin orderto properlytheorize globalization. To those skeptical of the centrality of globalization to contemporaryexperience.In particular. they highlight some of the contradictions of globalization and the need to develop a highly complex and dialectical model to captureits conflicts. In any case. however. PatriotAct has led to repressive measures that are replacing the spaces of the open and free informationsociety with new forms of surveillance. Yet the events of September 11 may open a new era of TerrorWar that will lead to the kind of apocalyptic futuristworld depicted by cyberpunkfiction (see Kellner forthcoming). Some saw terrorismas an expression of the dark side of globalization. repressionof humanrights and civil liberties. . free trade. and repression. theoretical debates. perilous instabilities have emerged that have elicited policing measuresto stem the flow of movements of people and goods both across borders and internally. one needs to conceptualize several sets of contradictionsgeneratedby globalization'scombinationof technological revolution and restructuringof capital. and Yet the downturningof the global growing divisions between the "haves"and "have-nots. whereby a highly regressive premodernIslamic fundamentalism has clashed with an old-fashioned patriarchaland unilateralistWild West militarism.that the institutions of the open society unlock the possibilities of destruction and violence as well as those of democracy. to generate instrumentsof destructionas well as production. It could be that such forms of terrorism. Ultimately. it is now clear that we are living in a global world that is highly interconnectedand vulnerable to passions and crises that can cross bordersand can affect anyone or any region at any time. and contradictoryeffects.S. which in turn generates tensions 71 am not theorize the alarmingexpansion of war and militarismin the post-September 11 environment.As technologies of mass destruction become more available and dispersed.and transportationthat facilitate globalization can also be used to undermineand attack it.

caught up in his own Lexus high-consumption lifestyle. while Barber demonstrates contradictions and tensions between capitalism and democracy within the New World (Dis)Order.The formersymbolizes modernization. or the reasons why many parts of the world so strongly resist globalization and the West. he does not grasp the virulence of the premodernand Jihadist tendencies that he blithely identifies with the Olive Tree. Benjamin Barber(1996) describes the strife between McWorldand Jihad. Thus. the latter source goes too far toward stressing heterogeneity.thusencouraginghybridity. globalization involves the proliferationof the logic of a la Fukuyama. technological rationality.Sometimes globalizing forces promote democracy and sometimes they inhibit it. Likewise. Thomas Friedman(1999) makes a more benign distinctionbetween whathe calls the Lexus and the Olive Tree. investing. see Kellner (1999a.and politics.andWesternized consumption. however. and effects. both equating capitalism and democracy and simply opposing them are problematic. even as democracy spreadsand more political regions and spaces of everyday life are being contested by democraticdemands and forces. Consequently. (1997) argue. In an ode to globalization. as well as different products.affluence andluxury.292 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY between capitalism and democracy and "haves"and "have-nots.organization. .as well as the antidemocraticanimus of Jihad. although he postulates a dialectical interpenetrating of both forces and sees both as opposed to democracy.Americanizedtendencies of the global economy andculturewith traditionalcultures. commercialized. downplaying the cultural power of McDonald's as a force of a homogenizing globalization and Westerncorporatelogic and system. 2003).contrastingthe homogenizing."Within the world economy. Barber'smodel oversimplifies present world divisions and conflicts and does not adequately present the contradictionswithin the West or the "Jihad"world.and control. The processes of globalization are highly turbulentand have generated new conflicts throughoutthe world. predictability. globalized culture makes possible unique appropriationsand developments Every which suggests that both poles of capitalist luxury and premodernroots are parts of the globalization process.These tensions are especially evident. but circulates processes of what he calls "McDonaldization" that involve a production/consumptionmodel of efficiency.difference.andhybridtendencies.unlike Thomas Friedman'sharmonizingduality of TheLexus and the Olive (1999). McDonald's has various culturalmeanings in diverse local contexts. noting serious conflicts and opponents.On the other hand. it is importantto present globalization as a strange amalgam of both homogenizingforces of samenessand uniformityand heterogeneity.calculability. failing to perceive the depth of the oppressive features of globalization and the breadthand extent of resistanceand opposition to it. as I will argue. Friedmanassumes the dual victory of capitalism and democracy. However.the lattersymbolizes roots. as Watson et al. In particular. and the diffusion of technology (see Friedman 1999. tradition. as well as a contradictorymixtureof democratizingand antidemocratizing in which a globalized On the one hand. But the overall process is contradictory. Friedman(1999) is too uncriticalof globalization. Hence. Hardtand Negri 2000). globalization unfolds a process of standardization mass culturecirculatesthe globe. His book does.which areoften resistantto globalization.and heterogeneityto proliferate. McDonald's imposes not only a similar cuisine all over the world. ity. point to problemsand limitationsof globalization. Globalizationis thus a contradictoryamalgamof capitalism and democracyin which the logic of capital and the marketsystem enter ever more arenas of global life.difference.8 "Forexample. Yet. creatingsameness and homogeneity everywhere. as Ritzer (1996) argues.he fails to articulate contradictions between capitalism and democracy and the ways that globalization and its economic logic underminedemocracyas well as the domainof the Internet and the expansion of new realms of technologically mediated communication. and stable community. information. but also the spreadof democracy in information.

diversity."Hardtand Negri stress political openings and possibilities of strugglewithin Empirein an optimistic and buoyanttext thatenvisages progressivedemocratizationand self-valorization in the turbulentprocess of the restructuring of capital.9Combining poststructuralism with "autonomousMarxism. radical democracy. new technologies and media. and the end of traditional politics (Boggs 2000).by in many discourses. Graspingthat globalization embodies these contradictorytendencies at once-that it can be a force of both homogenization and heterogeneity-is crucial to articulatingthe contradictionsof globalization and avoiding one-sided and reductive conceptions. While on one level globalization significantly increases the supremacyof big corporationsand big government. it can also give power to groups and individuals who were previously left out of the democratic dialogue and terrain of political struggle. and resistance. movements. and everyday life forces social movements to reconsider their political strategies and goals and democratictheory to appraisehow new technologies do and do not promotedemocratization(Kellner 1997.and variety (Luke and Luke 2000). IMF.Hardtand Negri (2000) presentcontradictionswithin and an assortmentof struggles globalization in terms of an imperializinglogic of "Empire" by the "multitude.often mystifying and obscuringthe object of analysis. My intention is to present globalization as conflictual. . and ecology. 1999b). The same problem is evident. in an earlier decade's provocative and post-Marxisttext by Laclau and Mouffe (1985). sovereignty. I am also not as confident as are they that the "multitude" replaces traditionalconcepts of the working class and other moder political subjects. and actors. I believe. political struggle.As in my conception. contradictory. While I would agree that globalization is promotedby tremendouslypow9While I find Empirean extremely impressive and massively productivetext. and certain transnationalcorporationsand that are for positive values such as social justice. Many theorists. thus encouragingdifference. not just as a monolithicjuggernaut of progress or domination. In their magisterialbook Empire.Nor am I clear on exactly what forms their Barbarians. a distinctionthat should help us to get a bettersense of how globalization does or does not promote democratization.they frequentlyfavor the latter. The role of new technologies in social movements. labor and human rights. social justice. "Globalizationfrom below" refers to the ways in which marginalizedindividuals and social movements resist globalization and/or use its institutionsand instrumentsto further democratizationand social justice. and otherpositive attributes. the decline of the nation-state.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 293 and reworking of global productsand signilocal context involves its own appropriation fiers. While Hardtand Negri using the word "Empire" discourse derived from (2000) combine categories of Marxism and critical social theory with poststructuralist Foucault and Deleuze and Guattari. and I find their emphasis on nomads. This goal is advancedby distinguishing between "globalizationfrom below" and the "globalizationfrom above" of corporatecapitalism and the capitalist state.have arguedthatone of the trendsof globalizationis depoliticization of publics. Indeed.Such potentiallypositive effects of globalizationinclude increasedaccess to educationfor individualsexcluded from entryto cultureand knowledge and the possible opportunityfor oppositional individuals and groups to participate in global culture and politics throughaccess to global communicationand media networksand to circulatelocal struggles and oppositional ideas through these media. I am not sure what is gained by ratherthan the concepts of global capital and political economy. and emergent modes of power. expandedjudicial and legal modes of governance. Hardt and Negri present globalization as a complex process that involves a multidimensionalmixtureof productionand effects of the global economy and capitalistmarket system. "New and the poor as replacementcategories problematical.the movementsagainstcapitalistglobalizationthatI would endorse are those that oppose oppressive institutionsof capitalist globalization such as the WTO." creatinga contradictoryand tension-filled situation. who valorized new social movements." poststructuralist politics would take. and a postsocialist politics without providing many concrete examples or proposals for struggle in the present conjuncture. otherness.and open to resistance and democraticinterventionand transformation.

which creates openings for progressive social change and intervention.a criticaltheoryof globalizationreproachesthose engaging that while are aspects seizing upon opportunitiesto fight dominationand exploioppressive tation and to promote democratization. so I criticize theorizing globalization in binaryterms as primarily"good" or "bad. and new forms of struggle and solidarity emerged that have been expanding to the present day (Hardt and Negri 2000. see the studies in Mander and Goldsmith (1996). ratherthanjust denouncing globalization or in celebration and legitimation. who claim that globalization promotesdemocratization. and a backlash against globalization is visible everywhere. Nor do concerns for social justice."While critics of globalization simply see it as the reproductionof capitalism. I do not want to say that one is good and the other is bad in relationto democracy. there have been a significant eruption of forces and subcultures of resistance that have attempted to preserve specific forms of culture and society against globalization and homogenization and to create alternative forces of society and culture. and participatorydemocracy play a role in his book. dissident not perceive how is up to individuals and groups to find openings for political interventionand social transformation. its founderand managingdirectorpresenteda warningentitled "StartTakingthe Backlash Against GlobalizationSeriously. multiple. Against capitalist globalization from above. As the following analysis will suggest. new nongovernmentalorganizations (NGOs). and open to contestation than was previously the case. oppositional forces can gain concessions. I would also argue that there are openings and possibilities for a globalization from below that inflects globalization for positive and progressive ends. and a varietyof othergroupsand Friedman. I provide examples below from several domains. a tremendousrestructuring process. equality. Friedmandoes not engage the role of new social movements. "On resistance by labor to globalization. Politicians who once championedtradeagreementslike the GeneralAgreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are now At the 1996 annualDavos WorldEconomic Forum.12One should take such reports am thus trying to mediate in this paper between those who claim that globalization simply undermines I01 democracyand those. Most dramatically. The present conjuncture.peasant and guerrillamovements in Latin America. see Moody (1997).294 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY erful economic forces and that it often underminesdemocraticmovements and decisionmaking. Zyuganov was ."Reports surfaced that majorrepresentativesof the capitalist system expressed fear that capitalism was getting too mean and predatory. '2Friedman(1999:267ff) notes that George Soros was the star of Davos in 1995. In a more fluid and open economic and political system. and effect progressive changes.but that the next year Russian CommunistParty leader GennadiA. often quiet about these arrangements.Likewise. capitalistcorporationsand global forces might very well promote democratizationin many arenas of the world. society. and globalization from below might promote special interestsor reactionarygoals. is marked by a conflict between growing centralizationand organizationof power and wealth in the hands of the few and opposing processes exhibiting a fragmentationof power that is more plural."' Several dozen people's organizationsfrom aroundthe world have protestedWorldTrade Organization(WTO) policies.and that the welfare state might make a come-back (see New YorkTimes 1996:A15). when the triumphof global capital was being celebrated.that it needs a kinder and gentler state to ensure order and harmony. Thus. thus exhibiting resistance and globalization from below.justice.I should also note that in distinguishingbetween globalization from above and globalization from below. and that globalization can thus help promote as well as underminedemocracy.I would suggest. or the "have-nots"in promoting democratization. and culture. Foran forthcoming). During the 1970s. stuthe world. and environmentalists throughout ments have resisted capitalist globalization and attacks on previous rights and benefits.As Friedmanshows. and a progressive reconstructionof the polity. win victories. labor unions. new social movements.10 Globalization involves both a disorganizationand reorganizationof capitalism. both tendencies are observable. Burbach 2001. on resistance by environmentalistsand other social movements. such as Friedman(1999). its champions.

see Best and Kellner (1991. the globalizers were attemptingto keep economies growing in the more developed countries and capital flowing to developing nations. U. South African PresidentNelson Mandelaasked: "Is globalization only for the powerful? Does it offer nothing to the men.the personal. . a numberof theoristshave arguedthatthe proliferationof difference and the move to more local discourses and practices define the contemporaryscene. focuses on differpostmodernism. 1997.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 295 with the proverbialgrain of salt. Hence. 13Such positions are associated with the postmoderntheories of Foucault. the situation of many developing countrieshas worsened. and that it is thereforea mistake to reject focus on one side in favor of exclusive concern with the other (Cvetkovich and Kellner 1997). as was the wave of crises in Asian. In a world frightened by glaring imbalances and the weakness of economies from Indonesia to Russia. THE GLOBALMOVEMENTAGAINST CAPITALISTGLOBALIZATION No clear answer emerged to Mandela's question as the new millennium opened. Lyotard. This requires analysis of how local forces mediate the global. race. the "main theme" is to "spread the wealth. an important challenge for a critical theory of globalization is to think through the relationships between the global and the local by observing how global forces influence and even structurean increasingnumberof local situations. otherness. 2001) and the valorization and critique of postmodernpolitics in Hardtand Negri (2000) and Burbach(2001). Yet as part of the backlash against globalization over the past years. In particular. It can be arguedthat such dichotomies as those between the global and the local express contradictionsand tensions between crucial constitutiveforces of the presentmoment. Latin American. theory and politics should shift from the level of globalizationand its accompanying. Vice PresidentAl Gore called on all countriesto spureconomic growth. On these theorists and postmoder politics.and Rorty and have been taken up by a wide range of feminists. a broad spectrumof subculturesof resistance have focused their attentionon the local level. sexual preference.An arrayof theories associated with poststructuralism. the particular. the particular.and others. inflecting global forces to diverse ends and conditions and producing unique configurations of the local and the global as the matrix for thought and action in the contemporaryworld (see Luke and Luke 2000). many people operate with binary concepts of the a majormedia focus when unrestrained globalization was being questioned.Friedmandoes not point out that this was a result of a growing recognition that divisions between "haves"and "have-nots"were becoming too scandalous and that predatorycapitalism was becoming too brutaland ferocious.the heterogeneous.13 Likewise. by 1999. and youth subculture."The growing divisions between rich and poor were worrying some globalizers. women and children who are ravaged by the violence of poverty?" (ibid.and the microlevel of everyday experience. and other developing countries. In this view.S.). but they do express fissures and openings in the system for critical discourse and intervention. and with the global economic recession and the TerrorWareruptingin 2001. multiculturalists. macrodimensionsin orderto focus on the local. the theme of the annual Davos conference centered around making globalization work for poor countriesand minimizing the differences between the "haves" and the "have-nots. marginality.and the concrete over more general theory and politics thataim at more global or universalconditions. the talk is no longer of a new world economy getting strongerbut of ways to 'keep the engine going' " (p.often totalizing.feminism. and multiculturalism ence. Indeed. the specific. organizing struggles aroundidentity issues such as gender. However.In James Flanigan'sreportin the Los Angeles Times(Flanigan 1999).S.-led initiative to eliminate the debt burdensof developing countries. A13). and he proposed a new U. Globalizationis thus necessarily complex and challenging to both critical theories and radical democratic politics.

documentationof the Furthermore.many of whom had never met and had been recruitedthroughthe Internet. The Seattle protests had some immediate consequences.the Internet provided pictures. Bush's site with satiricaland critical material. "Disparategroups from the Direct Action Network to the AFL-CIO to various environmentaland human rights groups have organized rallies and protests online. it is the mix that matters.andothergroupsorganizedto protest aspects of globalization and form new alliances and solidarities for future struggles." featuring the incidents of anarchist violence against property while minimizing police violence against demonstrators. and reports of police brutality and the generally peaceful and nonviolent nature of the protests. allowing for a global reach that would have been unthinkablejust five years ago.winning the wrathof the Bush campaign). and presenteda diversity of critical perspectives.For globalists. Importantly. feminist. see Hawkens (2000) and Klein (2000).and numerousmailing lists used the Internet to distributecritical materialand to organize the protest. and debate over the WTO and globalization. In addition. and provincialism are the problems. backwardness. While the mainstreammedia framedthe protestsnegatively and privileged suspect spokespeople such as PatrickBuchanan as critics of globalization.and whetherglobal or local solutions are most fitting depends on the conditions in the distinctive context that one is addressingand the specific solutions and policies being proposed. using the Internetto organize resistance to the WTO and capitalist globalization while championing Seattle. anticapitalist. http://gatt. Behind these actions lay a global protest movement. and anothergroup producedan anti-WTOWeb site that replicatedthe look of the official site (see RTMark'sWeb site. In addition. This resulted in the mobilization of caravansfrom all over the United States to take protestors. while the organizersdemandedthat the protestersagree not to engage in violent action. For compelling accounts of the anti-WTOdemonstrationsin Seattle and an acute analysis of the issues involved. Bill Clinton gave a speech endorsing the concept of labor rights enforceable by trade sanctions. Less simplistically.however.protestsoccurredthroughoutthe world.296 THEORY SOCIOLOGICAL global and the local and promoteone or the other side of the equationas the solution to the world'sproblems. There were also significant numbersof internationalparticipantsin Seattle.advancedreflective discussion of the WTO and globalization. thus effectively making impossible any agreement and consensus during the Seattle meetings. . globalization is the problem and localization is the solution.'4 the Internetprovidedcritical coverage of the event.therewas much discussion of how concessions on labor and the environmentwere necessary if consensus over globthe issue of overcoming divisions alization and free tradewere to be possible. various groups' protests. In addition. Many Web sites contained anti-WTOmaterial. eyewitness accounts. globalizationis the solution and underdevelopment. the Internetprovided multiple representationsof the demonstrations.the same group produced a replica of George W.anarchist. 14As a December 1 ABC News story titled "NetworkedProtests"put it. the Internetcan be used to promote capitalist globalization or struggles against between the information-richand poor and improving the lot of the disenfranchisedand oppressed-bringing the benefits of globalization to these groups-were also seriously discussed at the meeting and in the media. For the WorldEconomic Forumin Davos a monthlater. one Web site urgedWTO protestersto help tie up the WTO's Web servers. which exhibited labor.environmentalist. and a proliferationof materialagainstthe extremely secret WTO spreadthroughoutthe Internet. The day after the demonstrators made good on their promise to shut down the WTO negotiations. One of the more instructiveexamples of the use of the Internetto foster movements against the excesses of corporatecapitalism occurredin the protests in Seattle and throughoutthe world against the WorldTradeOrganization(WTO) meeting in December 1999. For localists." As early as March.animalrights.activists were hitting the news groups and list-serves-strings of e-mail messages people use as a kind of long-term chat-to organize protests and rallies. Whereas the mainstream media presented the protests as "antitrade.

democratization.the anticapitalistglobalization movement began advocating common values and visions. Stung by criticisms. developing networksof solidarityand propagatingoppositional ideas and movements throughoutthe planet. nationalcultures. whereas the mainstreammedia failed to vigorously debate or even report on globalization until the eruptionof a vigorous antiglobalizationmovement and rarely. was linking togetherdiverse movements into global solidaritynetworks. there is now a widely circulatingcritical discourse and controversyover these institutions.was increasinglyglobal. to protestthe World Bank and the InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF).unitingdiverse opponentsof capitalistglobalizationthroughout the world. but opposed neoliberal and capitalist globalization. civil liberties and humanrights. the WorldBank.highlighting their limitations and deficiencies and the need for reforms such as debt relief for overburdeneddeveloping countriesto solve some of their fiscal and social problems.DC against that a new worldwide capitalistglobalizationand for peace andjustice. The new movements against capitalist globalization have placed the issues of global justice and environmentaldestruction squarely in the center of importantpolitical concerns of our time.many activists were energizedby the new alliances. and it was apparent movementwas in the making. In April 2001. and a sustainable environmentalism. and globalization in the interests of people. labor. not profit. Steger 2002). Opposing the capitalistinternationalof transnational corporate-led globalization.and was using the Internetand instrumentsof globalization to advance its struggles.and militancy and continued to cultivate an antiglobalizationmovement. many opponents of capitalist globalization recognized the need for a global movement to have a positive vision and to stand for such things as social justice. like the social justice movement. In particular. Opposing capital's globalization from above. Moreover. equality. and later in the year against capitalist globalization in Prague and Melbourne. and pressures are mounting concerning proper and improperroles for the major global institutions. cyberactivists have thus been promoting globalization from below.laborrights. growing divisions among the social classes. an extremely large and militant protesteruptedagainst the Free TradeArea of the Americas summitin Quebec City. however. solidarities. The emerging antiglobalization-from-abovemovements are contextualizing these problems in the framework of a restructuringof capitalism on a worldwide basis for maximum profit with zero accountability and have made clear the need for democratization. rejecting specific policies and institutions that produce intensified exploitation of labor.if ever.The anticorporate globalizationmovementfavoredglobalizationfrom below. and Smith 2000. and in summer 2001 a large demonstrationtook place in Genoa. critically discussed the activities of the WTO. which would protectthe environment. Initially.regulation. and began referringto itself in positive terms.Accordingly. environmental devastation. a surprisinglylarge demonstrationtook place in Washington.and other goods from the ravages of uncontrolledcapitalist globalization (Brecher.the incipientantiglobalization The movementitself.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 297 More significantly. Hence. The Seattle demonstrationswere followed by struggles in April 2000 in Washington. The events made clear that protestors were not against globalization per se. Costello. representativesof the World Bank in particularare pledging reform. and the IMF. In May 2002. and the underminingof democracy.DC.the movement against capitalist globalization used the Internetto organize mass demonstrationsand to disseminate information to the world concerning the policies of the institutions of capitalist globalization. a Fifth International-to use Waterman's (1992) phrase-of computer-mediatedactivism is emerging that is qualitatively different from . rules. movementwas precisely that-antiglobalization.

to terrorism. the Tamil Tigers. Of course. A14) reports that groups like Hamas use their Web site to post reports of acts of terroragainst Israel. Burbach2001. and free e-mail service. Moreover. and other anticapitalist groups. peace. andWeb sites to furthertheirstruggles-causes includingHezbollahand Hamas.extremistWebsites have influencedalientrial. ated middle-classyouth as well (a 1999 HBO documentary on Hate on the Internetprovides a disturbingnumberof examples of how extremistWeb sites influenced disaffected youth to commit hate crimes).These organizationsare hardlyharmless.the ideas of Guy Debord and the Situationist Internationalare especially relevant. ecological. a refocusing of politics on everyday life.Pakistani and Indian computer hackers have waged similar cyberbattles against the Web sites of opposing forces in the bloody struggle over Kashmir.having carried out terrorismof various sorts from church burningsto the bombings of public buildings. one can easily access an exotic witch's brew of Web sites maintainedby the Ku Klux Klan and myriad neo-Nazi assemblages. providing the basis for a new politics of alliance and solidarity to overcome the limitations of postmodernidentity politics (see Dyer-Witheford1999. For instance. In a short time.fax campaigns. Internetdiscussion lists also disperse these views. and a variety of other groups throughoutAsia and elsewhere. public-access television programs. with their stress on the constructionof situations. the use of technology." There have been widespreaddiscussions of how bin Laden's al-Qaeda networkused the Internetto plan the September 11 terroristattacks on the United States. the Maoist group Shining Path in Peru. how the group communicatedwith each other. Best and Kellner 2001). and parliament. According to the Times. offers position papers. a liberation movement in Sri Lanka. and even rock-musicproductions. The examples in this section suggest how technopolitics makes possible a refiguringof politics. media of communication. video. which has resulted in widespreadunemploymentin traditionalforms of indusandunskilledlabor.Moreover. got funds and purchased airline tickets via the Internet. listserves.and used flight simulations to practice their hijacking. A wide range of groups labeled as "terrorist" reportedlyuse e-mail. An article in the Los Angeles Times (2001:A1. In the contemporaryera.298 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY the party-basedsocialist and communistinternationals. the Internet can thus be used for a diversity of political projectsand goals rangingfrom education. different political groups are engaging in cyberwar as an adjunct to their political battles.agricultural. foreign ministry. business. ratherthan calling newspapersor broadcastingoutlets.Such networkinglinks labor.and culturalforms to promote a revolution of everyday life and . while pro-Palestinehackers have reportedlyplaced militant demands and slogans on the Web sites of Israel's army. these groups have successfully recruitedworking-class members devastatedby the developments of global capitalism. Adopting quasi-Leninist discourse and tactics for ultrarightcauses. and right-wingextremistsare aggressively active on many computerforums as well as radio programsand stations. and the use of the tools and techniquesof new computerand communicationtechnology to expand the field and domain of politics. including the Aryan Nation and various militia groups. Israeli hackers have repeatedly attacked the Web sites of Hezbollah. a recent twist in the saga of technopolitics seems to be that allegedly "terrorist" groups are now increasinglyusing the Internetand Web sites to promote their causes. to political organizationand debate.experts are still unclearabout "whetherthe ability to communicateonline worldwide is promptingan increase or a decrease in terroristacts. daily news.feminist. In this conjuncture. right-wing and reactionaryforces have used the Internetto promote their political agendas as well.while rebel forces in the Philippines have taunted government troops with cell phone calls and messages and have attacked government Web sites.

and dominationyet to be clearly perceived and theorized. community. Rather.whereverthereis globalizationfromabove-globalization as the imposition of capitalistlogic-there can be resistanceand struggle. as it was in the classical theories of Milton Friedmanor more recently in FrancisFukuyama. and more democracy and freedom worldwide. and Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers (1983) and many others argue that contradictionsbetween capitalism and democracy are defining features of U. parliaments.The possibilities of globalization from below result from transnationalalliances between groups fighting for better wages and working conditions. to paraphrase Foucault.and other sites of past struggle.The political battles of the futuremay well be fought in the streets. on the new forms of the interactiveconsumer should see that globalization unleashes conflicts between capitalism and democracyand. In a certain sense. polity and history. On a global terrain. but it is often a revolution that promotes and disseminates the capitalist consumer society and involves new modes of fetishism. puttingnationaland even transnationalpressure for reform upon major corporations. And and empowerment. forthcoming).Nor should globalization be depicted solely as the triumphof capital. Robert McChesney (1995 and 1997). the new technologies are revolutionaryand do constitutea revolutionof everyday life. and others have articulatedthe contradictionsbetween capitalism and democracy in the media and public sphere. . Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis (1986) and Aronowitz and Giroux (1986) have analyzed the conflicts between corporate logic and democracy in schooling.S. the phenomena of globalization replicates the history of the United States and most so-called capitalist democracies in which tension between capitalism and democracyhas been the defining featureof the conflicts of the past 200 years. while critical pedagogues have the responsibility of teaching students the skills that will enable them to participatein the politics and struggles of the present and future.and the broadcastingmedia and the Internethave often called attention to oppressive and destructivecorporatepolicies on the local level. and center to promotetheir own agendas and interests. and democratictransformation.see Best and Kellner (1997: chap.Moreover. In analyzing the development of education in the United States. creates new openings for struggle. 1992. CONCLUDINGCOMMENTS The Internetis thus a contested terrain.resistance. see Best and Kellner (2001). In addition. environmentalprotection. proliferating media and the Internetmake possible a greatercirculationof struggles and new alliances and solidarities that can connect resistantforces that oppose capitalist and corporate-state elite forms of globalization from above (Dyer-Witheford1999). enslavement. '5On the importance of the ideas of Debord and the Situationist Internationalto make sense of the present conjuncture. but politics is already mediated by broadcast. or what they call "Empire.15 To some extent. 2001. in its restructuring processes. factories.Hardtand Negri (2000) have stressed the openings and possibilities for democratictransformativestruggle within globalization. Those interested in the politics and culture of the future should therefore be clear on the importantrole of the new public spheres and intervene accordingly.and informationtechnologies and will increasinglybe so in the future." I that similar can be made in which is not conceived argue arguments globalization merely as the triumphof capitalism and democracy working together.used by left. myself (Kellner 1990.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 299 to increase the realm of freedom. 3).a renewed emphasis on local and grassroots movements has put dominant economic forces on the defensive in their own backyards. social and political justice. as in many despairing antiglobalization theories. right.

. global cosmopolitanism. subjectivities. althoughManuel Castells (1996. by refusing to link his analyses with the problematicof the postmodern."could be usefully employed to analyze the contradictionsof globalization (Marx and Engels 1978:469ff). the consequences of which the contemporaryera continues to suffer. arguing. technology. most progressive force in history for Marx and Engels. 2001). in his writings on British imperialism in India that British colonialism was a greatproductiveand progressiveforce in India at the same time as it was highly destructive(Marx and Engels 1978:653ff). Theorizing globalization dialectically and critically requiresthat we analyze both continuities and discontinuities with the past. A similar dialectical and critical model can be used today that articulatesthe progressive elements of globalization in conjunction with its more oppressive features. Yet one should be careful in using postmoderndiscourse to avoid the mystifying elements.Hence. calling attentionto topics and phenomenathat requirenovel theorizationand intense critical thought and inquiry.I believe that the discourse of the postmodernis useful in dramatizingthe changes and novelties of the mode of globalization.which involves mutationsin theory.while sublating (Aufhebung) the positive features. philosophy. With due respect to their excellent work. science. As I have arguedin this study. Moreover. society. analysis global restructuring of the that is revolution and of analysis scientific-technological part parcel it (see Best and Kellner 1997.300 THEORY SOCIOLOGICAL I would also suggest that the model of Marx and Engels. the economy. 2001). From the historicalmaterialistoptic.a dialectical and transdisciplinary model is necessary to capture the complexity and multidimensionalityof globalization today.16 Consequently. capitalism was interpretedas the greatest.society.culture. I believe that no two theorists or books exhaustthe problematicof the postmodern. 1998) does the most detailed analysis of new technologies and the rise of what he calls a networkedsociety. Marx deployed a similar dialectical and historical model in his later analyses of imperialism. for instance. specifying what is a continuationof past histories and what is new and original in the present moment. The discourse of the postmodernin relationto analysis of contemporary cultureand society is just of capitalismand unless it is rooted in of the signals emphaticallythe shifts and rupturesin our era-the novelties and originalities-and dramatizesthe mutationsin culture.articulatingthe interplayof these elements and avoiding any form of determinismor reductivism.the term"globalization"is often used as a code word that stands for a tremendousdiversity of issues and problemsand serves as a front for a variety of theoretical and political positions. however. To elucidate the latter. condemning a large part of the race to alienated labor and regions of the world to colonialist exploitation and generatingconflicts between classes and nations.althoughthere is admittedlya lot of mystification in the discourse of the postmodern. politics. as deployed in the "Communist Manifesto. 1997. destroyinga backwardnessand provincialismin favor of feudalism. a critical globalizationtheory can inflect the discourse to 16Castellsclaims that Harvey (1989) and Lash (1990) say about as much about the postmodernas needs to be said (Castells 1996:26ff). one that brings together in theorizing globalization.he cuts himself off from theoreticalresources that enable theorists to articulatethe novelties of the presentthatare uniqueand differentfrom the previousmode of social organization.and theory that Castells and other theorists of globalization or the information society gloss over. authoritarian patriarchy. and constant revolutionizing of the forces of production. a point made in the books just noted as well as in Hardtand Negri (2000). While it can function as a legitimating ideology to cover and sanitize ugly realities. The concept of the postmoderncan signal that which is fresh and original. retrograde a market society. polity. and culture. and almost every other domain of experience and is thus inexhaustible (Best and Kellner 1997.Yet capitalismwas also presentedin the Marxiantheory as a majordisasterfor the humanrace. deploying the categories of negation and critique.

However. In relationto education. there is utopianpotential in the new technologies. gender. and democratic self-determination against forms of global domination and subordination. resistance. Although the latest surveys of the digital divide indicate that the key indicatorsare class and educationand not race and gender.While the term can both describe and legitimate capitalist transnationalismand supranationalgovernmentinstitutions. as the extreme right fears. This would require. helping to overcome the so-called digital divide and divisions of the "haves"and "have-nots"as well as teaching information literacy to provide the skills necessary to participate in the emerging cybersociety (see Kellner 2000).makingcomputersa significant force of democratization of educationand society will nonethelessrequiresignificantinvest- . something like a Marshall Plan for the developing world. Although it has its problems and limitations. and poverty. A progressive reconstructionof education that is done in the interests of democratization would demand access to new technologies for all. Expandingdemocraticand multicultural reconstructionof educationforces thus educatorsand citizens to confront the challenge of the digital divide."just as there are class. Other beneficial openings include the opportunityfor greater democratization. regions. illiteracy. as well as the possibilFurthermore. of course. the Internetenables individuals to participate in discussions and to circulatetheir ideas and work in ways that were previously closed off to many excluded groups and individuals. as I suggest above. hybridity. and culture within the modern corporate order. A new generationof wireless communicationcould enable areas of the world that do not even have electricity to participate in the communication and informationrevolution of the emergent global era. and forms for their own purposes. Moreover. the spreadand distributionof informationand communication technology signifies the possibility of openings of opportunitiesfor research and interaction not previously accessible to students who did not have the privilege of access to major research libraries or institutions.technologies. In view of the different concepts and functions of globalization discourse. and race divisions in every sphere of the existing constellations of society and culture. and new possibilities within the global economy that provide entry to members of races. or. increased education and health care. there are also positive possibilities. media.THEORIZINGGLOBALIZATION 301 point precisely to these deplorablephenomenaand can elucidate a series of contemporary problems and conflicts. which would necessitate help with disseminating technologies that would also address problems of world hunger. ity for increased domination and the hegemony of capital. in which there are divisions between informationand technology "haves"and "have-nots. and classes previously excluded from mainstreameconomics. While the first generation of computerswere large mainframesystems controlled by big governmentand big business. it is importantto note that the concept of globalization is a theoreticalconstruct that varies according to the assumptionsand commitmentsof the theory in question. disease. Globalization should thus be seen as a contested terrain.with opposing forces attempting to use its institutions. later generations of personal computers and networks have created a more decentralized situation in which ever more individuals own their own computersand use them for their own projects and goals. politics. Seeing the term as a construct helps rob it of its force of nature as a sign of an inexorable triumphof marketforces and the hegemony of capital. a critical theory of globalization does not buy into ideological valorizationsand affirms difference. the Internetmakes available more informationand knowledge to more people than any previous institution in history. of a rapidly encroaching world government.There are certainly negative aspects to globalization that strengthen elite economic and political forces over and against the underlyingpopulation.

Aronowitz. Globalization in European Context. Appadurai. more recent studies by Stanford University. 17"Digitaldivide' has emerged as the buzz word for perceived divisions between information technology "haves"and "have-nots"in the currenteconomy and society.302 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY ment and programsto assure that everyone receives the training. Barrie. 1998. England:Verso. colonize the public sphere. In this situation. Cambridge. and Henry Giroux. health care. welfare. and that something needs to be done about the problem. ACNielson. Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. and New York:Macmillan and Guilford. 2000). Bell. 1983. A U. England:Cassells. claiming that it was outdated. and New York:Verso. The Coming of Post-IndustrialSociety. and Douglas Kellner.England:Polity Press. 1995." that this is a majorchallenge to developing an egalitarianand democraticsociety. to use the new technologies to discuss what kinds of society people today want. 1994. Thus. Symbolic Exchange and Death. and new crises. 1996. In this optic. and control globalization. 1997.Arjun. 1996. MN: University of MinnesotaPress. Changes in the economy. London. the new technologies might exacerbateexisting inequalities in the currentclass.London. in opposition to the globalization from above of corporatecapitalism. Rather. Martin. England:Sage.race. This involves. minimally. Axford. 1976. My contributioninvolves the argumentthat empowering the "have-nots"requiresthe dissemination of new literacies. Aronson. developing an oppositional technopolitics in the new public spheres will become more and more important(see Kellner 1995a.London. England. and social life demand a constant reconceptualizationof politics and social change in the light of globalization and the technological revolution. A critique of the data involved in the report emerged. and pedagogies. and the Clinton Administrationand media picked up on this theme (U. Daniel. and to oppose the society against which people resist and struggle. REFERENCES Albrow.England:Polity Press. Best. it is clear that thereis a gaping division between information-technology"haves"and "have-nots. Arrighi. 1993. politics. London. The Global Age. Departmentof Commerce. globalization generates new conflicts. 1991.literacies. But one cannot expect that generous corporationsand a beneficent state are going to make available to citizens the bounties and benefits of the globalized new informationeconomy. London. NTIA 1999).'7 Hence. which can be seen in part as resistance to capitalist logic.S. Giovanni. and regional configurationsof power and give the majorcorporate forces powerful new tools to advance their interests. Roland. For as the new technologies become ever more central to every domain of everyday life. . The Global System. New York:Bergin and Garvey. The Long TwentiethCenturv. and benefits from the state and a struggle to create a more democraticand egalitariansociety. I would advocate a globalization from below.democratic.S. thus empowering groups and individuals previously excluded from economic opportunitiesand sociopolitical participation(see Kellner 2000). ed. one which supportsindividualsand groups using the new technologies to create a more multicultural. and the Forester Institute claim that education and class are more significant factorsthan race in constructingthe divide (see Cyberatlasfor a collection of reportsand statistics on the divide). Ronald.Jean. Cheskin Research. Minneapolis. The Dialectics of Disaster. and tools necessary to properlyfunction in a high-tech global economy and culture. Baudrillard. politics. gender. Of course. new struggles. Steven. Cambridge. a critical theory of globalization presents globalization as a productof capitalism and democracy. is up to individuals and groups to promote democratizationand progressive social change. demands for more education. Axtmann. In the light of the neoliberal projects to dismantle the welfare is up to people of good will to devise strategiesto use the new technologies to promotedemocratizationand social justice. In any case. Stanley. England. Modernityat Large. requiringnew thinking as a response to ever-changinghistorical conditions.egalitarian. 1985. Departmentof Commercereportreleased in July 1999 claimed that the digital divide is dramaticallyescalating in relation to race. it is up to citizens and activists to create new public spheres. and ecological world. New York:Basic Books. Education Under a set of forces imposed from above in conjunctionwith resistance from below.

. Postmodern Semiotics. 1989. London. The Black Atlantic: Modernityand Double Consciousness. Forthcoming. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuitsof Strugglein High-Technology Dyer-Witheford. Global Modernities. Castells.England:Polity Press. and Culture.Francis. 2000. 1983. ed. .com/big-picture/demographics. Cambridge.1998. Global Culture: Nationalism. London.London.New York:Viking. "Kevin Kelly's Complexity Theory: The Politics and Ideology of Self-Organizing Systems. Drew. Holding onto Reality. England:Zed Books. Manuel. Featherstone. Eisenstein. David. Cohen. Bowles. Articulatingthe Global and the Local: Globalizationand Cultural Studies. The TechnologicalSociety. dissertation. On Democracy. Palo Alto. The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Gilroy. Empire. 1998.and Tim Costello. Inderpal.MA: HarvardUniversity Press. Ann. Mike. 1990. eds. England: Sage. New York:Knopf. London. 3. CA: Stanford University Press. Flanigan.Albert. . England: Sage. Oxford. Brecher. . Consequences of Modernity. and New York:Routledge and Guilford Press. 1990. 1999. Fukuyama. 1995.Oxford.Jeremy.1999.Mike.D. 1992. Los Angeles Times. and Douglas Kellner. pp. CO: Westview Press. Samuel.eds. Chicago. England. Gilder. Mapping the Futures:Local Cultures. The Future of Revolutions: RethinkingRadical Change in the Age of Globalization. "NorthAmerican NGO Networking Against NAFTA: The Use of ComputerCommunicationsin Cross-BorderCoalition Building. The Condition of Postmodernity. Bronner. 1995. Jeremy. Capitalism. Jesse. Boulder. End of Millennium. Burbach." Organizationand Environment12:141-62. The Postmodern Turn.Vol.London.Cambridge.Cambridge.February19. Society. Carl. Labor Organizations. Harvey. Gottdiener. Boston. . Tim Putnam. BarryCurtis.1997. England:Blackwell. Boggs. Telecosm. 1-24. England: Blackwell. Cyberatlas. Stephen Eric. and HerbertGintis."XVII International Congress of the LatinAmerican Studies Association. New York:Free Press. Paul. IL: University of Chicago Press. Cambridge.THEORIZING GLOBALIZATION 303 1997. 1994. 1997. 1994. 1995. TheInformation Age: Economy. The End of Politics. London. Chicago. New York:FarrarStraus Giroux. 1986. MA: South End Press. Hardt. and the Lure of Cyberfantasy. 1996. University of Texas. George. England:Pluto Press. 1964.eds. 2001. London. Ellul. 1993. Jon. . Friedman. Globalizationfrom Below. and New York:Routledge and Guilford Press. Joshua.and Lisa Tickner.S. New York: Routledge.Tim Costello. Howard. Roger.Society. 1999. Featherstone.1999.2000. 1. ed. New York:Simon and Schuster. and Joel Rogers. 1994. MN: University of Minnesota Press. Global Obscenities: Patriarchy. England:Blackwell. . Business@the Speed of Thought. 1998. New York:Penguin. Bird. Cvetkovich. Capitalism. Anthony. England:Blackwell. and Douglas Kellner. Boston. New York:Guilford Press. 1989.http://cyberatlas. Oxford. MA: South End Press. England. 2001. Oxford. Across the PostmodernDivide. 1999. Bill. Zillah.and Caren Kaplan. and Antonio Negri. IL: University of Illinois Press. Minneapolis. Borgmann. John. Global Village or Global Pillage: Economic Reconstruction from the Bottom Up. . 2. The Rise of the Network Society. The InformationAge: Economy. Vol. eds. Microcosm.Global Change. 1989. and Modernity. Nick. ScatteredHegemonies: Postmodernityand TransnationalFeminist Practices. 2000.Urbana and Chicago.Thomas. and Culture. 1994. Society. Globalization. Jacques. New York:Basic Books. The End of History and the Last Man.Vol. The PostmodernAdventure. 1999. The InformationAge: Economy.New York:Simon and Schuster. New York:Viking. Grewal. "Global Communicationsin the Post-Industrial Age: A Study of the CommunicationsStrategies of U. Fredericks. and Culture. Globalization and Postmodern Politics: From Zapatistas to High-TechRobber Barons."Ph. Brecher. England.MA: HarvardUniversity Press. On Democracy. and Brendan Smith.Michael. Critical Theory and Society: A Reader.New York: New York University Press. The Power of Identity.Mark. and Roland Robertson.interet. Gates. Foran.MA: Blackwell. James. and New York:Routledge. 2000. The Road Ahead. Scott Lash. IL: University of Chicago Press. Giddens. 1993.

Media Culture. London. Latouche. Hirst. Moody.NC: Duke University Press. 1994. Paul. 1996. 2000.New York:Viking. 1992. San Francisco. . Telecommunications. An Injuryto One.gseis. Malden.shtml.MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Grand Theft2000. London. and GrahameThompson.Samuel. Palo Alto. Cambridge.S. .cgi ?url=http://past.. Globalization. "Werethe DC and Seattle ProtestsUnfocused. Democracy and the Global Order.Paul. 0710klein. Kim. Cambridge. London. CA: Sierra Club Books. Social Systems. Oxford. 1988.England: Polity Press. and the New Barbarism. 1990. Norton. England:Basil Blackwell. 1997. Held.New York:Anchor Books. 1978. Boulder." Educational Theory 48:103-22. Huntington.England:Polity Press. 1 kell. London. "Intellectuals.New York:Harperand Row. 1995b. and Modernity. The Question Concerning Technology. and the World-System: Representationof Identity. Postmodernism. CA: StanfordUniversity Press.NY: SUNY Art Department. 186-206 in Resisting McDonaldization. "September 11. Televisionand the Crisis of Democracy. Culture. W." Pp. 2002. Jean Baudrillard:A Critical Reader. The Westernization of the World. The Case Against the Global Economy. 1997. Michio. 2000. "Intellectualsand New Technologies.304 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY Hawkens. CA: StanfordUniversity Press. 1996. Scott. Forthcoming.thenation. Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernismand Beyond.England: Polity Press. Kelly."Angelaki 4:101-13." New Political Science 24(1):57-72. "New Technologies/New Literacies:ReconstructingEducationfor the New Millennium. Fredric. Culture. London.1999. CO: Westview Press.htm. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remakingof WorldOrder.and Society 17:201-17. 2001. .the New Public Spheres. 1990. The Persian Gulf TV War. Baltimore. CorporateMedia and the Threatto Democracy.Cambridge. Mander.or the CulturalLogic of Late Capitalism. 1996. 1999b. 1985.London. England. New Political Science 41-42:169-88. UK: Blackwell. Scott. July 10. England:Verso. http://past. England:Polity Press. . Palo Alto. 275-98 in Globalization and Education. Visions: How Science WillRevolutionizethe 21st Century. and Democracy: TheBattlefor the Controlof U. 2000.London and New York:Routledge. or Are Critics Missing the Point?"TheNation online. ContemporaryConditionsfor the King. Sociology of Postmodernism. "Multiple Literacies and Critical Pedagogy in a Multicultural Society.and EdwardGoldsmith. Globalization in Question. Jameson. CO: Westview Press. McChesney." Pp." Media. Palo Alto.New York:Simon and Schuster. Broadcasting. Allan. TheMarx-EngelsReader. Mass Media. and New York:Routledge.Boulder. 1994.. CamHeld. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press."WhatReally Happenedat the Battleof Seattle. Global 1995. England:Verso. bridge. "Theorizing McDonaldization: A Multiperspectivist Approach.Jerry. and JonathanPerraton. ed." Available online at http:// www. Durham. and New York:Routledge. Kevin."Teaching Education 11:245-65.cfm. 1995. Luke. Anthony D. "PostmodernWarin the Age of Bush II. 2003. and New York:Routledge.ed. and John Urry. 1998. New York:Addison Wesley. England:Sage. Critical Theory. Lechner. 1989a. and Carmen Luke. Heidegger. . and Chantel Mouffe.andTechnopolitics.Binghamton. 1991.purefood. CA: Stanford University Press.New York: W. Terror War. David. England. New Rulesfor the New Economy. 2d ed.and FrederickEngels.England:Polity Press. 1971. 1999a. England. New Yorkand Oxford: Oxford University Press. Karl. . Edited by RobertC. Media Spectacle. London: Sage Publications.2000. Economies of Signs and Space. Klein." and the Economic World. Martin.Cambridge.England:Polity Press. "A Situated Perspective on Cultural Globalization. MA and Oxford. 1991.edited by BarrySmart. Naomi. The Globalization Reader. David Goldblatt.Cambridge. "Globalizationfrom Below? Towarda Radical DemocraticTechnopolitics. Lanham. 1994. Anthony McGrew. Emesto.FrankJ. and John Boli. New York:Seven Stories Press."http://www. Marxism. Serge. edited by Nicholas Burbules and Carlos Torres.1997. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines.ucla. 1995a. Douglas. Laclau.1989b. Marx. Kellner. .thenation. 1928-1935. Lash. Tucker. 1996. Lash. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towarda Radical Democratic Politics.Robert.

Frank. U. New York:Doubleday. and FrankWebster. Paul. Globalization.S. 1991. Slouka. Edward. 1995. ThousandOaks. MA. Polyani. 1996. David. Postmodern Geographies. Cambridge:Blackwell. Globalism: The New MarketIdeology. Wark." New Left Review 225:52-72. England:Blackwell Publishers. The Virilio Reader. LabourCommunicationby Computer:The Fifth International?" CA: Pine Forge Press. Instituteof Social Studies. England:Routledge. England. 1997. MA: Beacon Press. Roland..doc. Data Smog: Survivingthe InformationGlut. Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughtson the InformationHighway.and New York:Routledge. and Oxford. "Towardsan InternationalSocial-Movement Unionism. 1999. Steger. 1989.ntia. Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia.THEORIZING GLOBALIZATION 305 .New York:Harperand Row.Peter. Soja. 1995. 2001. 1998. Robins. Lanham. London. The Hague. Watson.1997. National Telecommunicationsand InformationAdministration(NTIA). Edited by James Der Derian. England:Verso. [1944] 1957. Virtual Geography:Living with Global Media Events. "International Working Paper Series 129. London. The Great Transformation. and New York:Routledge.1999.James L. Stoll. Palo Alto. 1992. 1995. CA: StanfordUniversity Press. Karl. Bloomington and Indianapolis."http://www. 1995. New York:Norton. Timesof the Technoculture. 1997. 2002. Boston. Clifford. George. Sklair. Virilio. England:Sage. London.Malcolm. The McDonaldization of Society.2002. Mark. Ritzer.MD: Rowman and Littlefield. IN: IndianaUniversity Press. . 1994. London.England. Leslie. Kevin.McKenzie. Malden. ed.html (last accessed 29 June 2002). Waters. Stiglitz. Globalization. Departmentof Commerce. Manfred. Theories of the InformationSociety. The TransnationalCapitalist Class. Webster. Warof the Worlds. Robertson. New York:HarperCollins. "FallingThroughthe Net: Defining the Digital Divide. Joseph E. London. Shenk. Globalization and Its Discontents.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful