Global Transformations

About the book

This widely-acclaimed book throws new light on the complex processes that are reshaping the contemporary world. All too often debates about globalization - and about whether it implies the end of the nation-state - have descended into polemics and confusion. Global Transformations overcomes these difficulties. Based on many years of original research, it maps the shape and scope of globalization and provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject, presenting its material in a clear and accessible way.

The volume clarifies the notion of globalization, and places contemporary developments in a historical context. It provides detailed accounts of how the current phase of globalization is transforming modern societies in the areas of politics, economics, culture and communication, migration, environmental issues, law and military affairs. By drawing on a unique collection of data, the historical process of change in each of these spheres is spelt out. Throughout the book the authors bring out the implications of globalization for the sovereignty and autonomy of modern states and for the practices of politics and democracy.

This is the most systematic account available of the process of globalization. It will be illuminating not only to academics and students, but also to policy-makers, managers, and all those interested in the profound transformations affecting societies today.

Global Transformations will prove indispensable for undergraduates studying globalization on politics, sociology, geography, international relations, economics and cultural studies courses.


Global Transformations is the most thorough and wide-reaching account of the global forces that are reshaping our lives. It is a wonderful combination of history, political science and economics that casts new light on the changes we will see in the new century.”
–Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“What a pleasure to read a book about globalization which is comprehensive yet carefully researched, where arguments are laid out precisely and then tested, and where the conclusions actually flow from the evidence. This is easily the best account of what globalization has and has not accomplished to date. It is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the way the world impinges on our lives.”
–Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA

“This is the most exhaustive and thorough survey of globalisation yet attempted, synthesising all the most important data and sources into one volume while adding fresh information and interpretations of the most important phenomenon of our times. An indispensable counterweight to optimists and pessimists alike, Global Transformations will help reframe the debate over globalisation.”
–Will Hutton, Editor-in-Chief, The Observer

“This book on globalization deserves a global reception. There is nothing like it in terms of its theoretical vigour, empirical range, and the multiplicity of dimensions and perspectives it explores.”
–Ulrich Beck, Professor of Sociology, University of Munich

“A most impressive and comprehensive analysis of the complex political, economic and cultural processes shaping and reshaping the world in which we live. The authors critically interrogate the much-abused term globalization and demonstrate, in a highly convincing and eminently readable manner, our need to adopt a far more creative political response to the forces currently transforming society at different scales.”
–Peter Dicken, Professor of Geography, University of Manchester

“The definitive work on globalization.”
–James Rosenau, Professor of International Relations, The George Washington University

“This is the most detailed and analytically impressive treatment of globalization. It is clearly structured, extremely well-written and innovative. The four authors have pooled their expertise to write the definitive survey of the nature of globalization in the contemporary world.”
–Steve Smith, Professor of International Relations, University of Wales

“With its immense empirical scope wedded to consistent conceptual clarity, this is the high water mark of twentieth century globalization analyses.”
–Goran Therborn, Director, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala


  1. The Territorial State and Global Politics.
    1. From Empires to Modern Nation-states.
    2. The Emergence of Global Politics.
    3. Multilayered Governance and the Diffusion of Political Authority.
    4. Historical Forms of Political Globalization: The Transformation of Political Community.
    5. Differential National Enmeshment.
    6. Conclusion: Political Globalization and Structural Impacts.
  2. The Expanding Reach of Organized Violence.
    1. Introduction.
    2. What is Military Globalization?
    3. The Globalization of the War System: Geopolitics and the Evolution of a World Military Order.
    4. A Global Arms Dynamic?
    5. Emerging Forms of Geogovernance: Organized Violence.
    6. Historical Forms of Military Globalization: A Comparison.
    7. Contemporary Patterns of National Enmeshment in the World Military Order.
    8. Contemporary Military Globalization and its Political Consequences.
  3. Global Trade, Global Markets.
    1. Trade and Globalization.
    2. Trade: From Antiquity to the Rise of the Nation-State.
    3. From the Industrial Revolution to the Second World War: The Rise and Fall of World Trade.
    4. The Rise of a Global Trading Order.
    5. Historical Forms of Trade Globalization: The Transformation of Global Trade.
    6. National Enmeshment in the Global Trading System.
    7. The Impact of Global Trade Relations.
    8. Conclusion: State Autonomy and Sovereignty.
  4. Shifting Patterns of Global Finance.
    1. Indicators of Financial Globalization and Financial Enmeshment.
    2. Early Patterns of Global Financial Activity.
    3. The Classical Gold Standard Period: 1870-1914.
    4. The Interwar Years: Global Monetary Disorder.
    5. The Bretton Woods Era: The Reinvention of Global Finance.
    6. The Shape of Contemporary Financial Globalization.
    7. Comparing Historical Forms of Financial Globalization.
    8. Global Finance and National Enmeshment.
    9. Economic Autonomy and Sovereignty in an Era of Global Finance.
    10. Conclusion.
  5. Corporate Power and Global Production Networks.
    1. MNCs and Global Production.
    2. International Business Before the Industrial Revolution.
    3. International Production in the Industrial Age: Multinational Business Expansion 1850-1939.
    4. The Rise of the Multinational Corporation and the Transnationalization of Production.
    5. MNCs and Global Production Networks.
    6. Historical Forms of Business Globalization.
    7. Contemporary Patterns of National Enmeshment in Global Production Networks.
    8. The Globalization of Business: Domestic Impacts.
    9. Conclusion.
  6. People on the Move.
    1. Globalization and Migration.
    2. Historical Forms of Global Migration.
    3. Contemporary Patterns of Migration.
    4. Historical Forms of Global Migration: A Comparison.
    5. Migration and National Enmeshment.
    6. Globalization, Migration and the Nation-state.
    7. Conclusion.
  7. Globalization, Culture and the Fate of Nations.
    1. Analysing Cultural Globalization.
    2. Cultural Globalization in Historical Perspective.
    3. The Shape of Contemporary Cultural Globalization.
    4. Historical Forms of Cultural Globalization: In Sum.
    5. Contemporary Cultural Globalization and its Political Impact.
    6. Conclusion.
  8. Catastrophe in the Making: Globalization and the Environment.
    1. Globalization and the Environment.
    2. Environmental Globalization in Historical Perspective.
    3. Changing Historical Forms of Environmental Globalization.
    4. Stratification of Environmental Degradation and National Enmeshment.
    5. The Contemporary Pattern of Global Environmental Change and its Political Impacts.
    6. Conclusion.

Sample Pages

The Global Transformations Series


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