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Making sense of globalisation

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This paper, originally written as an encyclopaedia survey, considers as globalisation all the consequences of the long-term cheapening of, and expansion of the technical possibilities of -transport and communication; a process more or less uninterrupted since the improvements of navigation in the fifteenth century, though recently much accelerated. It considers five main areas of contemporary discussion: 1. How integrated global markets really are. (Not as much as one might think.) 2. How far globalisation erodes the sovereignty of nation-states, reducing their autonomy in making economic policy. (More for some than for others.) 3. The consequences of globalisation for the distribution of income among the world''s population; both among nations (equalising for good learners, not for others) and within nations (generally unequalising). 4. The problematic growth of a transnational ''world society'' (slow, probably unstoppable, but still a long way from creating a ''world class system'') and international governance (hesitant and more likely to be hegemonic than conciliar). 5. The interaction of national economic, political, military and cultural power, and the possibility and desirability of retaining distinctive national institutions, embodying distinctive national value preferences and cultures. (in the end, as much a matter of neo-liberalism vs. social democracy as of the persistence of Germanness or Japaneseness).

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