Globalization has been the "buzzword" in international political and academic discourse since the 1990s. It is used as a general descriptor of a world in which borders are becoming less and less important, while transnational flows of capital and goods, but also of ideas and people, cultural norms and values, crime, war, and viruses are increasing.
If globalization's dynamics are to be fully understood, a reasonable critique is to be formulated, and realistic political proposals to meet the challenges of globalization are to be developed, this complex phenomenon must be dissected. Challenges of Globalization brings together prominent authors of different national backgrounds. They look beyond the buzzword to provide a genuinely "global" view of globalization. The editors' introduction provides a "roadmap" through the globalization debate and shows the connections between the different aspects covered in detail in the various contributions.
This volume deals with two major issues: first, the economic, societal, ecological, and political consequences of globalization, including--but also going beyond--the identification of globalization's "winners and losers" worldwide; and second, solutions that have emerged from the current political debate to cope with the various challenges. These include the creation of new global governance structures, fostering a "global civil society" that might enhance the democratic legitimacy of global governance, and strategies to be implemented at national and regional levels, allowing states to adapt in ways that make liberalization compatible with development in poor countries and enable the rescue of the welfare state in rich countries.
Challenges of Globalization serves as a multi-dimensional and accessible introduction to the globalization debate, and will be of particular interest to academics, policymakers, and international agencies.
Alfred Pfaller was managing editor of the International Politics and Society journal from 1994 to 2003. He is currently project-manager for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Bucharest, Romania.
Marika Lerch is a political scientist and a member of the International Policy Analysis Unit of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. She is currently managing editor of International Politics and Society.