In This Review

Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture

Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture
By David Held, Anthony G. Mcgrew, David Goldblatt and Jonathan
540 pp, Stanford University Press, 1999

The best study yet on globalization. The authors provide a sensible conceptual framework to gauge the great social, economic, political, and technological forces that are reshaping global relationships. Manifested through greater international interconnectedness, globalization is driven by many factors and takes many forms -- which the authors neatly envisage in various developmental pathways. The future will surely be more globalized than today, but the authors admit that this in itself says very little. They instead break globalization down into parts and investigate the empirical record; chapters on violence, trade, finance, multinational business, and culture all provide a rich panorama of contemporary global change. The book concludes that globalization is best seen not as a linear process with a predetermined destination but as a broad historical shift marked by dramatic reversals and contradictions. For its part, state power is more a source than a victim of this phenomenon; politics made globalization possible and will shape its future as well. The book is less helpful in explaining the political reactions to globalization -- resistance, backlash, accommodation -- that will shape its future course.