In This Review

On the Cutting Edge of Globalization: An Inquiry Into American Elites
On the Cutting Edge of Globalization: An Inquiry Into American Elites
By James N. Rosenau, David C. Earnest, Yale H. Ferguson, and Ol
Rowman & Littlefield, 2005, 216 pp

Globalization has been pushed forward by a diverse set of elites -- public officials, corporate executives, technologists, academics, activists, artists, and others -- who frequently cross national borders. This novel empirical study explores the beliefs of these "cutting-edgers." Sifting through the data from surveys conducted in 1999 and 2003 of several thousand elites (unfortunately drawn only from the United States), the authors present a detailed portrait of individuals at the vanguard of globalization. Cutting-edgers are slightly different from traditional American elites: more mobile, more wired, and more networked. But surprisingly, their political orientations are no more liberal, and their identities no more cosmopolitan, than other leaders'. The vanguard and traditional elites also tend to have similar views on the virtues of globalization, although cutting-edgers appear to be more sensitive to the plight of the weak and the poor abroad. Cutting-edgers are internationalist but tend not to see themselves as global citizens or one-worlders. If anything, the elites in this study appear to be most committed to their professional community. Struggling to find a bottom line, the authors conclude, "Globalization is a composite of diverse boundary-spanning ideas and activities, and so it doesn't lend itself to a single story or big picture." So it seems.