In This Review

Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s-1930s
Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s-1930s
By Sebastian Conrad, Dominic Sachsenmaier
Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, 276 pp

Opposition to Western-led globalization did not begin in the 1990s. As this engaging collection of historical essays shows, the early decades of the last century were alive with intellectual debates and transnational political movements responding to Western power and expanding world markets. For many peoples around the world, globalization did not so much mean trade and investment as it did European imperialism and power. The authors focus on a variety of oppositional movements that sprang up out of disenchantment with the modernizing promises of the advanced capitalist world. One was a "subversive internationalism" -- philanthropic organizations, world parliaments of religion, transnational socialist and workers' groups -- that sought to reform the world order from within. Nationalist movements reshaped political identity in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the developing world. And the "pan" movements -- pan-Islamic, pan-Asian, pan-African -- built regional opposition on cultural and ethnic commonalities. The picture that emerges in these essays is not of a grand contest between globalization and national resistance but of protracted struggles over the terms of globalization. The authors do not seek to draw explicit parallels to today's contested globalization, but doing so would result in a rich and evocative discussion.