GS03 International Political Economy and Globalisation

Session Code
Session Chairs
Dr. Stéphane Paquin

The Globalization Debate: Twenty years after

Globalization is not a new phenomenon, but its conceptualization in political science is. In 1994, the United States Library of Congress had only 34 entries with the word "globalization". In 2006, the account rose to 5,245, an almost exponential growth. In the New York Times, the word "globalization" was never used in the 1970s and less than once a week on average in the 1980s. From the early 1990s, the word spread to twice a week and in the second half of the 1990s, to more than three times a week.

Since then, globalization has been the subject of intense and often heated debates among researchers from various disciplines, including economics, political science, sociology, history and geography.

In 1999, the late David Held, with Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt and Jonathan Perraton published the seminal book "Global Transformation: Politics, Economics, and Culture," (Polity Press, 1999) which was presented at the time by James Rosenau as the "definitive book on globalization". According to these authors, three schools of thought on globalization can be distinguished: those of "skeptics", "globalists" and "transformationists". What distinguishes schools from each other are their divergent conceptions of globalization, its causes, its novelty, its socio-economic consequences, its impact on states and global governance, and its historical trajectory.

Twenty years later, what is the current state of the debate on globalization? What conclusions can be drawn? Are there still any sceptics? Did the predictions of these different schools come true?

The purpose of the general session is to bring together experts to take stock of the debate on globalization twenty years later.