Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Held and McGrew’s theoretical approach to the study of globalisation

| December 23, 2014

Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Held and McGrew’s theoretical approach to the study of globalisation

Order Description

A.    Module Aims and Learning Outcomes

To analyse the main theoretical and empirical debates associated with the globalization of world politics.

Students successfully completing this module will:
a) have demonstrated a sound understanding of the key debates    over globalisation;
b) be able to analyse the complex of historical and political forces that underpin globalisation;
c) have demonstrated an understanding of certain key issues pertaining to the evolution of the global political system and development of global governance.

D. Guide to the Reading
Much of the reading for this module is in the form of articles and book chapters, many of which will be available electronically. Our subject librarian is Claire

Grover. Please consult Blackboard Learn for updated information regarding readings for each specific week.
To help with developing a general appreciation or overview of the topic I would recommend that you read at least one of the following:
1.    David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds.), The Global  Transformations Reader, 2nd edition, Polity Press, 2003. A valuable collection of readings that follows the

basic structure of Held & McGrew (1999) below.
2.    David Held and Anthony McGrew, Global Transformations, Polity, 1999. This very influential book seeks to provide a systematic scheme for analysing trends in

the development of the many dimensions of globalisation across space and time.
3.    Nick Bisley, Rethinking Globalization, Macmillan, 2007. (This book has the advantage of standing back from what has been a fast-moving debate in order to

review and evaluate many of the key claims and positions to date. It will help you navigate through the wider debates.
4.    Robert J. Holton, Making Globalization, Macmillan, 2005
5.    Ankie Hoogvelt, Globalization and the Postcolonial World, 2ed., Palgrave 2001. Combines concise theoretical discussion with a concern for the implications of

globalisation beyond the advanced industrial world. Accessible and refreshing.
6.    Frank J. Lechner and John Boli (eds.), The Globalization Reader, 2nd edition, Blackwell, 2004. Similar to the above if not quite as relevant for a Politics

7.    David Held & Anthony McGrew (eds), Globalization Theory: Approaches and Controversies, Polity, 2007. A valuable recent re-examination of the debates with

contributions by key authors.
8.    Darren J. O’Byrne & Alexander Hensby, Theorising Global Studies, Palgrave, 2011 (ISBN 978-0-230-51732-5). A book which draws on works in Sociology as much if

not more than from Politics.
9.    Also, note Robertson & White, 2003, Critical Concepts in Sociology: Globalisation, Routledge, 2003. (This is a 6 volume collection of papers – too expensive to

buy but available in the library).

Topic List

1. Understanding Globalisation
Seminar Question: How should we understand globalisation? 4

(For your thinking on this question I would like you to pay special attention to the historical dimension of the subject, what you think are the underlying drivers and

dynamics of globalisation, the role of power and ideas in the development of globalisation; and what are the key political issues that globalisation generates).

Key readings for seminar

David Held, Anthony McGrew et al., ‘Rethinking Globalization’, in The Global Transformations Reader, 2 ed., 2004, pp. 67-74. This is an extract from Held, McGrew et

al., Global Transformations, 1999 which is their primary work on this topic.
Allan Cochrane & Kathy Pain, pages 15-30 of ‘A Globalizing Society’, in David Held (ed.), A Globalizing World? Culture, Economics and Politics, 2004.
(These pieces are representative of what is probably the most widely used conceptualisation of globalisation in International Relations/Political Science)
2. Arjun Appadurai, ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Theory, Culture and Society, 1990, (7: 295).

(This piece is an intellectually challenging but highly rewarding exploration of the disjunctures between the different rhythms or dynamics of the globalising process

and the disharmony that this fosters)


Chapter 2 (When did Globalization Begin?) of Robert J. Holton, Making Globalization, 2005
Chapter 2 (Globalization Past and Present) of Nick Bisley, Rethinking Globalization, 2007
(These pieces offer valuable historical context and insights into the development of globalization over time).

Supplementary Reading

O’Byrne & Hensby, Theorising Global Studies, ‘Chapter 1 – Globalization: The Global Village’.
Anthony Giddens, ‘The Globalizing of Modernity’, in Held and McGrew (eds.), The Global Transformations Reader, 2003
Arjun Appadurai, ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, in F.J. Lechner & J. Boli, The Globalization Reader, 2ed., 2004. Also available through

Google on the web.
Nick Bisley, Rethinking Globalization, Introduction and chapters 1-2
James H. Mittelman, ‘Globalization: An Ascendant Paradigm?’, International Studies Perspectives, 3, 2002, (e-journal); (Robertson & White, 2003, vol. VI)
William I. Robinson, ‘Beyond nation-state paradigms: Globalization, sociology and the challenge of transnational studies’, Sociological Forum, 13(4), 1998, (e-

journal); (Robertson & White, 2003, vol. II).
Michael Zurn, ‘From Interdependence to Globalization’, in W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse & Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations, Sage, 2005
Robert J. Holton, Making Globalization, 2005
Joel Krieger (ed.), Globalization and State Power: A Reader, Pearson, 2006
A. McGrew, ‘Globalization and World Politics’, in J. Baylis & S. Smith, The Globalization of World Politics, 2005
Anthony McGrew, ‘The globalisation debate: putting the advanced capitalist state in its place’, (e-journal), Global Society, 12(3), 1998; (Robertson & White, 2003);
J.H. Mittelman (ed.), Globalization: Critical Reflections, 1996
J.H. Mittelman, Whither Globalization?: The Vortex of Knowledge and Ideology, 2004
J.H. Mittelman, The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance, 2000
Masao Miyoshi, ‘A Borderless World? From colonialism to transnationalism and the decline of the nation-state’, Critical Inquiry, 19, 1993, (e-journal); (Robertson &

White, 2003)
K. Ohmae, The Borderless World: power and strategy in the interlinked economy, 1992
Justin Rosenberg, The Follies of Globalisation Theory, 2000


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