The men who run the global corporations are the first in history
with the organization, technology, money, and ideology to make
a credible try at managing the world as an integrated economic
unit .... What they are demanding is in essence the right to
transcend the nation-state, and in the process, to transform
-- Richard Barnet and Ronald Muller (1974: 13,15-16)
Full integration will be reached only when there is free movement
of goods, services, capital, and labour and when governments
treat firms equally, regardless of their nationality.
-- The Economist (March 27, 1993: 7)
Corporations have emerged as the dominant governance institutions
on the planet, with the largest among them reaching into virtually
every country in the world and exceeding most governments in
size and power.... The past two decades have seen ... a conscious
and international transformation in search of a new economic
order in which business has no nationality and knows no borders....
It has become a matter of pride and principle for corporate executives
to proclaim that their firms have grown beyond any national interest
-- David C. Korten (1995: 54, 121, 124)
We need to think ourselves beyond the nation. This is not
to suggest that thought alone will carry us beyond the nation
.... it is to suggest that the role of intellectual practices
is to identify the current crisis of the nation and in identifying
it to provide part of the apparatus of recognition for post-national
--- Arjun Appadurai (1993: 158)
The coherence of effects that development discourse achieved
is the key to its success as a hegemonic form of representation:
the construction of the poor and underdeveloped as universal,
preconstituted subjects, based on the privilege of the representers
-- Arturo Escobar (1995, in Rahnema: 92-3)
Like modernity and development, globalization is a long term historical process, but it is also a project and a paradigm whose contours have changed dramatically over time. As a process, it can be defined as an on-going increase in the number of effective interactions among sites around the globe, a deepening and expansion of the power of those influential elements that circulate widely among people and places to effect change in local conditions and experience. Empirically, we can see long-term growth in the number and significance of sites in which circulatory movements intersect and from which they emanate; and historically, data from ancient times to the present depict circles of rippling influence being broadcast outward along networks of movement, representation, and communication to influence the character of locality.
The term "globalization" refers to a global coverage which has been achieved by human networks of influential interaction, and its onset can be measured and explained by many factors, including migration, trade, empire, technology, and the spread of languages and disparate cultural elements. Its history is best documented since the days of Genghis Khan. The known world of Eurasia had been woven together by mobility over land and sea in the fourteenth century when Asian disease decimated Europe. In the sixteenth century, more literally global networks came into being with European seaborne empires, when European diseases decimated the Americas. Global connectivity has deepened and spread ever since, with big bursts coming with waves of new technology from moveable sail riggings and guns to the printing press, steamship and railway, to the airplane, jumbo jet, radio, TV, computer, and the internet. By 1550, the Pope could speak for Catholics on all continents. By 1744, French and English wars sped simultaneously by horse and sailing ship into the Americas and Asia. In 1820, African workers produced sugar in the Caribbean to sweeten tea brewed from Chinese leaves purchased with profits from the sale of Indian opium and consumed by English workers who made cloth for export to India, Africa, China, and the Americas from cotton grown by slaves in the American south. In 1829, indigo stocks crashed in London, throwing tenants off their land in India. In 1929, a single depression hit every corner of the world economy. Globalization today therefore a recent phase in a very long history of networks and structures which have increasingly connected far-flung sites of human action and experience.
A Project Orientation
We can measure globalization empirically without reference to the ideas and interests which have propelled it, and impersonal factors like new transport and communication technology do indeed help to explain its momentum; but expansive, world-embracing theories have also guided conscious human efforts to expand the influence of peoples and places over distant sites around the world. The expansion of networks that integrate global space has not proceeded randomly: it has attained an orderly form -- a sense of direction and purpose -- from the activity of its many project managers. Waves of connective power have rippled out most influentially from some particularly important sites, which have had more influence than others in the overall process of globalization. Over the centuries, universal theories of human progress and destiny have imbued the people who are most consciously engaged in the project of globalization with the idea that their influence and ambition have limitless horizons.
Globalization has acquired its current aura of inevitability and abstract perfection from many centuries of theoretical work to unify the destiny of the world with the dreams of powerful men, most prominently, the rulers of empires and nations and their allied intellectuals. Twentieth century theories of modernization and development represent a recent phase in the historical projection of moral futures out into the world of possibilities; and for centuries, people who have worked hard to increase the connectivity of human sites around the globe have viewed technology and knowledge as means to their higher moral purpose. They have seen the boundaries of their present as temporary limitations inherited from the past. To overcome limits in the present, new technologies and imagination open the door to a better future; and by these means, many rulers, entrepreneurs, scholars, and engineers have projected their own powers across old frontiers to create new connections among peoples and places on the earth.
Globalization is thus a complex social and cultural project that cannot be understood simply as the result of one dominant force. The investments in technologies and in visionary possibilities which have propelled globalization have required sustained institutional support and renewed commitment over generations. Roads and ports crumble without repair and renovation; communication across difficult terrain breaks down without maintenance. Over the centuries, monasteries, missionaries, businesses, and scientific associations have invested in the progress of global connectivity and their efforts along with many others' have been organized and supplemented substantially by imperial states. The economic and military requirements of dynasties, empires, and nations provide compelling motives for official funding to expand connections among sites over the globe, and any government of substance will invest in transportation and communication and in gathering data to facilitate trade, communication, espionage, defense, or expansion. The military and commercial meanings of "intelligence" became more global from the sixteenth century onward, as a connected set of early-modern empires covered the globe for the first time. By 1750, no major political territory in the world lacked knowledge about most (if not all) others; and London, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Rome were central points for accumulations of data. European powers over knowledge became the "enlightenment," and enlightenment universalism became fundamental for European expansion. In the eighteenth century, many early-modern empires were expanding world connectivities across the Muslim world and Central, South, and East Asia; and European empires merely connected these imperial territories with the Americas, forming a global system of states and accelerating social investment in globalization. Dominant Europeans interpreted this globalization as a realization of their own universalism, and they have never looked back.
Technologies that lower transportation and communications costs do facilitate globalization, which we can measure as a process by physical movements from place to place, but the globalization project is neither explained nor mandated by technology. Moral theories, scientific paradigms, religious passion, cultural mythology, and legitimate authorities sustain the institutional investments that expand the scope of influential interactions, as people strive to organize human territory across the old boundaries of the past, moving outward into the new world of future possibilities. Concretely, then, the globe in globalization is a type of human territory, a space that is marked with human aspirations, meanings, and power. It is a domain of human control and social order, like any other kind of territory. Historically, globalization has emerged from the expansion of territorial powers over the globe, which imparts to the process not only a sense of direction but also a historical geography that we can map by locating routes of travel, centers of institutional order, and symbols of legitimacy and leadership. Universal theories of divinity have played a conspicuous role down to the present day; and the global reach of Christianity (and to a lesser extent, Islam) has been supported generously by expansive imperial states, since later the days of the Roman empire. The Catholic Church and British Empire established their languages, religions, and institutions globally. Chinese, Ottoman, Mughal, Safavid, and other landed empires did the same in smaller territories during the early modern period. The history of this kind of activity -- combining empire, religion, culture, trade, and intellectual expansion -- can be documented over many centuries through records preserved in media ranging from stone inscriptions to monumental buildings to songs, drama, literature, art, and clothing. Broadcasting the charisma and influence of central authorities over vast territories is an ancient imperial project, and its proponents have long promoted theories of human destiny that sustain their own global vision. Imperial ideologies have given globalization a cultural coherence and they have organized technology, belief, and passion for the projection of power and knowledge.
Globalizing activities attained modernity in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, their technologies, institutions, ideologies, and passions form the substance of modernity. The idea of the modern is by its nature universal, transcendant; it crosses all boundaries of territory even as it forms its own territory of progress and faces opposition in territories of particularism and tradition. Modernity is global. Tradition is local. These are basic tenets in the global expansion of imperial nations from the nineteenth century. To realize the global ambitions of modernity, states have made huge investments to lower transportation and communication costs, from the building of the railway down to launching satellites and building all the infrastructure for the internet. States have also produced institutions of territorial control to support globalization by missionaries, marketeers, engineers, scholars, scientists and many others. Most prominent among all the non-governmental interests in globalilzation are businesses, particularly incorporated firms whose investors have special state protection against loss and liability. Since the first granting of charters by English monarchs for trade and settlement in the Americas and the East Indies, in the seventeenth century, state-protected corporate capital has provided much of the transactional substance for the expansion of global connectivity. Competitive business investments in procurement, processing, financing, and marketing have also provided wealth and motivation for state expansion. Chartered companies, corporations, and other businesses have typically expanded their operations beyond the boundaries of state authority; and moving into new frontiers, they have mobilized political influence to bring state power in behind them to back them up and sustain their further expansion. Business protected by the state has also moved quickly into new territories of state expansion, filling out regional economies and form investment connections of trade and finance with old state territories. From the seventeenth century onward, interactions of this kind among states and businesses built the British and other European empires; and they have defined an expansive zone of power and influence around national states since 1945, in a post-imperial world in which corporations can move more freely among state territories.
State and business interactions create overlapping frontiers of expansion and conflict, which have generated serious territorial conflict; and indeed, one critical marker of globalization is an expanse of warfare from the seventeenth century which in 1945 produced the nightmare of global holocaust. Behind this trend lay the commitment of states to open territory for national economic interests. The modern state has a dual responsibility: to facilitate the expansion of its own native business interests and to protect its own territorial sovereignty. These are twin pillars of international law, which obviously entail conflict at the borderlands of economic sovereignty where states seek control over the material conditions of their own reproduction in the world economy. Determining where the effective influence of one expansive state ends and that of another begins has been the subject of deliberation which has formed international protocol. Since the nineteenth century, the US has been officially protecting the sovereignty of Latin American states as it has opened their borders to US business; and in much of the world, off-shore investments by US companies are prominent. Numerous nineteenth century wars were justified in the name of "free trade" -- that is, the opening of state boundaries to foreign businesses -- including the Opium Wars, in which English guns enforced the rights of international drug cartels. Modern international law actually had origins in the treaties of Berlin that were forged among expansive industrial states to reconcile their competing interests during the partition of Africa in the 1880s.
National states and international institutions have formed the organizational basis for modern globalization and also for the global expansion of business during the twentieth century. In this context, the extent of the influence over territory wielded by the citizens of each national state has never coincided strictly with national boundaries. Until 1945, European national states ruled vast empires that covered most of Africa and Asia; and from the 1920s, Japanese and American businesses were increasingly influential inside European imperial economies, where Indian and Chinese businesses had also formed substantial zones of economic and political influence. Empires created special connections between each European metropolis and its colonies, so that least-cost transportation and communication ran, for instance, from Dakar to Paris, from Lagos to London, from Singapore to London, and from Saigon to Paris, rather than running among the cities of Africa and Asia. Imperial competition also produced barriers among national and imperial markets. Empires integrated the world economy but also partitioned the world's monetary and legal systems. The separation of economic territories produced opportunities for profit in exchanges between them -- not only in world money markets but in the world division of labor -- so that integrating world markets and creating sharp divisions among world territories went hand in hand. National states became the institutions for administering this integrated world of partitions and difference.
When European empires were dismantled after 1945, the old institutions of connectivity remained, so that former colonial territories remain typically better connected to their old metropolitan capitals than to contiguous national territories even today. The routes of connectivity for people in the old territories of British India still favor the Anglophone world; and the world of former French and Iberian territories in Africa and the Americas have a similar linguistic bias. Other patterns of globalization produced by European national competition before 1945 also continued thereafter, despite the globalization of the national state, as both the US and the USSR pushed their influence into areas already marked as old imperial territory. The new aspirants for world leadership in the process of globalization erased empire from the discourse of progress, relegating it to the past. Woodrow Wilson and V.I.Lenin theorized a world beyond imperialism, a world of global order among nations. Both championed universal independence for national states and the liberation of all peoples from empire. After 1945, Americans and Soviets sought to expand their global influence in a world of national state and the United Nations became the global institution for resolving all the contradictory projects of national expansion and sovereignty that raged among the old and new imperial powers and all the new entrants to world competition.
Many new national states could not create effective sovereignty in the face of what Kwame Nkrumah called neo-colonialism; and dependency theory expressed the fact that many states depended on outside resources to maintain their internal coherence; but at the same time, some new states -- including China, India, Egypt, Israel, and Egypt -- inherited powers that potentially exceeded their borders. The Cold War and its attendant hot conflicts took center stage from 1945 until 1989, but these decades also witnessed a much broader competition among many actors to expand national influence and formulate national sovereignty. Expansive combinations of state and corporate power constantly crossed national borders in an increasingly complex pattern which never appears on the maps of states that comprise the international system. Political maps depicting state territory on the earth's surface do not effectively express national territoriality, because expansive economies and states -- like the US, Japan, and Germany -- extend their influence into weaker states, while weaker states feel the old power of the imperial metropolis and the new power of new expansive states, corporations, and international organizations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund deep inside their borders. Maps of states remain static even as their territorial powers expand, fracture, dissipate, and solidify, internally and externally. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, joyous celebrations of national independence are not like the triumphal expressions of national power that mark the Fourth of July; they are instead tempered by the realization that the national state needs international finance, assistance, and protection from powerful countries, private banks, and international institutions to thrive. Most of the world's national states came into existence after 1945; most continue to be at the receiving end of European, American, Japanese, and Soviet expansion. Their territory of influence in the process of globalization thus being substantially smaller than political maps indicate. Corporate and state activities emanating from Europe, Japan, the US, and USSR have integrated most countries into world transactional systems that are geared to special connections with one set of powerful countries or another; and the Cold War comprised a complex, shifting set of struggles to tilt the balance of connective advantage toward the US and USSR.
International legal institutions define the world as a patchwork of national states that cover the global comprehensively, but territoriality in the world of nations is not so simple. By 1970, for the first time, every inch of the earth fell within the legal territory of a national state with its own clear border on the world map. This represents an unprecedented globalization of institutional rules, norms, regulations, and political participation, which has speeded the expansion of global connectivity substantially. The world of national states is very new -- however old the world of the national imagination might be -- so its artifiality is quite transparent: despite the eternal identity of every nation for itself, every boundary line on a world map is in itself a mere scratch across a historical zone of interactive economic life, migration, communication, and other territorial markers which that indicate maps of many kinds. The nation and the national state are not fixed or natural features of modern life, but rather historical projects of territoriality, which operate in the context of many other projects and possibilities. Practically speaking, moreover, the globalization of national order in the world today has occurred under the sponsorship of richer, more powerful countries, which also have the strongest interest, impetus, and capacity for national expansion and thus for the dissolution of the territorial integrity of smaller, weaker states.
Connectivity among sites in the contemporary world is thus expanding today inside structures of global inequality and national community. Globalization might be represented graphically as a gaggle of octopuses. Until 1989, the most prominent of these were the US and the USSR, which fought to wangle less powerful countries into their grip; but smaller beasts were also at work, ranging from Germany and Japan, to India and China, down to the likes of Singapore and Israel. Despite their formal equality and enclosed sovereignty, each octopus consists of disparate interests and expansive powers, including bureaucracies, armies, and corporations; and the bigger ones have more power in the process of globalization. The broad contours of world situation were captured at Bandung in 1954 when the Non-Aligned Movement defined the First, Second, and Third World; and a stark division of rich and poor peoples and countries remains a structural feature of globalization after the Cold War.
Modernity has therefore entailed the simultaneous formation of national and global territoriality, which support and contradict one another, in a true dialectic. Imagined in universal theories of human perfectibility and institutionalized -- first as competing national empires and then as an international system -- global territoriality is like other kinds, being composed of a complex mix of symbolism, institutions, activities, and power relations; actors, centers, networks, and entitlements, nested within clusters that form its constituent sub-territories. Even small territories contain clusters of nested components. Even a small urban neighborhood or farming village has nested bundles of powers and identities within it. Territories typically include multiple internal, even contradictory histories of self-representation which are contained by and made sensible within larger units with broader powers and wider reach. Households fit into neighborhoods, which fit into towns, suburbs, cities, regions, and states. Territoriality of this nested sort organizes much of what we call politics, because people in the institutions that form units of territory at various levels of scale compete with one another for resources even as each level of territoriality depends upon the others for its identity and integrity. Globalization is territoriality at a world scale, consisting of institutions, activities, and knowledge that constitute projects of resource control at a global scale, including many nested bundles of territoriality within it; and though it is possible to imagine many forms of order which might constitute global institutions, historically, one particular set of possibilities has crowded out others. Global institution-building has been led by economically and militarily dominant states that wield universal theories to underwrite their own legitimacy, so that globalization as a theoretical project has always had a heavy load of moral and scientific absolutism, as it represents the possibility that universal theories can be validated beyond refutation in real human history on the planet earth. In the discourse of globalism, we find many apocalyptic nightmares, many millenarian, futuristic scenarios; and world history has an air of inescapable inevitability: these are cultural dimensions of territoriality at the global scale, whose management and intelligentsia seek to represent the fate and wisdom of all humanity.
As at other levels of scale, ideologies with global ambition articulate the powers and entitlements that form community. Global community has a territorial sensibility which covers the planet, but like all communities, it is imagined and formed in the context of serious inequality, which it buries under the rhetoric of unity. Communities are not born, they are made, and a global village is no less artificial than a neighborhood or a nation. Natural, ethnic, local, indigenous, and other primordial communities became building blocks for modern nationality in the course of globalization, as modern imperial authorities classified and ordered the diversity of the world population; and today, identity politics continues to be central in the process of global community formation; because community identity is being used to naturalize various claims to entitlements and status by territorial actors who work inside and across national boundaries. Community sentiment and membership is critical in the definition of territory, because territoriality is a marking of social space by its occupants and observers. Each territory needs to be recognized as such internally and externally, by people who have the recognized power to call a territory by its name, to represent its qualities. Communities are formed inside, outside, and across the boundaries of territory, which define their location and the home space of their identity. Global institutions sustain the credibility and viability if their constituent national territories, which in turn provide home space for the interests that expand to increase the reach of global enterprise and the scale of global community. These expansive activities form territorial units that integrate the world economy and feed the wealth of national states by moving among territories, connecting them, and forming communities of global interest. Despite the fixity of world political maps, territoriality, like community, is a contingent formation.
Territory need not consist of contiguous bundles of community or continuous patches of space on the earth's surface. (Sack 1989) A household is a territory from which members are often absent; some members may be migrant laborers, working far from the hearth for long periods of time. The Catholic Church and British Empire represent vast, discontinuous territories with many styles of order, nesting, and political interaction at work among their constituent territorial units. The United Nations, World Bank, Islam, US foreign policy, the English language, multi-national corporations, communism, and feminism each define their own communities and territories; and the contemporary substance of globalization emerges more clearly when we appreciate that a rapidly increasing number of communities are now extending their sense of their own territory to a global scale. Global territory includes a huge number of constituent territorialities: some are defined by the official enclosure and physical borders of a state, city, shopping mall, or household; others are defined instead by networks of interaction, as among major cities, along rail lines, across the counters of a stock exchange, and through the internet; and still others are disbursed communities of sentiment and institutional identification, such as ethnic, religious, and political movements, each with their own marked space of identity and belonging.
Territoriality is moveable and malleable, but its institutions also tend to inertia as they strive for permanence and stability, to maintain their identity; and their opposition and fracture tend to suffuse community sensibilities for rather long periods of time. The legacy of the British Empire is still powerful in the metropolis and former colonies; and the Catholic Church remains a shadow empire, composed not only of belief and ritual but also of vast material wealth. The endless repetition of stories about Hong Kong being aired today on the BBC World Service indicates the symbolic significance of that old imperial territory for British sensibilities; and obsessions with colonialism in Indian historiography are fragments of its mirror image. The sense of community that forms the cultural substance of a national states arises within the everyday human experience of the permanence and omnipresence of national territory. Carved from old imperial territories, national boundaries were defined by international treaties that marked a community of nations which staked a claim to represent all of humankind. Each nation has its place in the global community of nations and the United Nations provides a legitimate framework for global governance. After the founding of the UN charter, a host of scholarly, philosophical, and policy texts formed a global discourse of nationality and global community, and an old world of empires became a new world of nations. Universal theories of human progress adopted the nation as their vehicle. Universal truths became global in the binding agreements of global community, as for instance in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The universality of the human condition and the singularity of the human species became the theoretical basis for world community, which could find its full realization in a world of nations. World history now became a story of the progress of one humanity in all its many nationalities, as each separate national state pursued its own eternal quest for sovereignty. A global chorus sounded the praise of a single humanity in the collective voice of eternal nations.
This kind of triumphal vision of human community had long been standard fare in Christianity, but it became typical of global discourse after 1945, and in this context, the Cold War could be represented as a struggle for the future of humanity. and its end could be taken literally to be the end of history (Fukayama 1992) -- the end of barriers to the unity of humanity. Yet the framework of the United Nations constitutes global community in the sovereignty of states. Universal humanity and global community suffuse the world of nationalities and national states.
New Paradigm, New Globalism
World elites have global vision. Circulating among capitals of governance, among urban sites of erudition, and now communicating by internet; they can imagine themselves free of all territoriality. Today, some among them appear to be producing a new kind of global knowledge. In accounts of globalization that project the power to redefine global community, visionary scenarios for the future erase the territory of the nation state and replace it with the infinite fluidity of a univeral market economy.
Such cosmopolitan mobility and far-reaching intellectual deterritorialization is not new. One critical marker of elite identity from ancient times has been its claim to freedom from the site-specific limitation of a parochial mind. Universal religions theorized and promulgated infinitely mobile elite erudition, and the Buddha brought cosmic truth down to the ground by educating a world intellentsia. Chandragupta Maurya's cosmic empire was a big step in the ancient history of globalization, as the first major effort to infuse conquest with universal idealism and to envision governance as a benevolent expansion of cosmic goodness. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam make universal claims for sites of purity, divinity, righteousness, justice, and salvation; and they produce coteries of learned people of refined erudition -- armed with magical words, logic, texts, and communicative skills -- who control universal truth and travel anywhere. In this world of knowledge, charismatic elites are distinguished from lesser practioners, stuck in lower echelons, trapped in localities by the gross substance of dialect, custom, and superstition. Language and technical knowledge constitute a global territory of the mind and distinguish a community of erudition which in its own audience represents the world. Such specialists in communication and cosmopolitanism articulate a community of the most culturally mobile, the most global of cultural producers, by virtue of their power to participate in the widest networks of cultural production. Exotic items in the drawing room, exotic words sprinkled in conversation, clothing to indicate travel and experience abroad, and other makers of the riches of the world on their person and in their personal territory indicate members of the world community of elite erudition.
Money can buy such markers today, and a larger number of people than ever before participate today in global communities. Institutions create and sustain the knowledge that constitutes global territory. Cities are of course prominent; they virtually define cosmopolitanism. Strung along routes of transportation, migration, accumulation, exchange, communication, and distribution, cities big are home space for global territoriality. Airports, highways, traffic jams, hotels, conference rooms, board rooms, clubs, restaurants, seminar rooms, libraries, boats and trains are homey domains for they people who move from place to place and think about the global territory they live in. But in the nested territories of globalization, instititions also produce many varieties of territorial enclosure; and at each level of scale -- the global, regional, and local -- people are always learning to live inside their own territory by learning its language and by imbibing its technical and intellectual substance, by absording its the disiplining of their sentiments and imagination. Globalization defines its own distinctive institutional space for global community, in a territorial formation of global language and discourse, an accumulation of powers to translate and move among languages, and a profusion of technical tools for the effective habitation of global networks by people who can penetrate, mediate, and influence all the constituent social spaces nested within.
Global territory today owes a lot to old empires that produced earlier forms of global discourse, knowledge, and territory. Globalization is in many respects an accumulation and further expansion of imperial territoriality. Chinese dynasties ruled a linguistic world of discourse and erudition of massive proportions -- a world of its own. Arabic, Persian, and Turkish empires did the same, but they were subsequently more thoroughly integrated in European empires that produced modern a world of global language, literature, and education; a world of expansive horizons for elites in its nested territories who learned to travel roads of global erudition across a metropolitan landscape of cosmopolitanism, from city to city, from one institution of global discourse to another.
By the 1940s, a subtantial set of world leaders in the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia spoke a handful of European languages. The UN became an institutional environment for comprehensive translation and world communication; and from the 1950s, national educational systems in most countries included institutions for training specialists in global communication who collectively controlled all the languages of the world. The preponderance of power in this linguistic process of globalization tilted toward English, because of the combined influence of the old British Empire and the new American global expansion; and though the USSR engaged in a massive global language program and communicated widely through translation and by the training of intellectual leaders from all over the world; the US accumulated much more influence along these lines. Senator Fulbright was far-sighted enough to craft a program that would send Americans all over the world to study and would bring students from every country to America for education and training. Today, the Fulbright student program can boast many alumni who are world leaders in Africa and Eurasia. The Ford Foundation and other foundations also endeavored to train world leaders, technical specialists, professionals, intellectuals, and people of cultural prominence, with considerable success. The PL480 progam brought such a massive collection of foreign language books to the US that many American libraries today have better book collections in foreign languages than their native countries. The experience of the OSS in World War Two led the US government to believe that knowing foreign languages was essential for military security in the global world of its national interests; and with this in mind, funds were set aside for training American scholars in foreign languages and cultures.
As the US became a prominent world consumer -- consuming resources and generating waste in accelerating excess proportion to its share of world population -- it became an extravangant, cosmopolitan collector of world knowledge. Migrations to the US brought many world ethnicities into American cities; and American exhibitions, museums, malls, and media collected cultural elements to represent the world in an American way. Its collections of culture took on the appearance of ultimate global sophistication. At the same time, American corporations became prominent internationally, not only in the ownership of capital, but in the propagation of cultural products like TV shows, movies, advertising, and the Worldwide Web; which has formed an expanding institutional basis for an American discourse about the world. In the institutions of international community, moreover, American influence became formidable -- in NATO, Security Council, IMF and World Bank.
Most of the leadership of the national states that emerged from the old world of empire came from an educated stratum that knew French or English, and many had been educated in one European capital or another. The relative size of the Anglophone intelligentsia increased steadily in the subsequent decades, when national (and subnational) languages were at the same time becoming the basis for massive national education programs. A multi-tiered institutional structure developed in the nested territories of globalization. The largest number of people and the vast preponderance of everyday intellectual activity occurs in linguistic idioms using technical vocabulary and knowledge that is only comprehensible within small territories, which we can call, for simplicity, local. The identity and character of this local level of territorial knowledge derives promarily from national and regional territories in which they are situated. National states have formed territories of linguistic homogenization that in some regions effectively collapse the distinctiion between the local and national, as in most of Europe, the US, and Japan. Old imperial languages -- Spanish, Arabic, French, Chinese, and Turkish -- and to an increasing extent, migratory languages like Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengal and Japanese -- also form an influential web of communication among dispersed localities and within national territories. English is the global language and though it does not penetrate local discourse directly in most of the world, its influence is pervasive through the mediation of other languages and translation. Today, when a community or an institution has global ambition, it operates on the WorldWide Web in English.
Forming knowledge about the world to inform the operation and discourse within global are critical in the project in globalization; as they are in local, regional, and national territory, where leadership depends on the ability to constitute community in routines of representation. Reading the literature on what we would now call "global issues," it is apparent that the nation and national state were understood to be foundational features of world community for most of the twentieth century, specifically from 1911 to 1989, from the days of Woodrow Wilson to the end of the USSR. This period is roughly bifurcated by the founding of the UN and the rise of a world discourse based on the institutions of the community of nations. By the 1970s, a host of world convocations had considered issues from hunger to the status of women around the world. But in the 1980s, a shift begins to be noticeable in the production of world knowledge; it begins to become global in a new sense; and its production begins to include more prominently a different mix of global actors and discursive elements. That shift is well advanced today. Historical turns of this kind are difficult to describe, let alone to explain, and though their influence cannot be assessed clearly at such proximity, a great many articulate people in global circles take this change to be a sharp break in the modern paradigm. For some, it appears to be a shift of the magnitude that characterized the Enlightenment or the great revolutions: they see a totally new, revolutionary reality at hand, which had always been unfolding before, perhaps, but is now upon us. For its proponents, this paradigm shift feels like a new dawn, an impending millennium, or a revelation; and there is no shortage of examples of pronouncements of the radical newness and disjuncture of our present condition.
The end of the Cold War seems to mark the definitive start of a new era. Thomas Haskell captures this idea nicely by saying, "The bloody contest between capitalism and socialism unexpectedly came to an end in 1989 after a struggle that gripped the world for a century and a half."1 Eric Hobsbawm called 1989 the end of "the age of extremes," saying about the nineties (in the past tense) that "citizens of the fin de siecle tapped their way through the global fog that surrounded them, into the third millennium ... certain ... that an era of history had ended." "They knew very little else," he added.2 But the shift that is now well underway in global discourse began before 1989; it can be seen as early as the 1970s at the start of the age of structural adjustment, as the World Bank and IMF forced national governments, one by one, to serve the interests of global invesors in return for development loans and debt service. The role of the Bank and IMF in overthrowing the governments of Salvador Allende and Michael Manley mark a shift in the conduct of international governance, for which Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher became leaders. A a sharp decline in American respect for the UN accompanied a more aggressive effort to reconceptual the world in terms of global markets. Immanuel Wallterstein's world systems theory was the first to explain the history of national states through the functional requirements of world markets. In December, 1997, the financial policies of the government of Korea were said to be the cause for a massive crash in the Korean economy produced by the flight of global investors; and the IMF-Bank bail out scheme included a massive overhaul of Korea to bring it more in line with the needs and operations of world markets. The logic of such activity goes back to the eighteenth century, when the British East India Company took over the financial administration of state after state in India, to prevent a loss on its commercial investments; and in 1885, an Anglo-French consortiium took over Egypt's treasury for the same reason. But the shift that occurred after 1975 occurred in an age in which national sovereignty was firmly built into international law; and justified, for instance, the US bombing of Iraq to reinstate the government of Kuwait. National soveriegnty is not being denied, it is being redefined to include external, international control over national political economies.
The fall of the USSR is a particularly symbolic event in a long sequence of events in a paradigm shift concerning the status of the national state in the process of globalization; and rather than seeing 1989 as a sharp break in the history of modernity, we might better imagine the last decades of this century as being yet another startling concatenation of molecular processes of a kind which characterize bourgeoise revolutions. (Callinicos 1988: 75) As in the eighteenth century, the trend of change is being described as progress for the cause of freedom from constraints imposed upon enterprise by the state. The fall of the USSR and of the Korean economy alike are taken to illustate the inevitability and superiority of market solutions. Prominently in this paradigm shift, therefore, we can see a precipitous decline in the moral stature of both the nation and the state, and therefore of images of global community as a community of nations. This decline is most noticeable in the representation of Latin America, Africa, and Asia by Anglophone intellectuals and by the institutions which are most aggressively engaged in globalization. Among the intellectuals, those based in the US are most prominent; and among institutions, we find corporations, banks, economic analysts, and global development organizations like the World Bank being most active. There is no one agent or organization that is responsible for this shift, but clearly a new paradigm of globalism has emerged recently that we can see operating with increasing confidence and clarity in most if not all major global institutions, from the privately owned media, to nonprofit NGOS, to the UN, and embracing most of the globalizing efforts of other institutions, like unversities and foundations. Broadly speaking, the shift is from a model of world community as a collection of national cultures and states to one of globally connected localities. This new globalism ordains that we "think globally and act locally."