There is no subject in contemporary international relations that attracts more nonsense than the notion of globalization. Much of this nonsense comes from the pen of theorists of ‘hyperglobalization’, many of whom work in business schools and write for a particular class of high-flying business executives (Held et al. 1999). Only such a person, for example, could write of the emergence of a ‘borderless world’ (Ohmae 1990). The world may seem borderless to people who turn left when they board an airliner, but one would not want to have to explain — much less defend — the notion to the millions of refugees, displaced persons and asylum-seekers who find themselves shunted from one holding facility to another while their fate is determined. In fact, since 9/11, new security arrangements have meant that even top business executives are mildly inconvenienced when they cross borders, though passengers to the UK who land in private jets at Northolt Airport still have an easier time of it than the rest of us who use nearby Heathrow. This ‘globaloney’ is extremely irritating, but almost equally misleading is the characteristic professional deformation of the IR scholar, which is to deny that anything ever changes, or indeed could change this side of the Apocalypse.
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