In the opening chapter of one of the most influential International Relations (IR) textbooks readers discover that globalization is producing a ‘fundamental shift in the constitution of world politics’ (McGrew,200 5: 38). Its force is so profound, the author asserts,tha t, if we are to make sense of the transformations it is bringing about, we must rethink the very nature of politics itself. From the institutions of government to the most basic duties that we owe to others, all is being transformed by this pervasive social force. Yet in a leading scholarly journal published just months after the textbook,we are told, with no less certainty,th at ‘the “age of globalization“ is over’ (Rosenberg, 2005: 3). The philosophical and sociological arguments about globalization were,it seems,an intellectual optical illusion. The much trumpeted world of global governance has failed tomaterialize, atavistic nationalism is rife,and the actions of the US,Rus sia and China glaringly fly in the face of all the prescriptions of the globalization prophets. Rosenberg argues that the claims made about globalization have been shown to have little to offer the serious scholar of social life.
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