Globalization, Literally Speaking
What is this thing called “globalization?”
To be absolutely precise, it’s the word that took over discourse about the global economy and pretty much everything else for what seemed like an eternity but, in fact, labelled a phenomenon that lasted only for a single decade, that of the 1990s, from the end of the Cold War to 9/11.
It’s the sound of Capitalism Triumphant, the voice heard round the world. Communism, it was implied, had bit the dust – except for China, an oversight that has now come to haunt us. The West, it was proclaimed, had no enemies worth worrying about – until 9/11 starkly demonstrated otherwise, splitting the world again and threatening to return us to the distant days of the Crusades.
Meanwhile, mounting global warming aka climate change gave a whole new and ominous meaning to “global” and hence to “globalization,” while the financial crisis of the first decade of the new millenium took the bloom off the finest rose in the garden of globalization.”
Unfortunately, the word lingers on in the acadamy as if it described something of lasting interest.