Summary and Info
Much discussed but poorly understood, globalization is praised as the answer to all the world's problems and blamed for everything from pollution to poverty. In Many Globalizations, Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington bring together an array of scholars from around the world, who paint a far subtler and more richly shaded portrait, showing both the power and the unexpected consequences of this great force. Here the stereotypes of globalization as American imperialism on the one hand or economic cure-all on the other fall apart under the close scrutiny of these leading scholars. Looking at globalization in countries such as Chile, Japan, South Africa, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Taiwan, India, and the United States, they show that an emerging global culture does indeed exist, one that is heavily American in origin and content, but that is far from a centrally directed force like classic imperialism--nor is it simply a "metastasized Disneyland." They examine the currents that carry this culture, from a worldwide class of young professionals to nongovernmental organizations, and define globalization's many variations (ranging from Buddhist influences to Islamic modernism) as well as subglobalizations that bind regions together. The authors also draw attention to globalizing forces that have escaped media scrutiny, such as the role of evangelical Protestantism (which both adapts to local languages and cultures, and introduce distinctively American values) and Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic movement that originated in Spain. Analytical, incisive and stimulating, Many Globalizations offers rare insight into perhaps the central issue of modern times, one that is changing the West as much as the developing world.