Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Globalization and Power: A Social Constructivist Perspective

Cover: World Economics and Politics

Cover: World Economics and Politics

Thomas Risse – 2013

Social constructivism provides a particular view on globalization processes,a lens which allows us to interpret globalization in distinctive ways and which leads us to ask specific questions about it.I suggest two ways in which social constructivism can enlighten our understanding of globalization.First,it allows a critical view on the taken-for-grantedness of many globalization discourses. "Globalization" itself is far from an innocent concept,but contains a particular discourse about international reality which can be uncovered if one cares about the social construction of reality.Second,on more substantive grounds,a social constructivist understanding of globalization emphasizes the non-material forces at work here and focuses on processes of meaning construction and interpretation as constitutive for globalization.A social constructivist lensalso helps to bring the political back into the globalization discourse by emphasizing the potential for change rather than the inevitability of global processes.This article proceeds in the following steps.It begins with a clarification of social constructivism as a meta-theoretical approach and some initial thoughts on what this means for the study of globalization.I then proceed with discussing two contributions of social constructivism to understanding globalization.The first contribution focuses on the globalization of culture and norms.The second value-added concentrates on language,the discursive construction of globalization,and the role of power.I conclude with a short note on the "rising powers" from a constructivist perspective.

Globalization and Power: A Social Constructivist Perspective
meta-governance, governance theory, Research Project A1
ISSN 1006-9550
Appeared in
World Economics and Politics 10, 24-37.