The Concept

Over the past decades global perceptions and global problems have tremendously gained in importance. Depending on the point of view, a certain combination of - most often economic, technical and political - developments is often referred to as 'globalisation'. While this view certainly is not totally unfounded, we argue against the conventional wisdom of globalisation research that:

  • Globalisation processes are not limited to the period from 1960s to now; rather they can be discussed in terms of a longue duree including the past 400 years.
  • Globalisation cannot be reduced to economical processes and their social or political implications; rather it also involves strong cultural dimensions.
  • Globalisation cannot be analysed as a process of homogenisation within a universal narrative, rather it represents a variety of non-converging, and sometimes even disconnected, narratives.
  • Thus, the understanding of globalisation is depending on perspectives and interests.
  • The interpretation of globalisation, therefore, calls for a methodological approach which combines the historicity of globalisation, with different perspectives from so-called systematic disciplines from the social sciences and humanities as well as the specific perspectives of a wide range of area studies.