Global Policy Forum links to articles on globalization.


Third, globalization must also include reference to the speedor velocity of social activity. Deterritorialization andinterconnectedness initially seem chiefly spatial in nature. Yet it iseasy to see how these spatial shifts are directly tied to theacceleration of crucial forms of social activity. As we observedabove in our discussion of the conceptual forerunners to thepresent-day debate on globalization, the proliferation of high-speedtransportation, communication, and information technologiesconstitutes the most immediate source for the blurring of geographicaland territorial boundaries that prescient observers have diagnosed atleast since the mid-nineteenth century. The compression of spacepresupposes rapid-fire forms of technology; shifts in our experiencesof territory depend on concomitant changes in the temporality of humanaction. High-speed technology only represents the tip of the iceberg,however. The linking together and expanding of social activitiesacross borders is predicated on the possibility of relatively fastflows and movements of people, information, capital, andgoods. Without these fast flows, it is difficult to see how distantevents could possibly posses the influence they now enjoy. High-speedtechnology plays a pivotal role in the velocity of human affairs. Butmany other factors contribute to the overall pace and speed of socialactivity. The organizational structure of the modern capitalistfactory offers one example; certain contemporary habits andinclinations, including the “mania for motion and speed”described by Dewey, represent another. Deterritorialization and theexpansion of interconnectedness are intimately tied to theacceleration of social life, while social acceleration itself takesmany different forms (Eriksen 2001; Rosa 2013). Here as well,we can easily see why globalization is always a matter of degree. Thevelocity or speed of flows, movements, and interchanges across borderscan vary no less than their magnitude, impact, orregularity.


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