By Martin Shaw

The vital goal of this publication is to investigate even if [or now not] the worldwide constitutes a basic problem to the social-scientific examine of politics, together with the constitution of disciplines and the department of work among them.

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Extra info for Politics and Globalisation: Knowledge, Ethics and Agency (Routledge Advances in International Relations and Politics, Number 8)

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The adoption of a world system approach might also provide an occasion for other methodological transformations in addition to the abandonment of territorialism. For example, world-system theorists have also defined their project in terms of a transcendence of disciplinary divides (cf. Wallerstein 1991; Taylor 1996a). Indeed, in respect of globalisation it is difficult to see how global ecology, global governance, global production, global culture and the like can be adequately understood through isolated disciplinary enquiries.

Such an approach should be neither territorialist nor globalist. A geography centred on the concept of ‘world system’ offers such an alternative. The notion ‘world’ is particularly suitable, since it privileges neither territoriality nor globality and indeed readily encompasses both. ‘World’ social relations may have a global, regional, international, national, local and/ or other spatial character. The term ‘world’ does not prejudge what kinds of domains will be relevant in a given situation. A world system methodology requires only that a researcher considers a variety of possible geographical contexts and does not assume in advance any particular spatial framework.

There are fewer impediments to both than before, but this is because most governments today embrace the general economic liberal view that impediments to economic activity as dictated by the market are a bad thing. In the late nineteenth century, the leaders of most states, apart from the UK, thought that the economy was subordinate to the interests of the state. It was deemed appropriate for governments to intervene in trade issues and economic issues in general if this strengthened the state.

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