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4. Is Globalisation “Good” or “Bad”?

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In this module, we think about normative evaluations of cultural globalisation, focusing on: (i) optimistic accounts, such as Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis that liberal democratic ideals will inevitably spread across the world, and Thomas Friedman’s argument that cultural globalisation reduces conflict; (ii) George Ritzer’s pessimistic notions of McDonaldisation and the “globalisation of nothing” – that global culture is increasingly becoming homogenised and deprived of meaning; (iii) glocalisation – an alternative way of conceptualising cultural globalisation which emphasises interactions between global and local cultures and the diverse new forms this produces.


In this course, Professor Rafal Soborski (Richmond, The American International University in London) explores key debates around the concept and characteristics of globalisation. In the first module, we consider some notable ways in which globalisation has been defined, and some problems with these definitions. In the second, we look at histories of globalisation, noting especially where different scholars locate the beginnings of the process. The third module outlines the debate between two camps – the hyperglobalists and the sceptics – regarding the existence and significance of globalisation, often termed the great globalisation debate. In the fourth, we think about whether globalisation is “good” or “bad”, looking at optimistic and pessimistic accounts, and in the final module we examine different perspectives on the cultural impacts of globalisation, focusing particularly on Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilisations” thesis.


Professor Rafal Soborski is Professor of International Politics at Richmond, The American International University in London. His research focuses on the ideological, political and social dimensions of globalisation, including on globalism, anti-globalism and environmentalism. He is author of Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements (2018) and Ideology in a Global Age: Continuity and Change (2013).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Soborski, R. (2022, January 20). Globalisation - Is Globalisation “Good” or “Bad”? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Soborski, R. "Globalisation – Is Globalisation “Good” or “Bad”?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Jan 2022,

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