Most contemporary social theorists endorse the view that globalization refers to fundamental changes in the spatial and temporal contours of social existence.
As the time necessary to connect distinct geographical locations is reduced, distance or space **undergoes compression or “annihilation.”**
Theorists of globalization disagree about the precise sources of recent shifts in the spatial and temporal contours of human life. Nonetheless, they generally agree on****that alterations in humanity’s experiences of space and time are working to undermine the importance of local and even national boundaries in many areas of human endeavor.****
Since globalization contains far-reaching implications for virtually every facet of human life, ****it necessarily suggests the need to rethink key questions of normative political theory.****
As the possibility of a clear division between domestic and foreign affairs dissipates, the traditional tendency to picture the domestic arena as a privileged site for the realization of normative ideals and principles becomes problematic as well.
As an empirical matter, the decay of the domestic-foreign frontier seems highly ambivalent, since it might easily pave the way for the decay of the more attractive attributes of domestic political life: as “foreign” affairs collapse inward onto “domestic” political life, the relative lawlessness of the former potentially makes disturbing inroads onto the latter (Scheuerman 2004). As a
normative matter, however, the disintegration of the domestic-foreign divide probably calls for us to consider, to a greater extent than ever before, how our fundamental normative commitments about political life can be effectively achieved on a global scale.
If we take the principles of justice or democracy seriously, for example, it is no longer self-evident that the domestic arena is the main site for their pursuit, since domestic and foreign affairs are now deeply and irrevocably intermeshed. In a globalizing world, the lack of democracy or justice in the global setting necessarily impacts deeply on the pursuit of justice.
cosmopolitanism builds directly on the universalistic impulses of modern moral and political thought.
Cosmopolitanism’s critics dispute the view that our obligations to foreigners possess the same status as those to members of particular local and national communities of which we remain very much a part.
They by no means deny the need to redress global inequality, for example, but they often express skepticism in the face of cosmopolitanism’s tendency to defend significant legal and political reforms as necessary to address the inequities of a planet where millions of people a year die of starvation or curable diseases (Miller 2012; 2013; Nagel 2005; Pogge 2001, 9; Pogge 2002).
Major disagreements remain about the precise nature of the causal forces behind globalization, with David Harvey (1989 1996) building directly on Marx’s pioneering explanation of globalization, while others (Giddens 1999; Held, McGrew, Goldblatt & Perraton 1999) question the exclusive focus on economic factors characteristic of the Marxist approach.
recent theorists conceive of globalization as linked to the growth of social interconnectedness across existing geographical and political boundaries. In this view, deterritorialization is a crucial facet of globalization.
Globalization must also include reference to the speed or velocity of social activity. Deterritorialization and interconnectedness initially seem chiefly spatial in nature. Yet it is easy to see how these spatial shifts are directly tied to the acceleration of crucial forms of social activity.
Even though analysts disagree about the causal forces that generate globalization, most agree that globalization should be conceived as a relatively long-term process.
The wide-ranging impact of globalization on human existence means that it necessarily touches on many basic philosophical questions.
At a minimum, globalization suggests that academic philosophers in the rich countries of the West should pay closer attention to the neglected voices and intellectual traditions of peoples with whom our fate is intertwined in ever more intimate ways (Dallmayr 1998).
With the emergence of resurgent nationalist and populist political movements, many of which diffusely (and sometimes misleadingly) target elements of globalization, globalization’s future prospects seem increasingly uncertain.
For example, with powerful political leaders regularly making disdainful remarks about the UN and EU, it seems unclear whether one of globalization’s most striking features, i.e., enhanced political and legal decision-making “beyond the nation-state,” will continue unabated.
Tragically perhaps, the failure to manage economic globalization so as to minimize avoidable inequalities and injustices has opened the door to a nationalist and populist backlash, with many people now ready to embrace politicians and movements promising to push back against “free trade,” relatively porous borders (for migrants and refugees), and other manifestations of globalization (Stiglitz 2018).
Even if it seems unlikely that nationalists or populists can succeed in fully halting, let alone reversing, structural trends towards deterritorialization, intensified interconnectedness, and social acceleration, they may manage to reshape them in ways that cosmopolitans are likely to find alarming.
Whether or not nationalists and populists can successfully respond to many fundamental global challenges (e.g., climate change or nuclear proliferation), however, remains far less likely.