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A New Decade of the Global Age, 1996-2006

Author(s): Martin Albrow

Journal: Globality Studies Journal : Global History, Society, Civilization
ISSN 1557-0266

Volume: 2007;
Issue: July17;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: civil society | clash of civilizations | epochal theory | global age | globality | global issues | Millennium Development Goals

The need for a theoretical exploration of the widely shared sense of a new epoch in the early 1990s prompted the author’s The Global Age (1996). This is a review of that thesis in the light of events over the last decade, a test of time for its continuing validity. A main original proposition was that globalization rhetoric was a fundamentally misplaced attempt to assimilate the new globality of our time to an old modern historiography. That rhetoric persisted in the Third Way but was challenged by Seattle in 1999 and 9/11, 2001. Those events have highlighted contingencies that are global, felt to be dangerously close to being beyond control, prompting responses that are decentred and networked through individuals and multiple agencies of state and civil society. A new orientation to global issues, most prominently represented by the Millennium Development Goals, has emerged as a characteristic feature of our age.
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