Guest Editor's Introduction

It is widely received, if it is not running the risk of becoming a cliché as David Held et al. suspect (Held, 1999: 1), that globalization is not only what we are nowadays but also a theory or perspective with which to look at and deal with such a what-we-are-nowadays. However, to the questions of what globalization is by definition, and what we are experiencing from it, and therefore what theory or perspective it may be, none of the answers is cogent and convincing to date, they are but one argument after/against another. There are two existing approaches to globalization: the modernity and postmodernity. The former holds that globalization is an extension or a diffusion of the modern Western universal values and systems to the East. As suggested by Marxist critics such as Wallerstein, Harvey or Amin, globalization is no more than a global expansion of (Western) capitalism, a flow of (Western) capital and ideology without boundaries. The latter argues that globalization does not signify a triumph of modernity across the world but quite the opposite. A failure of this modernity project, when it meets other cultures or civilizations as perceived by Huntington, Giddens, and the like, and at its best, in the terminology of Roland Robertson (Robertson, 1992: 173-174), it finally becomes a “glocalization.” The theory of Global dialogism is neither the model of modernity nor that of postmodernity, but rather an alternative, which tries to integrate and therefore transcend the previous two approaches. Globalization is simultaneously Westernization or Americanization, de-Wester- nization or de-Americanization, process and counter-process. Globalization is a dynamic dialogue between the West and the East, between the North and the South. More concisely, globalization is a dialogue.