Global studies and transregional studies

Collaborators not competitors

Authored by: Manfred B. Steger

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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Global studies (GS) emerged in the late 1990s as a transdisciplinary field of academic enquiry exploring the many dimensions of globalization. ‘What is there is also here and what is here is also there’ is probably the most succinct and uncontroversial summary of globalization’s central dynamics of interconnectivity, reconfiguration of space and time, and enhanced mobility of people, goods, and ideas (Steger 2013). Although it has been extensively studied in sociology, economics, anthropology, geography, history, political science, and other fields, globalization falls outside the established disciplinary framework. It is only of secondary concern in these traditional fields that are organized around different master concepts: ‘society’ in sociology; ‘resources’ and ‘scarcity’ in economics; ‘culture’ in anthropology; ‘space’ in geography; ‘the past’ in history; ‘power’ and ‘governance’ in political science, and so on. By contrast, GS has placed ‘globalization’ – a contested keyword without a firm disciplinary home – at the core of its intellectual enterprise. The rise of GS represents, therefore, a clear sign of the proper academic recognition of a new kind of social interdependence on a global scale (Steger and Wahlrab 2017).

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