International Journal of
Peace and Development Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Peace and Dev. Stud
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6621
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPDS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 103


The era of empire or globalization? The impact of the global shift on development thinking and society

James E. Conable
  • James E. Conable
  • Development Studies, Lund University Graduate School, Faculty of Social Sciences, Sweden.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 09 October 2013
  •  Accepted: 02 December 2014
  •  Published: 31 December 2014


This study is a literature review with the ambition to answer the question, what is globalization? The myriad of perspectives, both for and against globalization theses makes it an elusive concept and can be confusing both for undergraduate students and laypersons. Hence, in this paper globalization theses reconsidered, pulling together diverse perspectives in order to provide an alternative way of understanding globalization debate, according to the manifestation of the phenomena associated with it rather than grappling with various explanations. Therefore, globalization means information age and integration, transnational movement and an intersection of global and other special qualities. This paper used two examples related to development issues: economic liberalization and sustainable development to operationalize this definition. The analysis is both descriptive and explanatory. The aim was not to develop new concepts, but to use the existing concepts to formulate a simple definition of globalization. Also, to assess the overall impact of globalization was not the ambition but to show the empirical justification of the definition. This paper concludes that this definition is useful in order for the undergraduate students and laypersons to follow the arguments about globalization and to understand the impact of globalization on development thinking and society.


Key words: Empire, environment, development, globalization, liberalization.