Evolutionary Globalistics

Evolutionary Globalistics
Authors: Ilyin, Ilya V.; Ursul, Arkadi A.
Almanac: Globalistics and Globalization StudiesAspects & Dimensions of Global Views

The analysis of global processes (including globalization and global problems) with relation to evolutionary aspects seems an important step towards understanding their essence and full subject matter as well as revealing their interconnection and interaction with other global processes. We consider the possible development of Evolutionary Globalistics (one of the fields of Global Studies in all their aspects) as a new stage of formation of global knowledge. It is most probable that, at the first stage of its development, Evolutionary Globalistics will evolve as one of the branches of Globalistics alongside with other fields of Global Studies. However, as the necessity of using the evolutionary approach in Global Studies is recognized, this sphere will be filled with ideas of development and it is quite probable that a new, evolutionary stage of global knowledge will start.

Keywords: Global Studies, evolutionary processes, evolutionism, global problems, Globalistics, Evolutionary Globalistics.

Several years ago the authors of the present article introduced a new notion of ‘Evolutionary Globalistics’ into the object field of Global Studies.

Any global crisis, including the natural one, represents a dangerous decrease in the stability of a certain global process or in the self-preservation of a system under the influence of external and internal negative factors and conditions, which can undermine the process or destabilize the system and lead to the global catastrophe. The issues of crises are extensively discussed in terms of the global economic crisis and also in a wider, universal and evolutionary sense. Moreover, a new field of knowledge, devoted to the analysis of different kinds of global catastrophes and possible threats to the humanity, is currently developed. Also the scholars analyze global catastrophes of cosmic, planetary and anthropogenic nature and their possible combinations as well as assess their influence on the future existence of the humanity on Earth. Basing on certain data derived from natural history sciences, some scholars suggest that the humankind may soon get extinct due to the effects of evolutionary processes.

Global problems represent a concentration of negative consequences of the preceding phases of world development and the exacerbation of contradictions that can lead to global crisis and catastrophic consequences. In order to overcome the crisis caused by global problems and negative processes on a global scale, the humanity should undertake some well-coordinated actions. The destructive and regressive nature of the consequences of increasing global problems determines the necessity to overcome them in order to pass to the progressive positive trend of global development (or, as was defined about twenty years ago, to the pathway of sustainable development as a new type of development preserving both civilization and biosphere). However, in order to move on to the sustainable development, the humanity needs to create a new type of governance, namely, the global governance which will control the shift to this type of socio-natural development.

That is why within the evolutionary framework one can also analyze the changes from negative to positive assessment of global issues and their consequences. Global problems are just another form of global development and they call for a reverse in their further development in order to be overcome. One can clearly note the interaction of progressive and regressive processes and trends of the world development in globalization and global problems as the forms of global development. We believe that the identification of such evolutionary trends both in global political processes and in other fields of globalization will be one of the objectives of a new field of studies, namely, of Political Globalistics. Its ultimate goal will be to provide recommendations on the effective steps to reduce the negative (regressive) consequences of global processes and to increase their positive (progressive) impact.

Despite the fact that the majority of scientists regard globalization as a positive (axiologically) process of creation of an integral world resulting from the human activity, this phenomenon in the context of chaotic development of the modern world is characterized by intensified negative consequences. It is connected with the chaotic development of globalization and other global processes which should be managed in an anticipatory manner on a global scale. However, political globalization appears to lag behind many other globalization processes, such as economic globalization and informatization. The political aspect of globalization and other global processes becomes evident when some efforts are made to solve global problems. This encourages corresponding political transformations on a global scale which are supposed to lead to the intensification of progressive and innovative processes in the future.

The analysis of global processes (including globalization and global problems) with relation to evolutionary aspects seems an important step towards understanding their essence and full subject matter as well as revealing their interconnection and interaction with other global processes. The evolutionary analysis of global processes provides a more effective way of using these processes in the formation of global activity and especially global governance.

If we proceed from the above-made assumption that Globalistics is the field of knowledge that studies global processes and systems, it becomes possible to get a different perspective of the field of studies of Globalistics and even of global knowledge in general. Although Globalistics has never ignored the problem of development, and the evolutionary aspect in some way is expressed even in the definition of this scientific field, the ‘processual and evolutionary’ factors have not yet been given a proper position within Global Studies. Globalistics could hardly appear in its ‘evolutionary version’ from the very beginning, as at the primary stage of its formation the object of studies is defined and described and then there starts a systemization process. At the further stages of development, the methods of study and approaches corresponding to the object of study are formed. This is the formation process of almost every branch of science and Globalistics is hardly an exception. We can take not only Biology and Geology as an example, but Economics as well, as the theoretical part of these disciplines has been developing for several centuries but only in the last thirty years Evolutionary Economics appeared as a field of science. It was in fact the same period when the formation of Globalistics started.

The evolutionary basis provides an opportunity to predict the formation of new branches of Global Studies, practical global activity and especially global education. So far, Globalistics has started the formation of its research area both in theoretical and practical (including educational) aspects. The area of study of Globalistics includes not only globalization and global problems but also some broader categories of global processes and systems in their evolution (better to say, in the co-evolution) and this makes a significant change in the theoretical and cognitive perspectives of Global Studies. Within the development of Globalistics, the evolutionary stage of creation of global knowledge has followed the initial period of its accumulation and description. The process of creation of global knowledge at this stage develops inter alia according to the suggested theoretical model of Evolutionary Globalistics.

We consider the possible development of Evolutionary Globalistics as a new stage of formation of global knowledge. It is quite probable that at the first stage of its development Evolutionary Globalistics will evolve as one of the branches of Globalistics alongside with other fields of Global Studies. However, as the necessity of using the evolutionary approach in Global Studies is recognized, this sphere will be filled with ideas of development and it is quite probable that a new, evolutionary stage of global knowledge will start.

Here we offer not only a processual and systematic but also an evolutionary, or, to put it better, a global evolutionary approach which allows a more adequate definition of the place of Globalistics (and global processes and systems it studies) in contemporary science and in the general scientific worldview in the era of globalization. The simultaneous usage of both processual and evolutionary concepts expands the perspectives of the global knowledge development, giving an opportunity to more actively involve Globalistics into the processes of inter- and trans-disciplinary synthesis as well as to form an integral scientific knowledge of the planetary scale.

A clearer definition of the subject field of Globalistics will provide an effective process of formation of different areas of practical activity. The understanding of the place and role of certain global phenomena in the evolutionary process will enable the scientific community to take more effective steps in practical activity focused on the survival of the civilization and the preservation of biosphere which is the natural basis of existence. The evolutionary approach in Globalistics is especially relevant for global education which is responsible for the formation of advanced consciousness of the planetary scale, aimed at achieving noospheric and humanitarian goals.

It is important to analyze the development of global education and corresponding systems of training and upbringing with respect to facilitating the attempts to find solution for global issues and provide the world community's survival. If Globalistics and global knowledge in general are considered as one of the leading scientific fields of the twenty-first century, the global education, currently being formed, may become a catalyst accelerating the transition of the educational process to a brand new level, corresponding to the planetary noospheric future of the humanity. The application of integrative general scientific methods and approaches stimulates the emergence of new fields of Global Studies. Thus, the implementation of the suggested evolutionary and universal evolutionary approaches to Global Studies allows destinduishing such new areas of research as Paleoglobalistics, Cosmoglobalistics, Futuroglobalistics and some others. The branch of Globalistics studying mainly natural and socionatural global processes that occurred in the past can be called Paleoglobalistics. Contemporary global processes are studied in a trans-disciplinary field of scientific research which is traditionally referred to as Globalistics proper (Modern Globalistics) or Neoglobalistics. And finally, the field of Global Studies that concentrates on understanding and forecasting the future of global processes and systems can be called Futuroglobalistics. Globalistics unite the three temporal fields of Global Studies mentioned above and sets a trend of their analysis within evolutionary approach.

The integration of neoglobalistic, futuroglobalistic and paleoglobalistic areas of Global Studies is one of the most important aims of Globalistics as a world-view and as a field of science and education. This, however, requires their development as separate branches of Globalistics.

Evolutionary Globalistics unites two world outlooks and methodological approaches: evolutionism and globalism. Globalism here is considered in its broad meaning as a world-view that analyzes the world from the point of general development concepts and regards it as directed changes in the essence of processes and systems (progress, regress and other forms and directions of development). Having no opportunity to dwell here upon the general development theory and history of evolutionism, we would like to draw the readers' attention to the existence of more accurate definitions of evolutionism. Evolutionism (fig. 1) in the modern sense is a concept (and a methodological approach) which analyzes the processes under consideration not only from the point of their dynamics, transformations, changes, but also takes into account their development and evolution. This is a broader interpretation of evolutionism, which regards development not simply as gradual quantitative changes.

Fig. 1. Evolutionism

Evolutionism (fig. 1) is a type of world perception that analyzes everything in terms of the following interpretation of development: 1) as directed changes in the essence of processes and systems; 2) as progressive quantitative and qualitative directed transformations of tangible objects; and 3) as gradual and reversible quantitative changes of objects without qualitative leaps.

Globalism as a global variant of systematic approach is a world perception focused on the recognition of the world as a planetary entity and of the humanity as a united global community in which global characteristics prevail and the involvement into the universal problems and processes in widely realized.

Development in its broad sense is defined as processes or tangible objects that demonstrate directed and, as a rule, irreversible changes of their content or structure. The fact that processes can either evolve in a progressive way, when a process (system) becomes more complex, or regress towards simplicity, degradation and decay, demonstrates the aforementioned directionality of development. In simplified form, the possible evolutionary trends (directions) of evolutionary processes look as follows:

Regress ← Global Processes and Systems → Progress

There exist other forms of development which are combinations of the ones mentioned above: neutral, wave, cyclic, and circular development, etc. However, all these forms are certain combinations of progressive and regressive trends.

In a broader sense, the concepts of development and evolution are practically equivalent. Evolution in this interpretation involves quantitative and qualitative spasmodic changes, as well as the interconnection between progressive, regressive, cyclical and other types and forms of development existing in nature. We mainly use the wider understanding of evolution as a synonym to the concept of development.

The correlation between historical and evolutionary approaches in Globalistics is one of important problems in this context. If the evolutionary approach coincided with the historical one, Charles Darwin would have no necessity to create his special Evolutionary Biology and many other fields of science would not have formed their evolutionary branches. The historical approach in Globalistics in the form of Historical Globalistics appeared prior to the evolutionary one. The historical approach consists in time ordering of facts and events relating mainly to social sphere, that is it deals with social dynamics in a temporal aspect.

In contrast to the historical approach, the evolutionary method of analysis of processes and phenomena does not consider all the temporal dimensions, but only the most important ones, often the qualitative transformations, and estimates directions of such changes, identifying whether they should be considered as increasing complexity or simplification, progress or regress. Evolutionary method also differs from the logical one, which is also contrasted with the historical approach.

Another peculiarity of the historical approach is connected with the fact, that history, which is supposed to be based on facts, cannot adequately analyze the future, where no facts exist so far. That is why the historical approach is based on the analysis of the past and only partly of the present, which, by the end of the analytical process, becomes the past. Therefore, history is associated with the science about the past, where some development processes can be singled out. However, the temporal aspect and special attention given to the past prevail in the historical approach.

Development processes could be to a certain extend detected in the past, however, the evolutionary processes do not coincide with the chronological order of events not least because they are not the phenomena of linear timing nature, which is required within the historical approach. The historical approach registers only sequences of facts and events and is not defined by the objective logic of development of the subject under scrutiny, which, in turn is analyzed within the evolutionary approach.

In the course of time historians try to link their science to a certain perception within the evolutionary approach. First, they used to identify the historical process with progress considering all the regressive changes accidental or deviating from the main trend of social dynamics. Later, the ideas of circulation and cyclical development, often observed in nature, became popular. After that, the idea of the end of history emerged, and not only allegorically (e.g., the way it was expressed by Francis Fukuyama). The historical approach turns out to depend on the evolutionary understanding of history, which provides additional arguments in favor of the difference between the two approaches under discussion. That is why Historical Globalistics is not the same as Evolutionary Globalistics, whereas the historical approach in Globalistics cannot be identified with the evolutionary one in the same branch of studies (fig. 2).

Evolutionary Globalistics is an interdisciplinary conceptual approach to the analysis of global processes and systems in evolutionary aspect and, above all, on the basis of global evolutionism. Evolutionary Globalistics unites all the temporal aspects of Globalistics and, moreover, directs the analysis towards the sphere of global processes and systems in a unified evolutionary aspect, that is in the interconnection of the past, present, and future.

Fig. 2. Historical and Evolutionary Globalistics

Thus, Historical Globalistics is rather a description and, to a certain extent, a temporally ordered reflection of the world dynamics of human existence whereas Evolutionary Globalistics is the study of evolution and coevolution of global processes and their systematical synergetic phenomenon – global development.

The above-mentioned general scientific approaches and methods (such as global modeling, systematic, historical, ecological, socionatural, evolutionary, coevolutionary, synergetic, informational and other) significantly facilitate the global integrating development of science.

In general, there is no method or approach implemented solely in Globalistics. Some of the aforementioned methods have just been formed. Even globalism as a global variant of systematic approach is a world perception focused on the recognition of the world as a planetary whole and of the humanity as a united global community, in which global characteristics prevail and the involvement into the universal problems and processes in widely implemented.

At the early stages of development of Globalistics, the systemic approach and global modeling used to play an important part. Later, the development of Complexity Studies approach began which provided the basis of implementation of the evolutionary approach in Globalistics. Complexity Studies are a branch of science studying cooperative processes and self-organizing (or self-disorganizing) systems in non-linear and unbalanced environment. These are the types of environment in which global processes take place on the global scale.

Self-organization as a rising complexity of the evolving global system or process, the increase of its informational content (the growing diversity of its elements, connections, and relations etc.) is of special interest for Globalistics. Self-disorganization, also studied within Complexity Studies, can be considered a regressive path of development, whereas self-organization can to a certain extent be identified with a progressive branch of evolution, as this process includes increasing complexity and organization of evolving global processes and systems.

We regard Globalistics as the most important component of the forming system of integral general scientific knowledge that defines the modern scientific world-view of the universal or global evolutionism. The integral general scientific knowledge is formed via trans-disciplinary synthesis of integrative processes in science. This system consists of forms of knowledge with most general research areas and is used in many (someday, probably, in all) fields of knowledge.

Evolutionary Globalistics will be formed as a trans-disciplinary conceptual approach to the analysis of global processes and systems from the evolutionary point and, above all, will be based on the results obtained in global (universal) evolutionism. The ideas on development came into Globalistics in different ways including the process of integration of the evolutionary concepts from the disciplines involved into Globalistics. However, global evolutionism can be considered the most important in this respect, as it penetrates more and more scientific disciplines and research spheres including Global Studies. Global evolutionism represents the basis of modern scientific world-view and a form of global (universal) evolution, in which self-organization of material systems is the main permanent process in the observable Universe. Global evolution is a continuous self-organization process in the material systems first in inanimate nature, then in the living matter and society, and after that – in the socionatural form (see Table 1). It is quite obvious that the evolutionary approach has penetrated Global Studies in different forms; however, it happens less intensively and effectively than the general scientific principles and approaches, already discovered in global evolutionism, are applied.

Table 1. Global Evolution

Evolutionary Levels

Non-organic Nature

Organic Nature



Biological macromoleclular









Organs and tissues

Big social groups (classes, nations)


Organism itself

State (Civil society)



Regional state systems

Mega-level (planets, star-planetary systems, galaxies)


Humanity itself

Meta-level (Metagalaxy)