Globalization through the Prism of Big History

Authors: Shestova, Tatyana ; Ariskina, Y.
Journal: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 11, Number 2 / November 2020


A review of a collective monograph ‘A Big History of Globalization. The Emergence of a Global World System’ by Julia Zinkina, David Christian, Leonid Grinin, Ilya Ilyin, Alexey Andreev, Ivan Aleshkovski, Sergey Shulgin, and Andrey Korotayev. Springer, Cham. 2019. 284 p.

Historicism as one of the main principles of scientific rationality opens great horizons for expanding our knowledge of globalization. At the end of the twentieth century a historical dimension of globalization was discovered by world-system scholars. Immanuel Wallerstein, Andre Gunder Frank, Giovanni Arrighi, George Modelski and others who worked in the world-system paradigm, based methodologically on the works by Fernand Braudel, showed a systemic development of economic, political, social and cultural interconnections of the humankind in historical dynamics. Almost without using the term ‘globalization’ until the mid-1990s, the authors described and revealed a few essential patterns of the process based on historical and systemic approaches. After the ideological clash between two systems and the following crisis of social studies came to an end, the concept of globalization became the core aspect of new social theories. In the first decade of the twenty-first century that witnessed an outburst of works on globalization, the concepts of many social theories were interpreted in a new way, and the structure of many social disciplines was reorganized. In the introduction to one of the best collection of works on historical aspects of globalization, Barry Gills and William R. Thompson wrote, ‘Many more studies will be needed to specify further the historical processes of global (and globalizing) network construction and intensification. We have no doubt they will be forthcoming’ (Gills and Thompson 2006: 15). They were right. By the end of the 2010s, multifarious aspects of globalization were deeply investigated. It was numerously pointed out in historiographic research, book and journal publications that nowadays it is quite difficult to find the angle from which the globalization has not yet been analyzed. Thus, it seems more valuable and interesting to have this monograph published.

Tatiana Shestova, Lomonosov Moscow State University more

Yulia Ariskina, Lomonosov Moscow State University more