A Durkheimian Account of Globalization

The Construction of Global Moral Culture

in Durkheimian Studies
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What might Durkheim's writings teach us today about the nature of globalization processes and a globalized world condition? This paper contends that Durkheim has a great deal of relevance for social scientific understandings of contemporary globalization. His distinctive contribution involved understanding the genesis and nature of a world-level moral culture. This vision entailed a significant sociological recasting of Kant's cosmopolitan political philosophy. The paper reconstructs Durkheim's account of world moral culture from writings that stretch throughout his career. For each of the major texts considered, the paper points out some of the important intellectual antecedents that Durkheim may have drawn upon, or which have notable resonances with what he was endeavouring to achieve. The overall argument is that the Durkheimian vision of globalization stands as a major corrective to radical critiques of globalization which reduce it to being a simple product of capitalism and imperialism. The moral dimensions of globalization have to be considered as much as these factors, which the paper takes to be Durkheim's major lesson for globalization studies today.

Durkheimian Studies

Études Durkheimiennes