D'Agata, Raffaele (2007) On globalisation and twentieth-century history: some inquiries about a comparative approach. Annali della Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere dell'Università di Sassari, Vol. 4 (2004 pubbl. 2007), p. 193-216. ISSN 1828-5384. Article.
Understanding globalisation appears to be the main motive for studying twentieth-century international history today. Though, there is no shared opinion among scholars until now about how any facts we know may fit such a viewpoint. And that requires some theoretical work in the first place. Of course, the current meaning of globalisation is not very far from everyday life: it might sound rather trivial, as well. But that is no reason to create any unnecessary sophistications while stating it. To most people, globalisation simply means that governments throughout the world either do not want or simply cannot effectively tell private business people what to do and what not to do about their money - as far as any of the latter do control any money in abundance. And that is right. Moreover, governments in a globalised world either do not want or simply cannot effectively tell that even to people from abroad who come to make business in their country. In a globalised world, governments are no players in the game about who gets how many life chances and who loses how many - or stays with how few. Neither taxes nor government spending or currency control are meant to influence results in that field. On these assumptions, one might ask whether enlarged electoral franchise and free ballot would ever be easily matched with such behaviours on the part of governments. Indeed, that sounds like a crucial question - especially to historians. We shall get busy about it.
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