Often used synonymously with post-modernity or neo-liberalization, this term houses within it several definitions, contradictions, and overlaps. One of several contested definitions of globalization is the economic and cultural integration of the globe, facilitated by rapid changes in technology that make way for new modes of communication and the creation of a “world market.” Advances in transportation, information, and communication technologies enable globalization, which is thought to advance at a rate parallel to that of industrial and economic growth. The centrality of networks, as opposed to physical territory, plays a key role in undermining national boundaries which in turn leads not only to a new, global market, but also to communities that are no longer determined by physical proximity or older, spatially delimited forms of communication.

In a more critical sense, globalization is a conceptual framework for understanding a turning point in the history of human experience, which Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2000) have termed Empire. Empire is a name for sovereignty in a globalized world. It is a world-wide and deterritorializing apparatus of control. It is necessary to acknowledge the ways in which globalization’s supposed diffusion of information, access, goods, and visibility still follows the hierarchies of a pre-globalization era. Patterns of flow of information and goods has created a form of new imperialism wherein the developed world holds dominance and power, and is thus able to force its market logic and its “products” more easily on the developing world.

[key terms]