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Globalization and the modes of operation of major institutional actors


  • Thomas Biersteker


Most scholars writing about globalization define it in terms of a dramatic increase in international transactions: from economic exchanges such as trade, finance and investment to cultural ones such as information, ideas and technology. A more useful way to think about globalization is as a basic change in the way major institutional actors think and operate. This article illustrates changes in thinking and modes of operation in firms, in non-governmental organizations, in international institutions and in the adaptive reactions of state policies. It also explores the potential implications of this conception of globalization, with particular reference to its contradictory consequences for different types of inequality: between states, within states, and between states and other institutional entities. The article concludes with an argument about why globalization is likely to continue and why it is so important to understand.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Biersteker, 1998. "Globalization and the modes of operation of major institutional actors," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 15-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:26:y:1998:i:1:p:15-31 DOI: 10.1080/13600819808424143

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    Cited by:

    1. Eriksson, Kent & Fjeldstad, Øystein & Jonsson, Sara, 2017. "Transaction services and SME internationalization: The effect of home and host country bank relationships on international investment and growth," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 130-144.

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