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Adam Smith'S Globalization (But Anti-Secularization) Theory


  • Alvey, James E.


In the Western world the voices calling for a secular society have grown ever louder over the last three centuries. In addition to these normative advocates, various social scientists have propounded the "secularization thesis"; after analysing history from a purportedly positive view, they have argued that "modernization" leads to a secular society. Recently globalization has been seen as another cause of secularization. At the same time, the revival of various religions has cast doubt on these claims. In this paper we return to one of the founders of modernity for guidance. Adam Smith advocated globalization on economic and moral grounds. He did not see secularization as an inevitable consequence of globalization. Further, despite his awareness of the arguments of the advocates of secular society, he rejected their advice. For him, a secular community was neither a necessary nor a desirable consequence of globalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Alvey, James E., 2003. "Adam Smith'S Globalization (But Anti-Secularization) Theory," Discussion Papers 23716, Massey University, Department of Applied and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:masddp:23716
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.23716

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey T. Young, 1997. "Economics as a Moral Science," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 842.
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    3. Abeysuriya, Kumudini & Mitchell, Cynthia & White, Stuart, 2007. "Can corporate social responsibility resolve the sanitation question in developing Asian countries?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 174-183, April.

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