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‘critical theory’

January 27, 2013

In his preface to the third (2009) edition of his book, Globalisms, Manfred Steger writes the following statement, which appeals to me:

“The overarching intent of this study is not to denounce globalization but to contribute to a critical theory of globalization that encourages the reader to recognize the internal contradictions and biases of the various globalist discourses and thus provides people with a better understanding of how beliefs about globalization fashion their realities and how these ideas can be changed. Derived from the Greek verb krinein (to discern, to reflect, to judge) and the Greek noun theoria (contemplation), ‘critical theory’ signifies the noble human impulse to contemplate the validity and desirability of social institutions. Guided by the regulative ideal of an equitable and peaceful global order, critical theories of globalization weaken the authoritarian tendency to silence dissent and eliminate freedom of opinion. Thus, ethically and historically informed criticisms represent the lifeblood of all democratic politics – past, present, and future.” (p.x)

Ref: (italics in original, emphases in blue bold mine) Manfred B Steger (2009) Globalisms: The Great Ideological Struggle of the Twenty-First Century. Third Edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth UK.

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