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Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives [Hardcover]

Anthony Giddens
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 2000 0415927196 978-0415927192

'This little book is full of insights about who we are and where we are going.' - Financial Times

The most accessible book yet by one of the most influential thinkers of our time, Runaway World evaluates the ever-increasing impact of globalization today. Extending his arguments beyond the merely economic, Giddens shows how our growing interdependence directly affects our everyday lives. Neither a cheerleading endorsement of emerging markets, nor a fearful rant on the growth of terrorism or loss of American jobs, this is a book about a world that grows smaller every day, and how those changes are affecting our culture, our traditions, our families, and our politics. Identifying globalization as a true cultural force, this eloquent and important volume is the starting point for anyone concerned about our increasingly interconnected world.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (27 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415927196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415927192
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,187,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens is a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies. He is considered to be one of the most prominent modern contributors in the field of sociology, the author of at least 34 books, published in at least 29 languages, issuing on average more than one book every year. Giddens is "the fifth most-referenced author of books in the humanities".
Currently Giddens serves as Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics.

Product Description

About the Author

Anthony Giddens is the director of the London School of Economics and Political Science and been an advisor to both Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. A cofounder of Polity Press, he is the author of many books including the international bestseller The Third Way. He has seven honorary degrees and has taught at Cambridge, Boston, Harvard, New York and Stanford universities and the University of California, Berkeley and the Sorbonne.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Globalization 2 Mar 2003
Having bought and read a number of books on the subject of 'globalization', I found Anthony Giddens' 'Runaway world' brought the subject to life in simple and most comprehensible terms. Giddens lack of the usual pretentious diction that has become synonymous with Sociology texts, truly enhances the enjoyment and interest in the subject.
The book is made up of a series of lectures on a variety of issues surrounding the impact that globalization has had on everyday ideologies. Runaway World deals with globalization, risk, family, tradition and democracy in a most unpretentious way that makes reading enjoyable and an equally enjoyable learning experience. It is aimed at people who are able to form their own opinions of how globalization is affecting our lives, but at the same time, it doesn't assume that we are all experienced sociologists. This book has been my greatest investment since my globalization studies began and I would reccomend it to anyone who finds the whole concept of globalization a difficult one to master.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Runaway World provides a précis of Giddens' views concerning the impact of globalisation on tradition, family and democracy. Worked into his comments throughout is his interpretation of risk and how this concept has only recently become an element in human decision-making. Giddens argues that risk "unlocks some of the most basic characteristics of the world in which we live" (p.21). I do not think this argument is particularly convincing in the way Giddens historicizes risk (or lack thereof in pre-modern times), nevertheless, it is a useful concept that helps to tie together some fundamental changes in the areas Giddens explores as mentioned above.
I feel that Runaway World has merit in its illustration, with examples, of the changes that can be attributed to globalisation. I do say this advisedly, however, for it is unlikely to satisfy those who are involved in theorising globalisation in any intense way. On the other hand, it does allow those new to globalisation or in need of a quick selection of arguments that illustrate the impacts of globalisation an authoritive source of views. For both types of reader there are some wonderful 'quotables' such as where Giddens says "I would see addiction as frozen autonomy" (p.47). By using the surrounding text this kind of quote can be developed into a whole thesis on the issue.
I would hope that Giddens could expand on some of the themes of this book in the near future: the book is far too short [it is an outgrowth of the 1999 BBC Reith Lectures]. There are certainly interesting threads he draws together but they do need to be approached later with a view to completing the 'tapestry'. Hence the 4-star rating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read ! 18 Jun 2010
Definitely a must read for anybody who is interested in the impact of globalisation on business processes. I am an HR specialist, and was interested in the divergence/convergence debate, and would definitely recommend this book to anyone to set the scene for the great topic around globalisation !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are global 13 Nov 2009
I've only just read this but it explained much that has happened since its publication and second edition. There are so many interesting concepts; that nations now face risks, not enemies; failed states give birth to terrorism; the new-sounding war on terror in reality is being waged in too traditional a way; globalisation fosters local cultures (a point well made by Thomas Freidman in The World Is Flat); how fundamentalism challenges the cosmopolitan tolerance we nee to embrace; and much else. Above all his call for the "democratisation of democracy", essential to grasping the current contempt for traditional politicans evidenced in public anger at MP's and falling turn-outs in elections. How though he doesn't really explain. Vague calls for the renewal of civil society didn't work for Blair and won't work for Cameron. But we need to crack this somehow. Even so this is a stimulating and still highly relevant read.
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