Primitive globalization? State and locale in neoliberal global engagement

Sociological Theory 18 (1):121-144 (2000)
Abstract
Drawing widely from sociology, political science, and urban studies, this article introduces the term "primitive globalization" in order to address issues of state and governance for localities that globalize within a national context. Suggested by the discussion of primitive accumulation in Marx's Capital, this conceptual frame highlights the ways in which states neither circumvented by globalization nor resistant to it may facilitate neoliberal globalization by "separating" or disembedding social actors from conditions that otherwise impede short-term economic activity. This conception, which is considered primarily in relation to the United States, positions the state as both facilitator and victim of globalization, draws attention to state fragmentation and national politics, and places the role of the national state in the local state at the center of unstable linkages. It is suggested that under these conditions the national/local state may be caught between the roles of government and governance; for this reason, as well as others, contemporary globalization remains transitional
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