Globalization and Self-Organization in the Knowledge-Based Society

In this paper I suggest that a theory of self-organization can be used as a consistent background theory for explaining  the dynamics and logics of globalization. Globalization is not confined to the human realm, it  is  an attribute of all complex, self-organizing  systems. Globalization in a synchronous sense means a micro-macro-link where bottom-up-emergence of new qualities in  the  self-reproduction of complex systems takes place, it is accompanied by a macro-micro-link of  top-down-localization. A dynamic interaction between a global and a local level (glocalization)  results  in  the permanent overall self-reproduction of the system. Globalization in a diachronic  sense means  the emergence of a new, higher level of self-organization during a phase of instability and heavy fluctuations by order  through  fluctuation. Globalization is shaped by a dialectic of change and continuity: in the hierarchy that  stems  from emergent evolution there are both general aspects of globalization and aspects that are specific for each organizational level. Applying this general notion of globalization to society means  that human globalization is both a general process that can be found in all societies  and  a specific process with emergent qualities in concrete phases of societal development. Globalization processes  in  modern society  are  based  on structural antagonisms that result in uneven developments in the technosphere, the ecosphere, the economy, polity, and culture. The transition to  Postfordist, informational capitalism  has been a consequence of the development of the structural antagonisms of Fordism and has been accompanied by a new phase of  globalization  that  has transformed the subsystems of society and has resulted in new antagonism that are an expression of general antagonisms that shape modern societies. Hence we find antagonistic tendencies of  contemporary globalization  in all subsystems of society that result  in  both  risks and opportunities. Human beings have the ability to actively shape society in such a way that an alternative sustainable form of globalization can be achieved.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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