Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies (Jan 2009)

Globalisation and Social Imaginaries: The Changing Ideological Landscape of the Twenty-First Century

  • Manfred B. Steger

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 1
pp. 9 – 30


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The proliferation of prefixes like ‘neo’ and ‘post’ that adorn conventional ‘isms’ has cast a long shadow on the contemporary relevance of traditional political belief systems like liberalism, conservatism, and Marxism. This article explores how the thickening of global consciousness finds its expression in the growing capability of today’s political ideologies to translate the rising global imaginary into concrete political programs and agendas. But these subjective dynamics of denationalization at the heart of globalisation have not yet dispensed with the declining national imaginary. The twenty-first century promises to be an ideational interregnum in which both the global and national stimulate people’s deep-seated understandings of community. The essay also offers a rough outline and basic features of a new classification scheme that divides contemporary political ideologies into ‘market globalism’, ‘justice globalism’, and ‘religious globalism’.