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What Is Global And What Is Local? A Theoretical Discussion Around Globalization

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Executive Summary

This paper develops a new sociological understanding of the difference between global and local relating to the phenomena of globalization. Globalization itself is redefined as one of society's self-description insofar as, following Niklas Luhmann's theory, society is conceived as a cognitive system that can only handle information (about the world, about itself) only through its own specific operation (communication), so that globalization affects society solely when the later communicates about the former. This effectively happens, it is argued, because communications about globalization convey an account of society's current state, i.e. a description of society within society, hence fulfilling the system's need for self-knowledge.

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