Theory, globalization and chocolate fish

This week we’ll spend some time debating theories of IR and ask what a “good” theory looks like; what should it include and exclude, what should it aspire to?  Well, the KOF 2012 Globalization Index arrived in my inbox this morning, complete with scores for states for (a) their overall globalization, (b) their “economic”, (c) “social” and (d) “political” globalization — and the results got me wondering just what was being included (and wasn’t).

If I told you that the four states that won each category (a-d) were: Singapore, Cyprus, Italy, and Belgium, could you guess which state won which? What kind of values are inherent in the questions being asked?  (If you were wondering about New Zealand, we ranked #27 overall, #22 in economic globalization, #35 in social and a lowly #56 in political globalization, whatever that means. )  Chocolate fish for anyone who gets 4/4 without cheating.

The full data and methodology is here:  Critical comments about the findings should be written on the back of a copy of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, and sent to Prof. Dr. Axel Dreher,  Phone: +41 44 632 46 23


5 comments on “Theory, globalization and chocolate fish

  1. ryankf says:

    overall a) Singapore
    economic b) Belgium
    social c) Italy
    political d) Cyprus

  2. Katia S. says:

    Without cheating I’d guess that neither Belgium did not win political globalisation (although I don’t know what is included I would guess it didn’t win because they struggled for a year to build a coalition, so not very efficient political system) not Italy won political globalisation (due to the drama around Berlusconi last year). Italy also did not win economic globalisation because they need so really start saving and build up their economy (which Berlusconi failed to do) otherwise they might need EU money as Greece, Ireland, etc..
    So I would guess the following:
    overall globalisation: Singapore
    economic: Belgium
    social: Italy
    political: Cyprus

  3. frassminggi says:

    (a) their overall globalization = Cyprus, (b) their “economic” = Singapore, (c) “social” = Italy and (d) “political” globalization = Belgium.

  4. sengad says:

    Apart from Singapore (winner of the economic category? or maybe overall category?), this list of countries is quite surprising. Reading the definitions they give for the various types of globalisations studied ( sheds some light but the presence of Cyprus in the list is still a mystery to me. In spite of the political instability in Belgium it might be the winner in the political category (number of international institutions, international NGOs, etc.) or social category (multicultural country hosting various international communities with associated cultural in- and out-flows). I actually would go for the latter (since Italy needs to win in one category – and the political seems to be the most appropriate since it is a member of EU, hosts the FAO, has a number of international NGOs, etc.).
    So, in conclusion:
    – Overall: Singapore
    – Economic: Cyprus (?!)
    – Social: Belgium
    – Political: Italy

  5. mir2012blog says:

    I agree with you Stefan, it is a very odd list, which makes me wonder what on earth is in the methodology. Anybody got a few hours to spare? Congrats for guessing Italy is the winner in political globalization – but although your reasons why are plausible, Italy doesn’t seem particularly more deserving than a host of other states who host international organizations and have lots of NGOs (what about Switzerland?). I did wonder if it weighted heavily Italy’s rather unusual system of electoral representation which allocates senators to the Italian diaspora across the world (yes, there is an Italian senator for Australia, NZ and part of Asia!). Or perhaps it’s just as Katia suggests, that Italy has entertained most of the globe with the Berlusconi “bunga bunga” antics for the last 18 months.

    Anyway, the answers please… (drum roll): overall = Belgium; economic = Singapore; Social = Cyrus; political = Italy. Alas, no chocolate fish!

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