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Magyar Fellow (1 September 2001 - 31 January 2002)
My work at NIAS was aimed at making progress in the study of the globalization literature by focusing on the cultural dimension of the phenomenon. The two main aims of my research were, firstly, to try to interpret globalization in terms of contemporary sociology, and secondly to unearth confluences of cultural and economic analysis in relation to contemporary world development. My progress in both directions has been satisfactory. However, with respect to the first goal it is rather disappointing to see how the literature on that subject has moved towards a kind of pseudo-philosophical impressionism. My second line of research charted an emerging tendency that can be seen as the cultural theory of the economy. I wrote drafts on the relationship between trans-national capital flows and cultural conditions on the consumer and the producer sides of the economy, and also on the cultural consequences of economic integration. My studies at NIAS also helped to elaborate on issues where the concept of culture has been abused or inaccurately used by scholars and commentators in the mass media. The inadequacy of the cultural argument is most apparent when it is used to explain the generation of wealth and international conflict. The issues expored at NIAS will constitute a major part of a volume on globalization to be published in Hungary in the second half of 2002.
In addition to my explicit research agenda, I also interviewed several distinguished NIAS Fellows. An interview with Professor Dietrich Orlow was published in a short version in the leading Hungarian newspaper Népszabadság and in a longer form in the social science quarterly Eszmélet. In the latter phase of my NIAS stay, I interviewed Professor Immanuel Wallerstein on issues of globalization, hegemony and war. This will be published in the near future.
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