One globalisation or many? Risk society in the age of the Anthropocene

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My goal in this article is to reconsider current ideas of globalisation, and of the relations between nature and society, by looking at two theoretical programmes of the past four decades. I start by reconsidering Ulrich Beck’s theory of risk society and highlight some of its core strengths and weaknesses. I then revisit more recent debates on the Anthropocene and unpack some key dimensions. There, I contend that arguments on the Anthropocene allow us to develop a more robust concept of globalisation than those currently available: an idea of globalisation that is the inescapable condition of what humans are as a species. Finally, I offer some preliminary reflections on the new stage of globalisation that seems to have started with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-26
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropocene
  • globalisation
  • humanism
  • risk society
  • social theory
  • sociology


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