Book Review: Global Theory From Kant To Hardt And Negri By Gary Browning

global-theoryGary Browning’s book unfolds the academic space that endorses the hegemonic reception  of global theory.Contemporary intelligentsia do view global theory as a radical theoretical tradition that problematizes the assertions  emerged in the context of globalization.In other words,the social movements that emerged against the ruthless penetration of globalisation are categorised into political categories called global theories.Browing in an incisive,theoretical critique does offer new insights into the claims related to the novelty of global theory.This book challenges the gargantuan status of global theory through the critical analysis of  earlier,radical ,social theories.Thus,Browning raises fundamental questions to global theorists by revisiting the predecessor social theories and debunks the current trends that are being legitimised in the name of global theory.

Author discusses the  paradigm shifts that are being offered by the global theorists.Globalization is the key word/moment of global theory and such foregrounding of globalisation as a distinct,historical juncture is being displayed by the peculiar clan of global theorists to carve out unique,intellectual ,theoretical niche.It has become an indispensable,academic proclivity to read the diverse,social movements that are being orchestrated across the globe.Browing helps us to understand such theoretical and praxis linked complexities of larger,political assertions via offering penetrating analysis into the labyrinth of global theory.One of the significant theoretical stakes of global theory,for Browning,is that it positions itself as radical and different from their “modern theoretical predecessors”.

Global theory reorients its autonomous character through erecting the binary oppositions of the “modern” and “global”.One of the central problem of global theory,according to Browning, is that global theory in its frantic search for unique identity reduces the potentials of modern theory to grand project of modernity.Pioneering contributions of thinkers such as Kant,Hegel and Marx are re-articulated through  sort of praxeological skepticism.Another remarkable Brownian reading of global theory is that of the questions related to the periodization of history.Global theory,according to  Browning, constructs its periodization of history via postmodernism driven critique of grand narratives.Thus,the understanding of  history on those lines legitimise postmodern denial of the modern ,political assertions.For instance,the book offers riveting analysis on the ways in which one of the global theoretical streams such as cosmopolitanism is influenced by the indelible perspectives of Kant.Cosmopolitan undercurrents in Kant has enlivened contemporary cosmopolitanism.In other words,global theory rehearses the Kantian stake on universality of reason and rational competencies of human beings.Hegel is also read as one of the  central thinkers of modernity and such reading has the potential to assess modernity that expand the understanding on globalization.Hegel is also classified as a thinker of recognition whose perspectives can be deployed to derive renewed readings on the identity politics as one particular social/political praxis that analyse the existence of goods and rights.Transition from Marxist to Anarchist thought is being discussed as the peculiar,ideological oscillation that help to strengthen the global theorists’ diverse articulations on transforming and evolving forms of capital.Hardt and Negri’s vocabulary of political assertions have acquired important position within the gambit of global theory. Theoretical ambiguity  thus is reproduced through the antagonistic streams within the global theory.Postmodernist detachment of radical global theory from the Marxian critique symbolises the noncommittal dimension of the much fashionable ,global theory.At the same time, author provides a rigorous reading on the fragmented existence of the movements/theorists who defend global theoretical orientation.Browning reminds us of the politics of the construction of global theory and radical global theory.Modernity becomes a central category of Browning through which global theory can be analysed  and such problematic does not succumb to the hagiographies on modernity as well as postmodern scepticism of grand narratives.Teleological interpretations of history and its theoretical consequences are the vital turns that differentiate the book from the ahistorical notes on social movements/thoughts.

Global Theory From Kant To Hardt And Negri By Gary Browning

208 pp.Palgrave Macmillan,$120

Dr Sanil Malikappurath Neelakandan teaches at Faculty of Law,SRM University, Haryana,India.Area of interest is social theory

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