chapter  1
Introduction: Global Perspectives on Religion, Nationalism and Politics
ByJOHN HUTCHINSON
Pages 10

Many scholars of globalisation consider that revolutions in technology and communications have ushered in a new period of human history (Albrow 1996; Castells 1996; Giddens 1990). Such is the scale, speed and intensity of interactions that the world’s populations are being united into a single time and space, giving rise to a global consciousness as they face common problems that require planetary-wide solutions, such as nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, long-distance economic migrations and refugee flows, and climate change. Scholars may disagree about when this new era emerged, but there is rough agreement about its distinctive institutions: a global liberal economy, world political and legal organisations such as the United Nations (UN), a global civil society of transnational nongovernmental agencies putting forward a human rights agenda, diaspora communities as economic and ideological actors, a world language (English) and transnational media organisations promoting a universal popular culture.