International Sociology. July 2008, 23(4)

Transnationalization and globalization are the themes in the new International Sociology. What's the distinction? Hofmeister & Breitenstein guide you through it (it's a matter of precision - "the processes are transnational; the effects are global"). Warning: "the research in this special issue into understanding transnational processes should have long-lasting impact"!

Arsenault & Castells look into NewsCorp's control of information (Murdoch here is a 'switcher'). A good overview of the media leviathan linked up to Castells's switching-programming version of power (pdf).

We're tracking labour and capital across borders in Sanderson & Kentor. Migration from poor countries (1985-2000) is compared to rates of foreign investment via panel regression analysis. The finding: foreign direct investment increases emigration, and does so long-term.

Boli & Elliott cast a critical eye over transnational 'champions of diversity and difference'. These differences are covers for a creeping sameness ('individualization' is the engine here, and diversity cheerleaders are the symptom). Rationality and autonomy here are obstacles to an unreflective and automatic difference - the sort that cuts so deep that it doesn't need championing. Why does this feel like a complaint...

Mills et al focus on work, welfare and industrial relations patterns and policies with an interest in convergence. The finding: "converging divergences". There's an interesting model here; pity the data used can't keep up (the authors' admission).

A strong sociological metric for globalisation is the goal for Schmelzer and a large University of Bamberg team. Meet GlobalIndex. The measure is explained and demoed with German and British labour market data.