Thinkers: One World, After All

UNDERSTANDING GLOBALISM

A literature professor at Duke University and an Italian political philosopher living under house arrest in Rome would seem to have little in common. But in 2000 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri collaborated to write the most talked-about work of social theory in years. By last summer, Empire, their sprawling best seller, had been translated into four languages, with six more translations in the pipeline.

Hardt and Negri have cut through one of the most tedious debates in contemporary politics. Everyone understands that globalization, the process by which societies and economies are being integrated, is one of the defining issues of...

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