Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Re-enchanting the State in a Global Age: Globalization and the Meaning of Chaos

JoAnn Chirico.

Three contemporary problems of disaffection and disenfranchisement are among the forces giving impetus to globalization. The responses to these problems by individuals, non-governmental groups and states are shaping and giving content to globalization. This paper briefly discusses these problems and a constellation of responses that coalesce on the issue of re enchantment. The problems are first, the end of modernity. In contrast to modernization, which has come to mean something synonymous with the rationalization of life, globalization is accompanied by an adamancy concerning the de rationalization or re-enchantment of life. Second, rationality and legitimacy crises have resulted in mass disaffection from the state. Disaffected groups, including minorities, women, labor, environmentalists, are arguing for a new framework for solving problems that transcend the instrumental rationalist models that resulted in their disenfranchisement. These groups see themselves as forming a very active, very vibrant, in many respects effective global civil society. Third, the disaffection of the peripheral states from the core is forcing international governmental and non-governmental economic and political agents to open their deliberations to less rationalistic, more substantive/value rational (re enchanted) concerns. These concerns include both a consideration of traditional values and norms and emergent values as well as the need for self determination, as opposed to rationalist planning and application of “models” to developing nations.


JoAnn Chirico  (United States)
Division of Social Studies and Education Commonwealth College
The Pennsylvania State University

JoAnn Chirico has been teaching at The Pennsylvania State University since 1997. Her area of specialization is globalization, although she has also published in substance abuse and education.

  • Globalization
  • Re-enchantment
  • Nation state
  • Crisis

(Virtual Presentation, English)