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The Global and the LocalUnderstanding the Dialectics of Business Systems$
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Arndt Sorge

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278909.001.0001

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Emergent National Distinctiveness through International Exposure

Emergent National Distinctiveness through International Exposure

(p.67) 3 Emergent National Distinctiveness through International Exposure
The Global and the Local

Arndt Sorge

Oxford University Press

Layered societies evolve distinctive institutions and culture, partly against and partly by way of internationalization. The latter nexus is often neglected but demonstrated well in the case of Germany. Social spaces are typically segmented, such that opposite meanings are allocated specific sub-spaces; co-exist at close quarters; and become temporarily interdependent. This vitiates any treatment of society being uniformly marked by specific characteristics. Internal opposition of meanings and external effects together fuel an evolutionary dialectic, which makes different characteristics prevail, alternate, and become intertwined at different moments. Such developments congeal into a meta-tradition which resembles the swing of a pendulum. A meta-tradition encases the dialectics of internationalization and provincialization, and other recombinations of opposed characteristics into novel institutions. In the case of Germany, a salient opposition governing the meta-tradition is between economic liberalization and corporatist economic and political association. The dialectic between these has been stimulated by international exposure, politically and economically. The fundamental casing of the meta-tradition is called the South Germanic bedrock (as against the North Germanic, Scandinavian, bedrock).

Keywords:   universalization, provincialization, meta-tradition, feudalism, convergence, divergence, South Germanic bedrock

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