Abstract:In autumn 2005 representatives of various scientific disciplines met in Poznah to jointly deliberate about the direction of transformations in ideas, outlooks and morality as well as in social and political life (including political systems) in the contemporary world. These representatives included philosophers, ethicists, sociologists, lawyers and political scientists, who spoke for research institutions from different countries ranging from Germany, Austria, through the United States, Spain, Kirghizia, to Poland. It was not by accident that they focused on globalization, a project that is problematic in the present day and, at the same time, controversial in the light of reviving fundamentalisms in outlooks and religions, the movements that guard the preservation of the national and cultural identity, and growing euroscepticism.
Opinions on the unification process taking place before our very eyes are definitely varied: they range from optimistic, through moderately optimistic and critical, to sceptical or even unfavourable to globalization. The disputes over globalization are by no means just a scientific or theoretical or political debate, but they are transposed into real activities and diverse forms of protest. Perhaps, in the age of expansion of democracy, the attitudes and the opinions that are most important are those shared by “common peopele” who are disappointed with the practical implementation of the “globalization project” and lip-service paid to it. This book, which is an outcome of the Poznań Conference, shows how deeply men of science and politics are involved in the changes taking place in the contemporary world and respective responses to them. The authors of the articles in the book address an exceptionally wide range of issues linked with globalization. These include: 1) the question of globalization itself, its present forms, range, dimenstions or aspects, 2) the question of values, standards, principles and mechanisms supporting or hindering the unifying processes, 3) assessments of benefits and risks that unification entails in mental, cultural, social and political terms. These briefly mentioned issues are supplemnted by works by authors who address the complex problems of the globalization epoch, as well as the issues and questions respresentative for the period that preceded it.