This chapter contains sub units as mentioned below
(a) : Understanding Globalization and its Alternative Perspectives
(b) : Political Debates on Sovereignty and Territoriality
(c) : Global Economy: Its Significance and Anchors as a Global Political Economy: IMF, World Bank, WTO, TNCs
(d) : Globalization: Its Cultural and Technological Dimensions
(e) : Global Resistances: Global Social Movements and NGOs
A. Understanding Globalization and its Alternative Perspectives
Globalization is a an economic concept, but it has also political, cultural, technological dimensions.
Globalization can mean the absence of geographical boundaries and the end of geographical distances.
It is a process, where the market forces operating in the domestic market to come out of the national boundaries and perform their mechanism.
It has introduced the concept of ‘Global Village’ by uniting entire nations.
Globalization: Historical Development
Globalization did not arise suddenly in the twentieth century like Aladdin’s lamp, but it has been in existence since ancient times and it has developed over a period of time.
The Silk route, which stretched from China to Europe, connected a large part of the world and was economically affecting people’s lives. It can be considered as the initial stage of globalization.
The beginning of real globalization can be traced to the expansion of trade links between Europe and African countries in the modern period significantly after industrial revolution.
The discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 changed the entire event.
Later in the 18th century, Portuguese merchants established factories, expanding their trade on the African continent.
The establishment of colonial rule in Asia, Africa and Latin America were resulted by this process.
Globalization of the 19th century was mainly concerned with the processes of industrialization.
The desire for ‘Trade control’ of the great powers spread to Asia, Africa and Latin America as the expansion of imperialism.
The era of globalization that is talked about in the mid twentieth century is the expansion of Multinational companies and so on.
The role of international transport and mass media proved decisive in the spread of globalization.
Scholars are also of the opinion that the term globalization became common in the last two decades of the twentieth century, i.e., 1980s and 1990s, after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Thus, it was long process.
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Globalization: Disagreements and Protests
Globalization is a controversial phenomenon dividing thought, politics, and economy.
Critics of anti-globalization believe that Ruling Elites created a network of capitalist globalization to spread the world market for their personal interests.
Critics of globalization oppose the uncontrolled authority of large multinational companies.
Under the pressures of globalization, the structure and size of capital markets in developing countries have transformed over the past thirty years.
The struggle against capitalist globalization is being waged at two levels all over the world: grassroots mobilizations and public campaigns of direct actions and civil disobedience.
The World Social Forum was created to provide a platform for the anti-globalization struggles.
Critics of globalization differ on the question of alternatives, with some advocating for nationalism or protectionism and others supporting global solidarity against capitalist globalization.
Many works have emerged due to anti-globalization thinking, including Naomi Klein's "No Logo" and Vandana Shiva's "Biopiracy."
Globalization: Alternative Perspectives
The negative effects of neo-liberal globalization, which prioritize the interests of capitalists over the well-being of citizens and the environment.
Proponents of alternative globalization advocate for economic organizations that prioritize public or worker ownership of means of production and resources, and equal access to resources for all individuals.
The primary aim of local and regional economies should be to produce primary products, manufactured goods, and services from regional resources, with long-distance trading as a last resort.
Access to capital at the local and regional levels should prioritize improving social and environmental conditions and increasing employment opportunities. Financial institutions based on mutual principles should be encouraged.
Speculative financial trading should be discouraged and strictly regulated, with taxes used to discourage short-term speculative transactions.
Transnational corporations should be regulated through trade regulation, anti-trust legislation, and fiscal policy, with a focus on common interests rather than corporate interests.
B. Political Debates on Sovereignty and Territoriality
1. State Sovereignty
The institution of state emerged in 15 and 16 century Europe as a system of centralized rule that subordinated all other forms of institutions.
The modern notion of state was formalized by the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which made states sovereign entities.
The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of the State (1933) defines :Article 1 of this convention states that the state has four features:
A defined territory
A permanent population
An effective government
The capacity to enter into relations with other state
Max Weber defined the state in terms of its monopoly of the means of ‘legitimate violence’ whereas for Joseph Schumpeter, the state also has a fiscal monopoly, reflected in its monopoly of the right to tax citizens.
The main characteristic which defines a state authority is “sovereignty”.
Sovereignty can be divided into internal and external sovereignty.
Internal sovereignty is a notion of supreme power or authority within a state, located in a body whose decisions are binding on all the individuals, groups, and institutions within the territorial borders of the state.
External sovereignty refers to the absolute and unlimited authority that a state has as an actor in world affairs.
External sovereignty allows states to treat their citizens however they want to, even subjecting them to abuse, torture and some states have even committed genocide against their own citizens.
This brings principle of external sovereignty and the doctrine of human rights in conflict with each other and creates hurdles in the implementation of global principles of justice.
The issue of humanitarian intervention is another example of tension between external sovereignty and human rights.
The practical significance of external sovereignty is also questioned because powerful states often infringe on the independence and autonomy of weaker states.
2. Three Positions on Globalization and Its Relation to State Sovereignty
The process of globalization has sparked a debate on the role and relevance of the state in world politics. Three schools of thought, skeptics, hyperglobalists, and transformationalists, have contrasting positions on this issue.
The power and relevance of the state have not changed significantly due to globalization.
The state remains the primary actor in world politics, controlling external relations and domestic affairs within its borders.
The majority of economic activity still takes place within states rather than among them.
High levels of international trade and cross-border capital flows are not new.
Increasing concerns related to migration and terrorism have made the state and its borders more relevant than before.
1. The Hyperglobalists:
Globalization is a novel set of shifts in economic, cultural, technological, and political arenas that has intensified since the 1980s.
Technological forces have created a single global economy.
The notion of a "borderless world" is rising, where states and their borders are becoming irrelevant and dominated by transnational forces.
The digital revolution in information and communications, along with the integrated global financial system, is evidence of a globalized world.
2. The Transformationalists:
Interconnectedness has stretched social, political, economic, and cultural activities across national borders and around the globe.
Trans-border or trans-world activities like migration, international trade, and spread of popular culture have deepened the level of interconnectedness.
Currency and other financial markets react immediately to economic events elsewhere in the world, indicating that interconnectedness is deeper than skeptics would admit.
The 2008 economic crisis originated in America's banking sector but spread to and impacted other economies around the world, providing evidence that the world is becoming a single unit.
Globalization has brought qualitative changes in the nature of sovereignty and the role and relevance of the state, but it has only transformed the state rather than increased or decreased its power.
The debate on the role and relevance of the state in a globalized world has three contrasting positions: skeptics, hyperglobalists, and transformationalists. Each position offers unique perspectives on the nature of globalization and its effects on the state's power and significance in world politics.
3. Political Globalization
Political Globalization and Its Implications for States are given below
Political globalization is the increasing importance of international organizations in a globalized world.
Two models of political globalization are inter-governmentalism and supranationalism, with the latter having more power to impose their will on states.
International organizations such as the United Nations, the EU, NATO, NAFTA, and the WTO have weakened the capacity of states to operate as self-governing units.
Political globalization can also help states expand their capacities and influence through international organizations and regimes, such as pooled sovereignty.
Economic globalization and organizations such as the WTO, IMF, and World Bank have led to the emergence of market-oriented competition states.
According to Robert Cooper, states in a post-cold war world can be divided into three categories: pre-modern, modern, and post-modern states, with post-modern states rejecting the use of force to settle disputes and having faith in rule of law and recourse to international organizations to resolve issues.
4. Conflictual Relation between Processes of Globalization and State Sovereignty
(i) Issue areas of conflict between globalization and state sovereignty
The global financial market limits states' economic policy control
Economic globalization has led to super territoriality, making state borders less relevant
Cosmopolitan culture emphasizes individual rights over state sovereignty
Emergence of global civil society, including NGOs, brings human rights violations to the forefront
Challenges of climate change, global poverty, and terrorism require international legislation
Technological advancement and cultural globalization make borders more permeable
( ii ) Global economy and economic sovereignty of states
Governance has become post-sovereign in the 21st century, with state borders becoming more permeable
Globalization threatens to render economic sovereignty meaningless
De-territorialized transnational corporations have become stronger than territorial states
"Internationalization of state" phenomenon sees national policies aligning with global capitalist economy
Critics argue that the state has only been transformed, not eclipsed, by economic globalization
States remain relevant as economic actors by providing legal and social order for market-led economic growth
Macro frameworks of economic regulation provided by G-20, WTO, and IMF allow states to regulate transnational economic activities and protect their economic interests.
5. Relevance of State and State Power in a Globalized World
1. Economic Sovereignty
The state exercises absolute authority over economic life conducted within its borders
Independent control of fiscal and monetary policies, trade, and capital flows
2. Increased Emphasis on State's Basic Function
Security challenges such as global terrorism have re-invigorated state power
Basic function of state is to maintain domestic order and protect citizens from external aggression
Rise of military expenditure and formation of "national security states"
3. States' Importance in Globalized Market-Driven World
Guarantee of legal and social order maintained by states ensures smooth economic functioning
States act as agents of modernization and provide training and education for citizens
Economic crisis of 2007-2009 brought state to center stage of managing economic affairs
4. State Building as Vital Process for Strengthening States
Humanitarian interventions in 1990s led to external powers undertaking state-building process
Process includes ensuring effective leadership, army, police, judiciary, civil administration, transport, health, and educational infrastructure
State building has become a vital process for strengthening states, as seen in Afghanistan and Iraq.
C. Global Economy: Its Significance and Anchors as a Global Political Economy: IMF, World Bank, WTO, TNCs
Global Economic Governance: The Evolution of the Bretton Woods System
Economic interdependence has led to the trend of global governance in economic policy-making.
The failure of international cooperation in economic policy-making can lead to losses.
Since 1945, a system of global economic governance has emerged through a dense web of multilateral agreements, formal institutions, and informal networks.
The Bretton Woods Agreement was established just before the end of World War II to address economic instability and the desire to avoid the policies of protectionism that were economically self-defeating and politically dangerous.
Norms, rules, and a framework of understanding must be established to enable states to cooperate in economic matters and avoid the pitfalls of welfare dilemma.
Making of the Bretton Woods System
The Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 established an institutional architecture for the post-war international financial and monetary system.
The Bretton Woods system included three bodies: International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank, and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), later replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Bretton Woods Agreement is an example of multilateralism, but the US played a significant role in the dialogue and directing major results.
The IMF maintained a stable exchange system, the World Bank provided loans for reconstruction and development, and GATT sought to bring tariff levels down to advance free trade.
The bodies established a proto-global economic governance based on a framework of norms and rules for future economic relations between states.
The International Financial Institutions
Today's international financial structure involves various international bodies to prevent global financial instability
International Financial Institutions, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, G-7, G-10, and G-20 are some of these bodies
International Monetary Fund (IMF):
The IMF is an intergovernmental organization established in 1945
It has 189 member countries and is headquartered in Washington
The IMF's decision-making structure involves a Board of Governors consisting of a governor and an alternate governor from each member country
Its main functions include exchange rates, regulation, purchase of short-term foreign currency liabilities of all member countries of the world, and allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to member countries
Its most important task is to assist member countries in the event of a balance of payments crisis
1. Functions of IMF:
Encourage international monetary cooperation
Balanced development of international trade and stabilization of exchange rates
The abolition of exchange restrictions and the arrangement of multi-lateral payments
Achievement of financial assistance to member countries in the event of balance of payment problem and settlement of crisis in international payment and reduction in their duration
2. Bretton Woods Agreement:
The IMF was established by the Bretton Woods Agreement to oversee the new financial order
Its main objective was to facilitate international cooperation in the financial sector by facilitating multilateral payment systems among member states, ensuring exchange rate stability, and removing foreign exchange restrictions
The member countries were committed to a fixed system of currency but an adaptable exchange rate
The system of fixed exchange rates established by Bretton Woods was based on the gold exchange standard, with the US dollar acting as an anchor
3. Controversies surrounding IMF:
From the 1980s onwards, the IMF's loans to developing countries were attached with 'conditionalities' that required the recipient countries to adopt a 'structural adjustment program' that was preoccupied with neoliberal policies
These policies included control of inflation, immediate removal of trade barriers and flow of capital, liberalization of the banking system, reductions in all government expenditure except debt repayment, and privatization of assets that can be sold to foreign investors
The IMF is criticized for being a tool to meet the economic interests of Western economies, particularly the United States, which dominates the transnational bodies and international banking conglomerates
The IMF's close ties with the US government are evident in the fact that its deputy managing director has always been an American, and the allocation of voting rights on the Board of Governors gives an effective veto to the United States
4. Role of IMF during the global financial crisis:
In 2006, the IMF changed its governance to increase the role of developing countries in their decision-making processes
The IMF became an intermediary for improving fiscal and macroeconomic conditions in developing countries and a means of global financial monitoring, designed to prevent crises rather than stop them
The 2007-09 crisis effectively improved the mission of the IMF.
The International Monetary Fund plays a significant role in the governance of international finance
Its functions include exchange rates, regulation, and financial assistance to member countries in the event of a balance of payments crisis
Despite controversies surrounding its conditionalities and ties with Western economies, the IMF has been effective in improving fiscal and macroeconomic conditions in developing countries and preventing global financial crises.
The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans for capital programs and projects.
It was formed through the Bretton Woods Agreement in partnership with the International Monetary Fund.
The World Bank is also known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
It is headquartered in Washington DC, USA and started functioning in June 1946.
1. Objectives of the World Bank
To provide long-term capital for economic reconstruction and development.
To encourage long-term capital investment for balanced balance of payments and international trade.
To encourage international trade and raise the standard of living of member countries' citizens.
2. World Bank's Role
The International Monetary Fund provides short-term funding to states for balance of payments crisis, while the World Bank provides long-term economic support for economic development.
The World Bank has a uniform voting system, which considers countries' strength in the global economy.
The World Bank has a redistributive function, unlike the International Monetary Fund and GATT/WTO.
Initially focused on post-war rehabilitation in Europe, it now focuses on developing countries after the collapse of communism and transition countries.
3. Neoliberalism and Reforms
The World Bank has been a promoter of the neoliberal paradigm, acknowledging the need for reform since the 1990s.
It has promoted awareness of industrialization, urbanization, and environmental costs of major infrastructure projects, transforming the idea of sustainable development.
The emphasis on good governance and anti-corruption policies reflects the minimum government dogma.
The Poverty Alleviation Program is prepared through dialogue with recipient countries, emphasizing local control and accountability.
4. Developing Country Representation
Developing country voting power was increased to 47%, aiming to reach 50% over time.
The World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only organization in the world formed to regulate international trade. Its objective is to create an environment of fair competition for trade between member states.
From GATT to WTO:
The General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) was developed after World War II to create a liberal world trade system. GATT was a forum where member countries would gather to negotiate and resolve problems of world trade. However, the WTO is a well-organized and sustainable world trade body which has a legal status. As of 1995, it had only 77 members, which has risen to 164 at present.
Objectives of WTO:
The WTO's objectives include promoting free trade by minimizing barriers of world trade, effectively increasing the standard of living of the whole world, increasing employment opportunities worldwide, encouraging trade in goods and services, and strengthening the concept of sustainable development.
GATT and WTO:
The WTO completely replaces GATT. The main differences between these two are that GATT was a collection of rules and multilateral agreements that had no institutional basis. In contrast, the WTO is a permanent institution with its secretariat. While the GATT rules were applicable only to commodity trade, the WTO's rules also apply to services trade, trade-related intellectual property in addition to goods trade.
Global Economic Governance and the 2007-09 Crisis
Institutional architecture established to address economic problems of 1930s.
Economic crises have occurred regularly since the 1960s and have become more serious since the 1980s.
Criticisms about the failure of global economic governance system to highlight major instabilities and trend of crisis.
Global Financial Crisis of 2007-09:
Deeper than previous crises of modern global capitalism.
Impact was genuinely global and affected almost every country in the world.
Crisis arose within the dominance of the financial capitalist country, the United States.
2. Major Obstacles:
No definitive response to the extent to which the structure of global economic governance is responsible for the 2007 global crisis.
Early management of the crisis by the G-20, coordination on rapid action at the domestic level to usher in the banking system, and a leaning towards Keynesian-style redistribution policies were clearly visible.
Changing balance of power within the world economy is a significant factor.
Emerging economic multipolarity is likely to ensure that any change in global economic governance will be gradual and incremental.
The global economic governance system has faced criticisms for its failure to address economic crises.
The 2007-09 financial crisis has highlighted the need for reform in the structure of global economic governance.
Any changes in the future will be influenced by the ideas, interests, and needs of the new powers, especially China, as well as India, Russia, and Brazil.
D. Globalization: Its Cultural and Technological Dimensions
Globalization and Culture
Culture is the way of life for a group of people, consisting of beliefs, attitudes, symbols, and behavior.
Culture is not static, but changes with time and various social, economic, and political conditions.
The Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Globalization involves the expansion, movement, and intensification of diverse cultural influences over each other in the globe.
Globalization and culture interact in complex ways, involving the exchange of ideas, values, shared culture, and even shared consumption patterns across cultures.
There are several implications of globalization over culture, with some considering it as a new-age colonialism.
Scholars argue that the popularization of western media, eating preferences, music, and television channels have all played an instrumental role in shaping cultural preferences across the world.
The term "McDonaldisation of society" denotes the presence of fast food economic models and their influence over social institutions.
Appadurai's Five Scopes to Analyze the Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Appadurai offers a theoretical tool to analyze the complex nature of the cultural dimension of globalization.
The cultural aspects of globalization cannot be explained in terms of a rigid binary between the developed versus the developing world, the west versus the non-west, or the North versus the south.
The five scapes are technoscapes, mediascapes, ethnoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes.
Technoscapes refer to how technology and its developments have facilitated the movements of people.
Ethnoscapes refer to the movement of people across the countries and how these people may impact the policies of the concerned nations.
Finance space refers to the movement of finance and money across borders.
Mediascape refers to the rapid flow of news and the presence of a very impactful and strong international media.
Ideoscapes refer to the spread of ideas, narratives, information, and symbols around the world.
Globalization has had a significant impact on culture, shaping the way people live, behave, and think.
The interaction between globalization and culture is complex and multifaceted, involving the exchange of ideas, values, and even shared consumption patterns across cultures.
The implications of globalization on culture are subject to ongoing debate, with some considering it a new-age colonialism.
Glocalization and Global Village
Glocalisation is a combination of the terms globalization and localization, referring to the process in which both global and local cultures interact to shape people's choices. It involves adjusting global products to suit local needs and adjusting local products to meet global trends.
Definition: the interaction of local and global cultures shaping people's choices.
Process: adjusting global products to suit local needs, and vice versa.
Used by multinational companies to market products globally with local appeal.
Helps local products keep up with preference demands.
2. The Global Village:
Definition: an interconnected and interdependent world with shared values, preferences, and ideas.
Accelerated by lower cost of travel, information technology, and media.
Fundamental characteristic of cultural globalisation.
Other related terms:
Globalisation: the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide.
Localisation: adapting products or services to meet the language, cultural, and other specific requirements of a particular country or region.
Glocalisation and the global village are important concepts that illustrate the nature of interactions across economic, cultural, and technological dimensions of the world. As the world becomes more interconnected, understanding these concepts is crucial for businesses, policymakers, and individuals alike.
Factors Facilitating Cultural Globalization
1. Media and Social Networking
The presence of media and social network groups has facilitated the flow of ideas and information across cultures
Example: The Arab Spring was expedited through the use of social media platforms
2. Technology and IT developments
Technology and new developments in the IT sector have promoted the scale of interaction and reduced communication time across continents
Resulting in greater communication and exchange of ideas, values, and information
3. Transportation and Infrastructure
Development of transportation and infrastructure facilitating the movement of people is another major factor that has promoted cross-cultural exchanges
Faster and efficient means of transportation have increased the scale and speed of movement for people, leading to more interaction and volume of movement.
4. Economic inter-dependence and movement of people
Growing scale and pace of economic inter-dependence and movement of people looking for jobs and opportunities have also added to the movement of cross-cultural influences.
5. Political stability and conducive environment
Movement of people to different places for political stability and a conducive environment is another contributing factor towards intermixing of cultural ideas.
An Analysis of the Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Cultural globalization is a complex process with various implications.
There are different views on the implications of cultural globalization, including cultural hybridity, cultural homogenization, and conflict of cultures.
Cultural hybridity is viewed as the intermixing of different cultures that has led to the formation of fluid cultures rather than rigid cultures.
Cultural homogenization is viewed as the world integrating into one and assuming a standardized form, majorly stemming from the West and encouraging the process of Westernization.
Globalization has been associated with the process of conflict escalation between cultures often found expression through Samuel Huntington's famous work on the Clash of Civilizations.
Globalization may be a cause of conflict escalation because it exposes local cultures to various kinds of influences, leading to a renewed sense of cultural consciousness and hence may be a catalyst for conflict between cultures.
Globalization has impacted local cultures, reorienting and displacing them through the process of homogenization, but it has also been a catalyst for the re-assertion of local cultures.
Technological Dimensions of Globalization
Technology as a significant dimension of globalization
Technology responsible for changes in flow of goods, business transactions, movement of people, and information sharing and access
1. Impact on Economic Dimension
Diffusion of technology across borders
Technology affecting not only economic aspects but also social institutions, way of life, and worldview
Role of technology in determining scale and scope of business
Online mode of transactions, research and development, use of monetary instruments, and interactions and discussions through online mode changing economic activities
Proliferation of transnational organizations and multinational companies changing production and employment patterns
Advocates see technology as promoting economic growth and competition, while others argue that developing states cannot keep up with advancements
2. Impact on Cultural and Social Dimension
Technology enables regular connection and interaction
Faster transportation leads to greater interaction and settlement in different parts of the world
Interactions and movement facilitated by technology and transportation leads to intermixing of cultures and values, even lifestyles
Presence of cuisines from one part of the world in another with regional and local adaptations
3. Impact on Political Dimension
Social media and online platforms influencing public opinion and impacting politics
Use of the internet and social media sites as a powerful means to influence public opinion
Challenges around access to information, including fake news.
Technology as a significant factor in globalization impacting economic, cultural, and political dimensions.
Challenges of Technological Dimensions of Globalization
Technology is widely used across nations and communities, but a technological divide exists between nations, communities, and urban and rural areas. This divide leads to social and economic inequality. Moreover, the use of technology has been more for resource extraction than preservation, leading to exploitation of developing countries.
Inequality and Inaccessibility: The technological divide between nations, communities, and urban and rural areas is a major aspect and indicator of social and economic inequality. Poor nations and communities often lack access to technology for bringing positive changes in the healthcare system, education sector, or other developmental sectors.
Exploitation of Resources: Many technologies that rich countries have at their disposal have been utilized for resource extraction and exploitation of resources of the developing world, often at the cost of the environment and welfare of the people of the host country. Presence of certain kinds of multinational companies has been associated with environmental damage and often resisted by civil society groups or environmentalists in many countries.
Concerns for Privacy and Security: The issue of privacy and security has been another concern about the technological dimensions of globalization.
Key Technological Dimensions of Globalization:
Flow of information and technology across borders manifested through interconnectedness in economics, politics, and culture.
Movement of people and greater connection between people across various communities leading to the creation of shared values and culture.
National borders turning into soft borders due to the movement of people, ideas, and business.
Dominance of online social networking platforms and media emerging as a powerful media in influencing knowledge formation and dissemination.
Resurgence of protectionist policies especially in instances when the terms of trading are unequal or have been disadvantageous for certain nations.
Resurgence of local cultural identity may also constitute another dimension of globalization often led by disruption of local identities as a result of over-exposure to western cultures, often equated with modern cultures and consumerist culture.
Technological globalization has implications for the divide between developing and developed countries, urban and rural areas, rich and poor. The overexploitation of natural resources and its harmful consequences on the planet is also an implication of a market-oriented economic model in a globally competitive world.
Counter Globalizations Movements
Definition and Nature of Counter Globalisation Movements
Counter Globalization or Anti-Globalization movements oppose current global developments
Highly critical of market-driven economy and neo-liberal order fueled by corporate power
Seek alternate anti-capitalist globalized relationships
Uphold values like democracy, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, human rights, and promotion of social justice
2. Examples of Counter Globalization Movements
Battle of Seattle in 1999 is a notable example
Protesters criticized world financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Criticism focused on fair trade, human rights, and labor rights.
E. Global Resistances: Global Social Movements and NGOs
The end of the Cold War in the 1990s led to the triumph of the liberal economic order and the establishment of global capitalism.
Francis Fukuyama referred to this as the "end of history" and argued that liberalism is the pinnacle of human reasoning.
Global capitalism is characterized by the notion of free trade, backed by institutions like the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, which aimed to replace protectionist policies in the global south.
Protectionist policies were put in place to protect local industries from competition with Western industries since the global south was still young in terms of industrial and economic development.
The core idea underlying global capitalism is the globalization of markets with fewer restrictions in terms of tariffs and import duties.
Globalization reinforces the existing power hierarchy in the world economy, intensifying exploitation and inequality in the rest of the world.
In addition to the economic aspect of global capitalism, there is a universalization of ethics and morality with democratic ideals like freedom and liberty underlying the liberal ideology.
This chapter focuses on understanding global social movements connected to the notion of global citizenship, relying on various forms of resistance movements driven by a growing sense of inequality and exploitation.
This includes a critical understanding of social movements and protests caused by economic, political, and social issues, as well as contemporary movements underlying race, gender, etc.
The specific role of non-governmental organizations and transnational organizations has also been highlighted.
Global Social Movements
Sidney Tarrow defines social movement as collective challenges by people with common purposes and sustained interaction with elites, opponents, and authorities.
Some scholars see protests as a sign of the failure of political institutions to integrate people and address their issues.
Globalization failed to deliver on its promise and some people resist it, either due to religious fundamentalism or opposition to the economic aspect of capitalism.
International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) like IMF, WTO, and World Bank enforce the high politics of globalization, which is opposed by resistance movements that seek emancipation from neoliberalism and the exploitation of MNCs.
Alternative globalization seeks to counter the neoliberal aspect of globalization by bringing together organizations, groups, and NGOs that focus on universal human rights and local/regional issues to bring about justice and end inequality.
The World Social Forum is a platform for civil society organizations to come together, exchange ideas, and formulate proposals for a better future by democratizing the system of global governance and making the voices of the unheard reach decision-makers.
The World Social Forum (WSF) provides an alternative to the process of neoliberal globalization in three ways: acting as an experimental laboratory for participatory and democratic global governance, providing opportunities for people to learn new skills and cultivate a transnational identity, and acting as a forum for diverse dissenting groups to challenge the neoliberal hegemonic discourse.
The opponents of globalization come from both the right and left-wing ideologies, and may have nationalist and racist underpinnings.
Hugo Chavez, the first elected president of Venezuela in 1998, resisted the neoliberal order backed by the United States by creating a regional financial system and planning to back out of the IMF. He confronted the US government and blamed them for a coup and an assassination attempt.
Collective experience expands local knowledge and helps supplement it with ideas that can make local knowledge recognized globally.
Social movements often act as a process that leads to the opening up of spaces and provide a social laboratory for the testing of new social roles.
The role of sharing knowledge and experience is crucial for countering the hegemonic discourse of neoliberal globalization.
Global electronic networks played a crucial role in the Zapatista movement.
Globalization has led to the reorganization of the space of economic activities and created a new gendered hierarchy intensified through class, ethnic, and national membership.
Capitalism pays women poorly but has opened the scope for women to challenge the social relations dominated by patriarchy.
The second wave of feminism in the North brought women’s perspective and voices in the realm of development, policy, and public planning in the 1970s.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started in 2012 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin, a black high school student who was shot dead by a white American male.
BLM is a racial justice movement aimed at the radical transformation of the state, highlighting historical incarceration of black people across the globe.
BLM can be seen as a revival of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, which aimed to end institutional racial discrimination, racial segregation, and disenfranchisement.
MeToo movement started in 2006 by Tarana Burke to serve young females who were victims of sexual harassment and assault.
MeToo gained popularity in 2017 when Alyssa Milano urged women to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault using the #MeToo hashtag.
MeToo raised awareness of sexual assault and questioned the fundamental assumptions behind laws addressing the issue.
Both BLM and MeToo movements aimed at ending inherent institutional and social hierarchy, creating a more plural and inclusive public space.
The chapter aims to understand how globalization and neoliberal capitalism have led to resistance against capitalism and top-down governance, and the establishment of global solidarity and new knowledge structures.
Social movements like MeToo and Black Lives Matter have highlighted historical wrongs that were previously ignored and confined to personal narratives.
The rise of social media has brought new spaces for freedom of expression, but technology has also enabled new forms of oppression and surveillance that threaten privacy.
The interconnectedness of global capitalism has also brought about the challenge of pandemics.