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Globalization
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Globalization

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  1. Globalization What is It? March 20th, 2003

  2. Aspects of Globalization • multifaceted • economic integration • cultural integration • political integration • each of these strands are interconnected

  3. Aspects of Globalization • economic integration • increased trade flows • increased capital mobility • increased integration of production processes • creation of economic regions • EU, NAFTA

  4. Aspects of Globalization • cultural integration • greater cross-national transmission of cultures • cultural homogenization • cultural hybridization

  5. Aspects of Globalization • political integration • creation of new political arrangements between independent countries • e.g. European Union

  6. Causes of Globalization • globalization not automatic • advanced technology (esp. ICTs) have enabled globalization – have not caused globalization • globalization also the result of political choices to pursue greater integration • these choices are not neutral • create winners and losers (both among and within countries)

  7. Causes of Globalization • causes are multi-faceted and self-reinforcing • cultural integration generates demands for economic integration • economic integration requires cultural integration (to develop markets) • cultural and economic integration may generate demands for political integration

  8. Impact of Globalization • borders become more porous • increasing cross-border flows of people, capital, culture, ideas and problems • interdependence broadens and deepens • “Globalization...means an ever larger and more demanding international agenda, more engagement by countries in each other’s affairs over matters farther and farther behind each other’s borders, and, even among friends, more collisions of interest.” Jessica Matthews, Estranged Partners

  9. Impact of Globalization • may weaken domestic policy latitude of governments • direct constraints of international agreements • e.g. tariffs, subsidies, national treatment, investor protection • indirect constraints resulting from economic integration • e.g. competition for capital/high-skilled labour and the “race to the bottom”

  10. Impact of Globalization • power flows up, down and out from the nation-state • up to supra-national institutions • e.g. NAFTA, EU, WTO, IMF • down to sub-national governments • national levels of government more restricted by globalization than sub-national levels • out • multinational corporations • international non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

  11. Democratic Implications of Globalization – Factual Questions • to what degree is policy latitude of government limited • e.g. cross-national policy harmonization • to what degree are constraints the result of external factors (e.g. supranational institutions & agreements, capital mobility)? • argument that governments are not as constrained as often appears • democratic governments often use the argument of powerlessness • willingly accept constraints and do not challenge them but use them to justify inaction • Linda McQuaig, The Cult of Impotence. • Linda Weiss, The Myth of the Powerless State. • if there is policy harmonization, to what degree is it the result of demands of voting public? • e.g. result of cultural interpenetration

  12. Democratic Implications of Globalization – Philosophical Questions • philosophical counter-arguments • if democratically-elected governments agree to accept these limits, are they counter-democratic? • is it a concern if policy simply reflects public preferences? • depend on the model of democracy one is using!!!

  13. Democratic Implications of Globalization • liberal democrats • may accept the constraints on governments posed by globalization if these constraints are seen to increase the freedom of individuals • majoritarian democrats • if globalization decreases the room for mass participation, it is negative • concerned with limits on governmental power to pursue general welfare • concerned about the democratic deficit caused by supra-national agreements and institutions

  14. Democratic Implications of Globalization • elite democrats • globalization is positive to the degree that it is judged to contribute to the general welfare • e.g. better standard of living, higher economic performance, etc. • globalization is negative to the degree that it constrains the government’s pursuit of the general welfare • requires weighing both factors

  15. Main Points! • globalization is not automatic – it is a political project • globalization is not neutral – it generates winners and losers • within countries and between countries • relationship with democracy is complex • some models see globalization as undermining democracy • however, not all models of democracy see globalization necessarily as counter-democratic