In short, there is nothing new under the sun. Still, the current wave of globalization has many unprecedented characteristics. As Internet access penetrates the most remote corners of the globe, it is transforming the lives of more people, in more places, more cheaply than ever before — and the pace of change is accelerating faster than we can hope to chronicle it.
The telegraph was most intensively used by institutions, but the Internet is a truly personal tool that allows Spanish women to find marriage prospects in Argentina, and South African teenagers to share music files with peers in Scotland. Contemporary globalization is also different in that the speed at which it is integrating human activities is often instantaneous and almost costless. This alone has opened possibilities that are completely new — and also consequences that humanity has never seen before. It never did. For some critics, globalization has been little more than an American project aimed at expanding U.
Yet, since the s, Japanese sushi has gone as global as Latin American telenovelas or fundamentalist Islam, while massive inflows of Hispanic immigrants have had a huge impact on U. Indeed, it is hard to defend the proposition that globalization is a one-way street designed to spread American values and interests around the world. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have proven to be resilient adversaries for the mighty U. Their international mobility, funding sources, and recruiting prowess are greatly enhanced by the forces that drive globalization: ease of travel, transportation, and communication; economic liberalization; and porous borders.
The United States has greatly benefited from globalization. But it has hardly been alone in doing so. They never went away. We only thought they did. Back in the s, the dominant view of globalization held that booming business ties between countries were the best antidote to war. International commerce was seen as a strong countervailing force against nationalistic impulses. Thanks to revolutionary innovations in information technology, communication, and transportation, distance and geography were perceived to be less important in shaping international politics and economics.
Power, it was thought, would inevitably shift from governments to the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. Then came the attacks of Sept. Minimalist government went out of fashion and demands mounted for the state to provide security at any cost. The financial crisis has amplified this trend. Laissez-faire is out and activist governments are in; deregulation has become a four-letter word and the cry for more government control of the financial sector is universal. Now that the world economy has tanked, globalization skeptics say the value of commercial ties as a prophylactic against conflict has weakened along with it.
And with the return of stronger governments, they say, traditional power plays between rival countries are bound to intensify. Evidence for this view abounds, from resurgent nationalism in Russia, Asia, and Latin America to the obvious role of history and geography in fueling the conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia.
Such examples, they argue, show that the stabilizing effects of economic globalization are vastly overstated.
But claims about the return of strong governments and nationalism are equally overstated. The bottom line: Nationalism never disappeared. Globalization did not lessen national identities; it just rendered them more complex. Globalization and geopolitics coexist, and neither is going anywhere. Go tell the Indians. Or, for that matter, the Chinese, or the emerging middle classes in Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, and countless other countries that owe their recent success to trade and investment booms facilitated by globalization.
A brief history of globalization
This trend will undoubtedly slow, and in some countries it will be tragically reversed as the crisis pushes back large numbers of people into the ranks of the poor. But the fact is that in the past two decades, a significant number of poor countries succeeded in lifting tens of millions out of poverty thanks to globalization. In China, for example, the poverty rate fell 68 percent between and China and India are the paradigmatic examples.
Unfortunately, they are also paradigmatic examples of countries where abject poverty coexists with obscene wealth. In poor and rich countries alike, economic inequality has become a major concern and globalization, especially the freer trade it produces, often gets blamed as the source of widening income disparities. When economists Pinelopi Goldberg and Nina Pavcnik recently examined the connection between globalization and inequality, they could not establish a causal link between the two — even after surveying all the major studies on the subject and examining the best available data.
Globalization and Health | Governance for health
Thus, vulnerability, dependency, and need should be understood not as deficits or limitations, but rather as essential human qualities requiring an adequate political response. Ethics of care feminists contend that relational values, including care, should form the basis of more just forms of globalization. Because a global care ethics begins with a relational ontology, it requires global political leaders to develop social and economic policies that aim to meet human needs and reduce suffering rather than to expand markets and increase economic competition Hankivsky Held endorses a similar view.
According to her, an ethic of care requires leaders to foster a global economy that is capable of meeting universal human needs Held , Concretely, feminist theorists who favor an ethics of care approach highlight the role of care work in the global economy and put forth recommendations for reevaluating it. For example, Robinson develops a relational moral ontology that sheds lights on the features of globalization that are usually invisible: the global distribution of care work and the corresponding patterns of gender and racial inequality; the under-provision of public resources for care work in both developed and developing countries; and the ways in which unpaid or low-paid care work sustains cycles of exploitation and inequality on a global scale Robinson Similarly, Held advocates for increased state support of various forms of care work and for policies designed to meet people's needs in caring ways Held , In its broadest sense, transnational feminism maintains that globalization has created the conditions for feminist solidarity across national borders.
On the one hand, globalization has enabled transnational processes that generate injustices for women in multiple geographical locations, such the global assembly line discussed below. Yet on the other, the technologies associated with globalization have created new political spaces that enable feminist political resistance. Thus, transnational feminists incorporate the critical insights of postcolonial, Third World and ethics of care feminists into a positive vision of transnational feminist solidarity. Transnational feminism is sometimes contrasted with global or international feminism, a second-wave theory that emphasizes solidarity among women across national boundaries based on their common experience of patriarchal oppression.
However, transnational feminism differs from global feminism in at least three significant respects. First, transnational feminism is sensitive to differences among women. Global feminists argue that patriarchy is universal; women across the globe have a common experience of gender oppression. This solidarity is thought to provide a unified front against global patriarchy. Transnational feminists also advocate for solidarity across national boundaries. However, their approach emphasizes the methodological commitments discussed above, specifically intersectionality, sensitivity to concrete specificity, and self-reflexivity.
Transnational feminists are careful to point out that although globalizing processes affect everyone, they affect different women very differently, based on their geographical and social locations. They are also quick to acknowledge that many aspects of globalization may benefit some women while unduly burdening many others. Second, transnational feminist solidarity is political in nature. Whereas global feminists advocate a form of social solidarity defined on the basis of characteristics shared by all women, such as a common gender identity or experience of patriarchal oppression, transnational feminist solidarity is grounded in the political commitments of individuals, such as the commitment to challenge injustice or oppression.
Because transnational feminist solidarity is based on shared political commitments rather than a common identity or set of experiences, advantaged individuals, including those who have benefited from injustice, can join in solidarity with those who have experienced injustice or oppression directly Ferguson , Scholz Third, transnational feminists focus on specific globalizing processes, such as the growth of offshore manufacturing, rather than a theorized global patriarchy, and often take existing transnational feminist collectives as a model for their theoretical accounts of solidarity.
For instance, Ann Ferguson argues that anti-globalization networks, such as worker-owned cooperatives, labor unions, fair trade organizations, and land reform movements, are creating the conditions for North-South women's coalition movements based on non-essentialist political commitments to global gender justice Ferguson, ; see also Kang , Mendoza, , Vargas, In addition to analyzing the gendered dimensions of globalization, feminist political philosophers discuss specific issues that have been shaped by it.
Below, we discuss four representative examples. First, we discuss two issues associated with economic globalization—economic justice and migration—and then we turn to two issues connected to political globalization—human rights and global governance. It is widely argued that neoliberal policies have created dramatic economic inequalities, both between the global North and global South and within countries in both hemispheres. One task for feminist political philosophers has been to identify the ways in which these policies reinforce specific inequalities based on gender, class, race, and nationality.
In particular, feminists shed light on the disparate and often disproportionately burdensome consequences of neoliberal policies for specific groups of women. An additional, related task has been to identify the ways in which gendered practices and ideologies shape the processes of globalization. Free trade policies feature prominently in such feminist critiques. Trade liberalization has led to the wide-scale movement of once well-paying manufacturing jobs in the global North to low wage, export processing or free trade zones in the global South.
These jobs have largely been replaced by contingent and part-time service-sector jobs, which tend to be poorly paid and lack health and retirement benefits. The corresponding reduction in real wages has had a disproportionate effect on women, and especially women of color, who hold a higher share of service-sector jobs Jaggar , a. Gendered and racial stereotypes have played an important role in the establishing this gendered division of labor.
Governments have been quick to capitalize on these perceptions in their efforts to recruit foreign investment. Proponents of globalization argue that the expansion of export processing has had positive consequences for women, providing jobs for thousands of otherwise unemployed women and offering new forms of agency.
However, feminist political philosophers argue that jobs on the global assembly line tend to be difficult, insecure, and dangerous: working conditions are poor, hours are long, wages are low, and sexual harassment is widespread Young , — Thus, they contend, the results for women are contradictory at best. Trade liberalization policies have also allowed affluent, northern countries to sell heavily subsidized agricultural products in southern markets, leading to the decline of small-scale and subsistence farming.
Many of the female farmers who have been pushed off their land have sought employment in export-processing zones or as seasonal laborers, at lower wages than their male counterparts. Others have found poorly paid and often dangerous jobs in the informal economy Jaggar , a. Feminist political philosophers are also concerned with the gendered effects of structural adjustment policies SAPs , which many poor countries have been forced to undertake as conditions of borrowing money or rescheduling their existing debts.
The resulting reductions in publicly-funded health services, education, and childcare undermine the health and well-being of everyone they affect.
However, the burdens of SAPs are disproportionately borne by women. Cuts in public health services have contributed to a rise in maternal mortality. The introduction of school fees has made education unavailable to poorer children, especially to girls, leading to higher school dropout rates for girls in many southern countries Kittay Cuts to other publicly funded social services also disproportionately harm women, whose care-giving responsibilities make them more reliant on these programs.
More broadly, SAPs have contributed to increases in poverty and unemployment in developing countries, placing additional burdens on women within both the household and the public sphere. In times of economic difficulty, men tend to maintain their expenditures, while women are expected to make ends meet with fewer resources.
Consequently, women have had to develop survival strategies for their families, often picking up the caregiving labor that is no longer provided by the state. Women also face intensified pressure to earn income outside the home. Some women who have been unable to find adequate employment in their own countries have turned to labor migration, which we discuss below. Sex work, including child prostitution, has also increased under these conditions Schutte Migration has accelerated along with the globalization of the economy and women comprise a higher proportion of migrants, especially labor migrants, than ever before.
Feminist philosophical responses to the feminization of migration fall into two general lines of argument. Early work in this area highlights the ways in which gender, race, class, culture, and immigration status intersect to produce disproportionate burdens for immigrant women. Later work discusses the feminization of labor migration, with a focus on domestic workers. Early work by feminist philosophers typically argues that in sexist, racist, and class-divided societies, such as the United States, formally gender-neutral immigration policies often work to the detriment of immigrant women Narayan , Wilcox For instance, Uma Narayan argues that U.
Before the IMFA was adopted, when a citizen or legal permanent resident married a foreigner and petitioned for permanent residency status for his spouse, legal residency was granted fairly quickly. Narayan argues that the IMFA increases the already significant barriers to escaping abusive marriages for immigrant women because it ties immigration status to marriage.
Global care chains typically begin when relatively well-off northern or Western women enter the paid labor force and hire other women, usually poorer women from developing countries, to care for their children and other dependents. Migrant careworkers often must leave their own children behind in their home countries to be cared for by even poorer careworkers or family members who may already have care-giving responsibilities or be engaged with paid labor. Many factors have contributed to the production of global care chains. In wealthy countries, the entry of women into the paid workforce, without corresponding increases in public provisions for childcare or the redistribution of caring responsibilities between genders, has created a high demand for paid domestic labor.
In poor countries, the supply of domestic labor has been stimulated by a scarcity of well-paying jobs and in many cases, a growing reliance on remittances. Cuts in public services in southern countries have also encouraged women to migrate as a means for earning the income they need to pay for private services for their children, such as healthcare and education Kittay, , Global care chains raise difficult issues for feminists, over and above those raised by the background injustices that help to generate them.
In particular, some northern women are able to take advantage of increased opportunities in the paid workforce only because southern women take up their socially-assigned domestic work, leaving their own families in the care of others. Feminist analyses of care chains typically argue that traditional theories of justice have difficulty articulating the precise nature of the harms or injustices involved in these phenomena. Most theories of global justice focus on unjust distributions of benefits and burdens among nations; however, it is not clear that care should be understood as a distributive good.
Other features of care chains also resist traditional ethical evaluation. Careworkers are not overtly coerced to migrate, and each party in the global care chain appears to benefit from her participation: women who employ migrant caregivers are able to pursue opportunities in the public sphere; migrant caregivers are able to send money home; and their children and sending nations benefit economically from these remittances. Migrant caregivers clearly are vulnerable to exploitation and workplace abuses, and they and their children suffer from their long absences.
However, it could be argued that each of these harms is counterbalanced by significant gains Kittay, , Some feminists argue that a feminist ethics of care is better suited to theorizing global care chains. In particular, care ethics emphasizes several key normative features and practices that traditional theories tend to overlook: concrete specificity; acknowledgement of human dependence and vulnerability; and a relational understanding of the self Kittay, Care ethics focuses on the ethical significance of relationships formed through dependency, such as those between caregivers and their charges.
Kittay argues that intimate relationships between specific individuals, in which caring and affection are the norm, play a vital role in forming and sustaining individuals' self-identities. When these relationships are disrupted, people suffer harm to their sense of self and self-respect. It follows that the harm involved in global care chains lies in their threat to the core relationships that are constitutive of self-identity.
To protect dependents and caregivers from the harms that flow from fractured relationships, Kittay believes the right to give and receive care should be recognized as a basic human right. However, both also suggest that the recognition of a properly formulated right to care would not eliminate global care chains on its own.
Care chains will persist until care, whether provided by professionals or within family networks, is socially recognized and economically supported. Caregiving responsibilities should also be more fairly distributed between genders and paid work should be organized with the recognition that all workers—male and female, rich and poor—are responsible for providing care. Unlocking care chains will also require mitigating the unjust background conditions that force women to choose between providing financial support for their families and being with and providing face to face care for them.
To begin, immigration policies must include specific provisions that make it easier for careworkers to bring their children or return home on a regular basis. Ultimately, however, eliminating care chains will require restructuring the global economy so that no one is forced to leave her home country to find decent working and living conditions. Feminist political philosophers argue that globalization has had contradictory effects on the extent to which women experience human rights violations.
Many feminist political philosophers have argued that globalization has contributed to human rights violations against women. Moreover, by diminishing women's economic security, neoliberal policies have exacerbated existing forms of gender discrimination and violence and made women and girls more vulnerable to a wide variety of additional human rights violations. Three examples are prominent in the literature. First, the economic insecurity and concomitant increase in poverty associated with globalization have made girls more vulnerable to sexual exploitation. In particular, girls are more likely to be sold as child brides or pushed into prostitution or sexual slavery in order to support their families Okin , Second, when resources are scarce, women and girls are less likely to receive food than boys and men and are less likely to attend school.
Finally, Shiva argues that neoliberal globalization has made women more vulnerable to sexual violence. She notes the extraordinary increase in rape in India: percent since the s and an additional percent since the economy was liberalized Morgan Although the reasons for this rise are complex, Shiva believes they are connected to several aspects of globalization: structural adjustment policies, which eliminated major sectors of women's economic activity; the destruction of the natural environment, which displaced many women; and the exclusion of women from economic and political decision-making.
Others credit globalization for the emergence of new international non-governmental organizations and feminist social movements, which have strengthened the worldwide movement for women's human rights Robinson , The movement also helped to codify women's human rights in formal United Nations documents, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which activist groups have subsequently used to challenge domestic laws and norms Stamatopoulou Women's human rights movements have also had an impact on international understandings of the gendered consequences of war and militarization.
In UN forums and other global venues, feminists have challenged international human rights laws concerning rape and sexual violence in war. However, by , feminists had successfully convinced the authors of the Rome Statute to include a broad range of sexually violent crimes among the gravest crimes of war. The Statute's definition of rape goes a long way toward recognizing rape as a gender-based atrocity on par with other long-recognized atrocities, such as torture and genocide Parekh As with human rights, feminist philosophers have argued that globalization has contradictory implications for democratic governance.
On the one hand, neoliberalism has diminished national sovereignty, further excluding women and the poor from democratic processes Herr Yet globalization also connects people across national borders, creating transnational communities that offer new avenues for democratic participation. Nonviolent action thus seeks to empower those who do not have access to conventional forms of political influence. While such actions usually occur only in desperate circumstances, they are not necessarily manifestation of powerlessness, as Jonathan Freedland suggested with respect to the events in Seattle.
Indeed, the choice of nonviolent over violent protest is considered not only a moral, but also a strategic decision - a decision for the more sound and efficient form of struggle. Richard Gregg, in a classical study on the subject, suggests that nonviolence works by way of producing a change of mental attitude in the mind of those against whom the action is directed.
Some recent studies have found mixed evidence about the ability of nonviolent action to change the position of its opponents. Instead, they stress that nonviolence can engender social change by influencing third parties. The issues at stake are well illustrated by how activists differ about the point at which an action does and perhaps should become violent. Some non-violent activists reserve the right to employ violent means for reasons of self-defence. They argue that they have a moral right to self-protection, perhaps even to physical responses, if attacked by the police.
They advocate a more principled adherence to nonviolence, and this for ethical and, above all, for strategic and tactical reasons. The classical example here is Gandhi, who urged his fellow activists to adhere to strict principles of nonviolence. He called off a protest march as soon as the slightest acts of violence were committed by activists.
Globalization, Violence and World Governance
For him this was necessary because the power of nonviolence is located in its manipulative potential, in its ability to convert the opponent or third parties. Nonviolence, then, is seen as a psychological weapon, an intervention that causes emotional and moral perturbations which in turn trigger processes of social change. It seeks a conversation with the consciousness of the opponent and the public at large. Violent acts of protest generally fail to reach this objective, Gandhi argued.
Principled nonviolence, by contrast, can be an exceptionally effective means. Recall the moment when Gandian activist were beaten by the police without attempting any form of retaliation. It remains one of the most striking and powerful images of the resistance movement against Britain's colonial occupation of India. Striking because these images capture an ethical and political commitment that can hardly be matched.
On the one hand, violence attracts fare more media attention than nonviolence does. In a world were entertainment and information are intrinsically linked, a molotov cocktail or a street fight between protesters and police offers far more spectacular and attractive 'news' material than does a peaceful protest march.
On the other hand, this media attention is gained at a certain price. Recall that the main purpose of the protest, and of the ensuing media spectacle, was to draw attention to the undersides of globalisation and to win the hearts and minds of global television audiences.
This is where the dissident event could leave its most enduring impact on the policy debates that surround globalisation. The significant presence of protesters both in New York and at the alternative World Social Forum in Porto Alegre revealed that opposition to free-market oriented globalisation remains strong. But the strategic dimensions of dissent have changed fundamentally. It would have been a major public relations disaster for protesters to embark on a violent street fight with members of the New York police, who are considered the heroes of 9.
Many protest groups that stress strict adherence to nonviolence thus stayed away from New York. And those that went to Porto Alegre faced the challenge of articulating some sort of common manifesto, one that seeks to articulate, as one commentator puts it, "a methodology of protest that distinguishes them from terrorists, bloody revolutionaries and bomb-throwing malcontents.
To do so successfully, the location of protest may well have to move away from the major meetings of multilateral economic institutions. The risk that small acts of violence undermine a large and carefully planned nonviolent protest may simply be too high. Boycotts and innovative local actions, for instance, could prove to be more effective locations for protest. They would not attract the same spectacular, but in the long run such persistent actions may have more success in influencing the value system that sustains current practices of global economic governance.
To engage this problematique the present essay has first demonstrated that globalisation does not necessarily, or at least not only, lead to a centralisation of power and a corresponding loss of democratic participation and political accountability. Taking the anti-WTO protest actions in Seattle as a case in point, the essay has argued that globalisation has also increased the potential to engage in acts of dissent that can subvert the very processes of control and homogenisation.
In doing so, the essay counters images of a hyperreal world, of an increasingly shallow and media dominated globe in which nothing can penetrate beneath the surface. Political dissent, according to this doomsday scenario, becomes all but impossible, for there is nothing left to dissent against.
There is only a twenty-for-hour-a-day-blur of information and entertainment. We are caught in a world that resembles J. Before the advent of speed, for instance, a protest event was a mostly local issue. But the presence of global media networks has fundamentally changed the dynamics and terrains of dissent. Political activism no longer takes place solely in the streets of Prague, Seoul or Asuncion.
The Battle for Seattle, for instance, was above all a media spectacle, a battle for the hearts and minds of global television audiences. Political activism, wherever it occurs and whatever form it takes, has become intrinsically linked with the non-spatial logic of speed. It has turned into a significant transnational phenomena. Rather than suggesting that these issues can be understood and solved by applying a pre-existing body of universal norms and principles, the essay has drawn attention to the open-ended and contingent nature of the puzzles in question.
Protest acts against the key multilateral institutions of the world economy will continue, and so will debates about the nature of globalisation and the methods of interfering with its governance. Keeping these debates alive, and seeking to include as many voices, perspectives and constituencies as possible, is a first step towards something that may one day resemble globalisation with a human face. Principles of transparency and democracy have historically been confined to the territorial boundaries of the sovereign nation state. Within these boundaries there is the possibility for order and the rule of law.
But the space beyond is seen as threatening and anarchical - that is, lacking a central regulatory institution. But realist interpretations make the mistake of embarking on a fatalistic interpretation of this political realm, constituting conflict as an inevitable element of the system's structure. It may be more adequate - and certainly more productive - to characterise the international system in the age of globalisation and transnational dynamics not as anarchical, but as rhizomatic.
Any point of the rhizome is connected to any other. It has no fixed points to anchor thought, only lines, magnitudes, dimensions, plateaus, and they are always in motion. Are the lines, dimensions and plateaus of the rhizome so randomly arranged that we are no longer able to generate the kind of stable knowledge that is necessary to advance critique and, indeed, dissent? Is the very notion of political foundations still possible at a time when social consciousness gushes out of five-second sound-bites and the corresponding hyperreal images that flicker over our television screens?
Are there alternatives to realist approaches that protect domestic order by warding off everything that threatens it from the outside?
Answers to such questions do, of course, not come easy. And they may not be uniform either. But an adequate response will need to engage in one way or another with the search for political engagements beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation state. It will need to be based on a commitment to democracy that goes beyond the establishment of legal and institutional procedures.
William Connolly has pointed in the right direction when arguing for a democratic ethos. The key to such cultural democratisation, he believes, "is that it embodies a productive ambiguity at its very centre, always resisting attempts to allow one side or the other to achieve final victory. Some aspects of democratic participation can never be institutionalised. Any political system, no matter how just and refined, rests on a structure of exclusion. It has to separate right from wrong, good from evil, moral from immoral.
This separation is both inevitable and desirable. But to remain legitimate the respective political foundations need to be submitted to periodic scrutiny. They require constant readjustments in order to remain adequate and fair.
It is in the struggle for fairness, in the attempt to question established norms and procedures, that global protest movements, problematic as they are at times, make an indispensable contribution to democratic politics. They open up possibilities for social change that are absent within the context of the established legal and political system. The violent nature of recent actions against neo-liberal governance may well point towards the need for greater political awareness among activists. But such awareness can neither be imposed by legal norms or political procedures. It needs to emerge from the struggle over values that takes place in civil society.
The fact that this struggle is ongoing does not detract from the positive potential that is hidden in the movement's rhizomatic nature. These elements embody the very ideal of productive ambiguity that may well be essential for the long-term survival of democracy.
Latter sections of this paper will problematize the issue of representation. But it is necessary to note here that while resistance to neo-liberal economics has been a key theme in recent global protest actions, there is no uniform agreement on this issueIndeed, a significant number of unofficial actors in Seattle and similar subsequent meetings were from the business sector. Most of these groups favour some form of neo-liberal approach to marked economics. Evidence on this issue is, however, far from conclusive. One could as well identify a certain backlash, for some key institutions, including the World Bank and the WTO, have become increasingly defensive as a result of recent violent actions.
Deibert, "International Plug 'n Play? All accessed July Some commentators have stressed that communication technologies, such as e-mail, favour organisations that are organised as networks.