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Globalization, Free Trade, Fair Trade

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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 254
Uli Locher

Globalization, Free Trade, Fair Trade Globalization - Glz = gl/integration of diff nat-states - Sense of interconnectedness, oneness, universalism, powerlessness of nat-states - W/more interconnection, ppl feel powerless b/c decis affecting their lives takes place far away  Creates chronic insecurity b/c scale + speed of change - Dimensions of this process: - Connectivity: econ stretched across regions + continents  Across borders, regions, social, poli connectivity across continents  Ex: how Apple spans fr/US, China, Cda etc + affects all these places  Globalized politics (Dali Lama, intl rebel movements) - Intensification of trade, diversification  Flows of culture not new (ex: spice trades)  H: flows of goods, trade, services greatly increased  Easy to invest now, huge influx inflows of capital (via online trading) - Speeding up of gl/interactions + processes  Cheaper transportation of goods w/econs of scale of transport containers - Deepening impact on us, events in distant places = imp, blurring boundary b/w domestic/gl/affairs - Is the demise of nat-states really happening?  Signing away s/authority  Nat gov s/times less capable of affecting internat exchanges  S/times sign away own sovereignty (trade agreements, accepting regulations)  H: basic large scale instits not disappeared  Regulations b/w nats: s/things allowed 1 nat, not in another  Ex: regulations on pesticide, affects gl/trade - Opportunities of glz = not equal basis for e/1  always winners + losers  Ex: genetically transformed materials (ex: corn)  If want to genetically change, need to go what is regulated in world, otherwise lose  Winners = indus farm  Losers = small fam farms (b/c genetic various often only supp on large fields)  Strangles out fam farms  causes more conformity w/nat regulations Conditions for Globalization - Effective communication - Message received is exactly as sent, timely - Cheap transport - W/out this, glz can’t happen - Cheap: also means relatively safe transport - International instits for rules + norms of trade - Need to subscribe to norms + rules - Don’t necess need to subscribe globally for e/thing (ex: min wage not gl  sweatshops)  H: need s/that are applied globally (ex: metric sys = standard measurements of weight)  Need universal currency (ex: USD often) + banking sys  Need banking sys that works  Need legal sys that makes contracts enforceable (make sure agreed upon carried out) Different Views of Globalization - Neo-Liberal View - Market capitalism won over socialism - Emergence of single gl/market (‘good’ thing) b/c advantages of free market ops  Social advantage: ppl better off w/exchange of g/s (overall have more $)  Single gl/market lead to more exchanges + all econs will grow  Increased volume + quantity of goods produced  Comparative vs. competitive advantage  Poverty has decreased over past 2 decades - Radical View - Essential categories = rich/elites vs poor (core vs. periphery) - Emph: glz deepens gl/inequalities  Trade + capital flows make things worse  Allow for cont accumul of privileges + advantages for class of ppl who already have them - More advantages around already booming econs @expense of others - World actually less glz today b/c new world order = triumph gl/capitalism  More poverty, deprivation, conflict, violence - View = simple + ideologically primitive, but s/sophisticated supp - Pessimistic worldview w/lots of ideology - MNCs = totalitarian instits + command economies - Claims econ decline + stagnation  true? Disregards imperialistic trade measurements - Transformationalist view - Glz not new form of imperialism/gl/market - Yes  all part of 1 gl/sys, there is gl/shift of power relations - Intensity + geo scope has increased + all parts of world are connected - Gl/shift of power elections  transformation going on, new gl/power relations, much more complicated relationships - No longer rich vs. poor, now mostly in-betweens  Individs: 4 classes  elites, middle class, marginalized, dispossessed  Last 2 grps don’t particip in gl/econ, last grp = dwindling - Glz has transformed context of nat devel  Devel not a thing of poor nats anymore  cont fr/poor to rich nats  Ex: India rising: also applicable to many nats + classes - No longer clear separation of domestic/internat affairs Is sustainable development possible in the era of globalization? - S/conceptual dinosaurs are extinct now - New international econ order  Popular in 1970s, radical change fr/E vs W  Failure of Nonaligned State Movement - All various instit attempts to create solidarity among poor to give them unified voice against big rich power blocks = failed - Developmental state, “Asian tigers” terms less popular, China = new frontrunner - Glz not led to end of states, H: can states regulate glz? - Nat states tried to regulate glz, H: very difficult  Key players of gl/econ jump on e/advantage + wipe you out if they have to  Maj regulators supp regulate against excesses in theory  H: in practice: can be taken over by 1 of the big powers  Ex: overfishing of world’s oceans  Open secret: s/Asian pops have market for whale meat (internat regulation)  H: Japanese don’t like this, so they greatly influ it - Regionalizing glz  S/nats give up on overall picture  can’t do anything about world  H: in our regions, let’s make trade more fair, equitable, easy  Ex: NAFTA, regulate free trade  In practice: regulators not powerful enough to regulate actions of maj nat firms - Resisting glz  Ex: Occupy Wallstreet  Much utopianism connected there  Grps w/diff agendas + instead of cooperating, ea/try get slice of public attention Multinational Corporations - Grupo Calessa (national enterprise) - Sugar crops: always large b/c econs o
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