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Political Science
Waldemar Skrobacki

Week 3: What is Globalization? (3) Anti- and Pro-Globalists By mid-1990s, globalization was converted into a political policy. The main part of that policy was called Washington Consensus. It was globalization in the sense of Americanization: Washington Consensus 1. A guarantee of fiscal discipline, and a curb to budget deficits; 2. A reduction of public expenditure, particularly in the military and public administration; 3. Tax reform, aiming at the creation of a system with a broad base and with effective enforcement; 4. Financial liberalization, with interest rates determined by the market; 5. Competitive exchange rates, to assist export-led growth; 6. Trade liberalization, coupled with the abolition of import licensing and a reduction of tariffs; 7. Promotion of foreign direct investment; 8. Privatization of state enterprises, leading to efficient management and improved performance; 9. Deregulation of the economy; 10. Protection of property rights (GM food?) However, 1. if Washington Consensus it is defined in economic term, a. the US is a global hegemon b. it can exert political power over its allies and others c. the US neo-liberal agenda intends to boost American interests and influence. (Gray 1998) But: it is destined to fail as the social consequences overwhelm the changes introduced in the name of globalization =>counter-reaction=>decline of US power. 2. If it is defined in non-economic terms, a. Americanization refers a process of cultural assimilation that is occurring worldwide, allegedly b. => impact of American symbols and icons, brands, corporations and lifestyles through the US-dominated entertainment industry, enormous wealth of the US corporations, and the global spread of English language. ( “We are becoming the same idea”) Reality: 1. Only 8 of the world’s top 50 corporations are American 2. Japan had a profound impact on managerial systems in the US 1 3. Europe maintains welfare states 4. some cultural practices are deeply rooted (football) 5. cultural exchanges go across borders in all kinds of ways (North African music popular in France, for instance) 6. English is a global language but it “belongs to no one”- spoken in many communities by many speakers. It is functional rather than national 7. So is the Internet 8. influence of IGOs and NGOs is growing 9. persistence of historical cultures or civilizations, islam, for instance 10. some forces and problems are international rather than American (environmental problems and environmental awareness) Globalization as a policy, also generated analytical approaches: THREE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:  Hypeglobalizers (neoliberals) o Globalization is primarily an economic phenomenon  increasingly integrated global market is emerging  It is governed by competition  It is new in nature and scope  It is a marketplace, hence,  politics is no longer an “art of what is possible” but rather a practice of “sound economic management”  The expansion of capital flows, the growth of multinational corporations and the increased cross-border trade makes it different than anything that has happened before o Traditional nation-states have become mainly irrelevant, for  national economy is the site of transnational and global flows,  of impersonal forces of the markets, which are now more powerful than the states  therefore, “denationalization” of economies occurs through transnational networks of production, trade and finance  THUS, new forms of social organization replace the nation states as the primary economic and political unit of society, THUS  Decline of state authority and legitimacy  Instead, there is a growing diffusion of authority to other institutions and associations  THUS increasingly powerful local, regional and global mechanisms of governance are created (WTO, perhaps) 2 Neoliberals passionately supported the idea of new governance and the demise of the state. According to them, the new governance: o generates new patterns of winners and losers in the global market economy:  old North-South divide is becoming a moot point  new global division of labour replaces the traditional core-periphery structure with a more complex architectu
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