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Global Politics - Globalization - LibGuides at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our updated Cookie Notice. The Brexit vote and the candidacy of Donald Trump are not exceptional developments. They are symptoms of a wider global phenomenon — a pervasive distrust in the political class, an expression of alienation and anger by those who have been bypassed by globalization, and an awareness that our institutions, designed in the 20th century, are not fit for purpose, that is to say, they cannot address the problems of the 21st century.

The paradox is that at the very moment when we need to construct the building blocks of global governance, institutions like the European Union and the United Nations are under attack from the rising tide of populism and xenophobia. First, global governance is a way of addressing the democratic deficit that is experienced everywhere, not by democratizing global institutions — though that might be desirable — but rather through the role that such institutions can play in devolving power to local levels closer to the citizen.

Second, xenophobic populism will only lead to insecurity, and global institutions need to develop a cooperative security policy both to address this insecurity and to establish legitimacy.

In democratic theory, a useful distinction is made between procedural democracy and substantive democracy. Procedural democracy is about formal rules — elections, freedom of the media, or freedom of association. Substantive democracy is about political equality; it is about the ability of every individual to be able to influence or participate in the decisions that affect their lives. This is the frustration that animates new movements on both the left and the right.

Reclaiming democracy

Similar arguments are made by the populist right. First of all, it has to do with globalization. Procedural democracy applies largely to national levels; we vote to elect a national government. However perfect our democracy in procedural terms at national levels, we cannot affect those decisions.

Institutions of Global Governance - Globalisation - Social Science - Class 10

In theory we should be able to influence decisions through national membership in global institutions, but in practice such institutions are shaped more by the interests of the global elite than by ordinary citizens. Secondly, the global democratic deficit is also the consequence of what I call the sclerosis of the nation-state. I would emphasize three aspects of this:. The combination of polling, focus groups, messaging, and emphasis on swing voters has hollowed out politics and made it very difficult to hold genuine public debates. National politicians often seem wooden, speaking from a prepared script, compared with the insurgent politicians of right or left, or even compared with local politicians.

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Globalization: Global Politics

It is an argument that applies to all rentier states and the growth of finance has meant that more and more states have an increasing share of revenue that comes from rent. The bureaucratized routines, the pressure from an often outdated security sector, and the career preoccupations of officials and politicians all make it very difficult to depart from knee-jerk 20th-century reactions to problems. These factors help explain why our institutions are locked in backward-looking mind-sets, and systematically pursue policies that backfire and produce the very problems they are supposed to solve.

Borders to stop migrants merely increase the dangers for migrants; air strikes to kill terrorists produce more terror; engineering solutions to floods or fires exacerbate the underlying causes of these phenomena. And these reactions are reproduced in global institutions composed, as they are, of national members. So what needs to happen to reclaim democracy? The task of global governance has to be reconceptualized to make it possible for citizens to influence the decisions that affect their lives — to reclaim substantive democracy.

Because such institutions are distant, the answer is not necessarily more democracy at global levels, though that might be important. Rather, what is needed is more democracy at local levels, in cities and regions where institutions are closer to the citizens, and where the nation-state can be bypassed to some extent. For example, global bads might include tax evasion by global companies or short-term financial speculation, environmental damage, or wars. Global goods might include global redistribution, peace-building, or global environmental standards.

We need institutions that tame globalization so that its benefits can be allocated in participatory ways.


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This is not how they act now but the possibilities for change are greater because they are not constrained by national sclerosis. It should be stressed that regional organizations like the EU should be conceived as models of global governance. The EU is not a state in the making. Nor is it a classic inter-governmental organization, since it involves an element of supra-nationality and much denser connections. Potentially and paradoxically in the light of Brexit the EU is an experiment in the kind of 21st-century institution that we need.

Unlike the 20th-century wars, which were clashes of will, new wars are perhaps better described as mutual enterprises in which the various armed groups benefit from violence either in economic terms or because it is a way of mobilizing around extremist political ideologies. Battles are rather rare.

Has Globalization Enhanced Development Cooperation?

Instead, most violence is directed against civilians. Extra-state: Wars in the middle category - wars that take place between a state s and a nonstate entity outside the borders of the state. Non-state: wars between or among non-state entities. Such entities include governments of other types of geopolitical units, such as dependencies or non-state autonomous entities, that do not meet the criteria of system membership.

They also might involve non-territorial entities or non-state armed groups NSAs that have no defined territorial base. Books Can globalization promote human rights?


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  2. The wonders of geology, or, A familiar exposition of geological phenomena: Being the substance of a course of lectures delivered at Brighton!
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  4. Our global institutions are not fit for purpose. It’s time for reform | World Economic Forum.
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