Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Sabino Cassese
Chapter 24: The globalization debate – a mid-decade perspective
For some time now, this author has argued that there is no longer a meaningful or important debate in favour of or against globalization, because the anti-globalizers have themselves gone global. In various sites of global law and policy-making, including those at the interstices of the global and the local (as will be explained below), these anti-globalizers have actually identified processes and institutions in which, unlike in the ‘state’ in many instances, they can air their criticisms of policies and express their values as global values. Despite the continuing rhetoric and polemics regarding the promotion of globalization, there is no longer an anti-globalization ‘side’ in the debate to coherently represent the position that the territorial nation state is and should remain the locus of control over economic activity, and should retain a monopoly on legitimate governance. Today, the protesters who march against ‘globalization’ are not marching in support of the ‘state’. Instead, they are (mostly) advocating for a set of values and causes that transcend state boundaries and that require global action. At the beginning of this century, Anthony Giddens anticipated that the debate would re-focus as a debate about globalization, rather than on whether globalization should take place. In an interview in the year 2000, he suggested that the second globalization debate would beabout what globalization is, what its consequences are, and what kind of framework we can develop for the world to accommodate it.
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