The Politics of Globalisation and Polarisation

The Politics of Globalisation and Polarisation

Maurice Mullard

This book deals with the nature of contemporary globalisation. Maurice Mullard aims to show that globalisation is not an inescapable, unstoppable process somehow beyond human control, rather that it represents, and is being shaped by, a series of deliberate policy choices and policy decisions. The emphasis of this fascinating work is on how these policy choices are creating new forms of economic inequalities and also political elites that distort the democratic process.

Chapter 1: The Politics of Globalisation

Maurice Mullard

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy


DEFINING GLOBALISATION The War in Iraq has contributed to increased global uncertainties. In the USA, the War in Iraq has been accompanied by a distinct change of mood among some senior politicians who advocate a break with multilateral agreements and argue against the interventions and regulations of the UN, NATO or the WTO. There is resistance to review the subsidies to US agriculture and steel making, instead the focus is put on unfair competition from China. In this context, it is therefore difficult to talk about globalisation without taking into account a changing mood about the commitments to the concept of a global economy. The commitment to free trade, the promise of cheaper goods and more choice for US consumers is being increasingly eclipsed by arguments that favour protection and tariffs and bilateral agreements rather than the multi-lateralism of the global economy. In making the point that globalisation has to be located in an historical perspective Michie (2003) provided the following quote from Marx and Engels (1848) Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels wrote: ‘All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones, industries whose products are consumed not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we...

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