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 5: Mapping the Winners and the Losers

Maurice Mullard

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

Extract

INTRODUCTION Globalisation as Fact and as Policy Choice Definitions of globalisation conflate two separate themes. First, the theme of defining ‘globalisation’ in terms of a series of indisputable facts. Such facts include the new technologies and information systems, which are described as making the world into a global village. Technology makes possible the greater mobility of capital, the sharing of information, greater awareness of global interconnectedness and the potential for wider political participation, transparency and accountability. For example, it is no longer possible to argue the case of ignorance – that we do not know of the exploitation of forced labour in Burma or the unease about GM crops in India and Brazil or of increasing poverty in developing countries and the frequent floods in Bangladesh. It is therefore an indisputable ‘fact’ to argue that technology is a major factor making the world more globalised. Equally, there are a number of issues, which are being described as ‘globalised facts’ when these facts can be described as policy choices. Policy choices are not facts in the sense that they cannot be categorised as being either ‘inescapable’ or ‘inevitable’: ‘The term ‘globalisation’ as too frequently used, confuses two totally different phenomena. The first is the shrinkage in space and in time that the world has experienced in consequence of the technological revolutions in transport, communication and information processing. The second usage of the term relates to matters of human policy choice – the degree to which one opens and submits oneself mindless to surrounding...

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