Conflict, Institutional Change, and Development in the Era of Globalization
New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Joachim Ahrens, Rolf Caspers and Janina Weingarth
Chapter 12: Globalization, Social Movement, and the Labor Market: A Transatlantic Perspective
1 WelfWerner 1. INTRODUCTION Equally as varied as the voices involved in the discussion surrounding globalization is the way people understand this notion and, more importantly, how they evaluate this process. Public debate differs clearly from economic discourse. Of the numerous dimensions belonging to the globalization process - social, political, cultural and economic - it is, in most cases, only the latter that features in economic deliberation. The main focus of attention turns to the international flow of goods, services, capital and, to a certain extent, to the migration of labor. Indicators used to measure the progress taking place in the globalization process relate the level of cross-border economic activities with that of the domestic economy, i.e. with GDP. In addition to the manifestations and speed of the globalization process, a whole series of other questions are explored, in particular the aspect of what causes the process and the effects it has. Analysis of the impact centers on welfare which is usually defmed as material prosperity, and often measured as GDP per capita. Alongside technical advances in the fields of data processing and transmission, the course adopted in economic policy is seen as the principal driver of the present phase of globalization. Following major headways achieved in liberalizing international payments and trade in goods with the helping hand of GATT, OEEC, EEC and the IMF back in the Bretton Woods period of fixed exchange rates (1945-1973), the last three decades of the 20th century have seen progressive liberalization in international...
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