Research Handbook on Global Administrative Law
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Research Handbook on Global Administrative Law

Edited by Sabino Cassese

This Handbook explores the main themes and topics of the emerging field of Global Administrative Law with contributions by leading scholars and experts from universities and organizations around the world. The variety of the subjects addressed and the internationality of the Handbook’s perspectives make for a truly global and multi-dimensional view of the field.
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Chapter 24: The globalization debate – a mid-decade perspective

Robert Howse


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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