Chapter 2: Democracy, Citizenship and Globalisation
INTRODUCTION The following chapters seek to make connections between, on the one hand, the ideals and principles that underpin the commitments to democracy and citizenship and, on the other, the nature and shape of present forms of globalisation. One major criticism of globalisation at present is the absence of political accountability and transparency. The recently ‘failed’ World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Cancun reflected the inability of developing countries to influence the WTO free trade agenda, which most developing countries argue, represent the interests of the EU and the USA. One major example has been the continuing failure of the USA and Europe to make concessions on the subsidies to agriculture, which are seen as being to the detriment of the interests of small farmers in developing countries. The USA continues to provide a subsidy of US$4 billion to 25 000 cotton growers in the USA, while asking cotton growers in Africa to re-structure and diversify their industry. Two major globalising institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are controlled by the countries that make the major financial contributions. Stiglitz (2002a) pointed to the idea of the Washington Consensus to try and describe the shared values and ethics of the financial community including the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO and how they seek to impose a ‘one size fits all policy’ of globalisation on developing countries. While the WTO claims to be a democratic institution, where each of the 146 counties have an...
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