The Politics of Globalisation and Polarisation
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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.
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Chapter 2: Democracy, Citizenship and Globalisation

Maurice Mullard

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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...

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