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Nation Topics - Globalization | The Nation

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Nation Topics - Globalization

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BEYOND WESTPHALIA

One of the most remarkable--but unremarked, other than superficially--aspects of globalism is its erosional effect on the role of the state as we've known it since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. Indeed, as Nation editorial board member Richard Falk notes in opening Human Rights Horizons, "The sovereign state is changing course due primarily to the widespread adoption of neoliberal approaches to governmental function.... There exists a broad cumulative trend toward the social disempowerment of the state," and "market forces operate as an impersonal agency for the infliction of human wrongs." Advancing their cause despite the privatizing of government functions--the ultimate in deregulation--may be "the most pressing framing question for human rights activists," Falk asserts in this scholarly meditation.

Falk moves between the specific and the general, whether geographically (from Rwanda to Kosovo to the Gulf War) or institutionally (the UN, NATO, World Bank, IMF), to try to tease out the foundations and implications of a new world moral order. He eschews easy answers--"it remains premature at this point to set forth 'the lessons of Kosovo'"--and is skeptical, yet he presents signs of hope: Global media provide "vivid images...of popular activism and makes the struggles in one setting suggestive...in another," for instance, and in one of its dynamics, globalization "is creating a stronger sense of shared destiny among the diverse peoples of the world."

On the final day of the Seattle demonstrations this past December, Peter Jennings of ABC's World News Tonight introduced the story with a sly aside: "The thousands of demonstrators will go

The United States never held a large number of direct colonies, a fact that has prompted many political leaders to declare it the great exception to colonialism.

The politics of trade will always contrive to decide the most fateful questions in private while leaving public debate to chew over narrow, derivative issues.

When we last visited New York Times foreign affairs pundit Thomas Friedman during last year's Seattle protests, he was attacking critics of the antidemocratic World Trade Organization as a

The turn of the millennium provided yet another occasion to celebrate a triumphant American Century.

The financial crisis that collapsed Asian economies in mid-1997 and then bounced around the world was a distant sideshow to most Americans until it reached Wall Street.

Seattle changed many things, and one of them is American labor. Nothing lifts the spirit or one's vision like winning.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE FORUM

Walden Bello, author of Dark Victory: The United States and Global Poverty (Food First), is executive director of the Bangkok-b

Some years ago, I had the good fortune to befriend an extended family who lived in a poor shantytown in the southern reaches of Santiago, Chile.

Blogs

Can the BRICS wrest control of the global economy from the United States and Europe, or will their internal contradictions tear them apart?

September 4, 2014

The president should be proposing new rules for importers who manufacture their products overseas, but don’t hold your breath.

April 23, 2014

Expanding energy access makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is using a failed scheme—like carbon trading—to pay for it.

April 11, 2014

The real goal of the TTIP is to weaken the power of citizens to defend themselves against corporate abuses.

March 24, 2014

Change won’t come to America’s broken immigration system from policymakers. It will come from organizers.

March 10, 2014

A new US trade representative is a former lobbyist pushing for limits on Internet freedom and draconian intellectual property policy.

February 27, 2014

It was clear then, as it is now, that "free-trade" agreements are disasters for workers and the environment.

February 15, 2014

Opposition to free-trade policies is coming not just from factory towns but from rural regions that could decide some key Senate races in 2014.

February 4, 2014

The president is getting a lot right. But he cannot afford to muddle his message tonight.

January 28, 2014

Among the first challengers of the "free trade" fantasy were farmers, fisherfolk, peasants and indigenous peoples. John Kinsman was their comrade and champion.

January 26, 2014