Seven Theses on Global Society: A Review Essay

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This article critically reviews the literature on global society through global, transnational and local lenses and suggests avenues for further research hitherto neglected in this literature. Accounts of local reactions to globalization are particularly important since this approach valorizes social actors' own understandings of and reactions to global discourses and agendas. I also emphasize the idea that prevailing wisdoms in this literature hold that globalization has expanded the horizon of possibilities for collective social action, without paying due attention to the constraints on social action at the local and the transnational levels.

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Despite efforts by the Indian state to develop and maintain various irrigation strategies, many projects have not achieved the desired results, often due to systemic problems inherent in these initiatives. Meanwhile, the growing scarcity of water in South Asia propels new thinking about remedies. Based on detailed fieldwork, this article, which seems at first completely unrelated to matters of caste discrimination, assesses the sustainability of lift irrigation schemes (LIS) in Andhra Pradesh (AP). Asking critical questions about the management of such schemes, it also addresses the impact of new technologies on rural development, arguing that continuing technology-savvy engagement of the state in the irrigation sector is needed. While it is found that apart from issues of better management, increased use of solar energy could be a real boon for strengthening economic viability and environmental sustainability, the research identifies additional reasons, of a socio-political nature, which may explain why state support for marginal farmers in the area under examination is being withheld.
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E n los actuales tiempos de globalización, la producción social de represen-taciones de ideas de "identidad", "cultura", "biodiversidad", "sociedad civil", "ciudadanía" y otras que juegan papeles significativos tanto en la constitución de actores sociales como en la orientación de sus prácticas, se rela-ciona de diversas maneras con la participación de esos actores –como por ejem-plo organizaciones indígenas, cívicas, ambientalistas, etc.– en sistemas de rela-ciones transnacionales en los cuales intervienen también actores locales de otros países y actores globales. La diversidad de temáticas de referencia de las repre-sentaciones sociales antes mencionadas y examinadas en este texto persigue el in-terés de permitirnos teorizar de manera abarcadora sobre las representaciones so-ciales y su importancia en los procesos de transformaciones sociales en el marco de los procesos de globalización, trascendiendo las limitaciones que supondría estudiar casos referidos a un espectro temático más reducido. Que la producción social de representaciones sociales de ideas que orientan las prácticas de actores sociales influyentes en el curso de transformaciones so-ciales resulte de relaciones transnacionales entre actores locales y globales, me-rece atención por razones tanto teóricas como políticas. Por razones teóricas, por-que esta perspectiva de análisis contribuye a mostrar las limitaciones de dos tipos de enfoques frecuentes. En primer lugar, las limitaciones que surgen de estudiar las transformaciones sociales en el marco imaginario de sociedades locales o na-* Coordinador del Programa Globalización, Cultura y Transformaciones Sociales, Centro de Investigaciones Post-doctorales, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales, Universidad Central de Venezuela.
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Journal of Democracy 7.3 (1996) 38-52 The "civil society argument," as Michael Walzer calls it, is actually a complex set of arguments, not all of which are congruent. In the rough pastiche that has become the commonly accepted version, a "dense network of civil associations" is said to promote the stability and effectiveness of the democratic polity through both the effects of association on citizens' "habits of the heart" and the ability of associations to mobilize citizens on behalf of public causes. Emergent civil societies in Latin America and Eastern Europe are credited with effective resistance to authoritarian regimes, democratizing society from below while pressuring authoritarians for change. Thus civil society, understood as the realm of private voluntary association, from neighborhood committees to interest groups to philanthropic enterprises of all sorts, has come to be seen as an essential ingredient in both democratization and the health of established democracies. Thus summarized, the argument leaves many questions unanswered. Some of these are definitional, arising from the different ways in which civil society has been applied in various times and places. Does it, for instance, include business ("the market") as well as voluntary organizations, or does the market constitute a separate, "private" sphere? If we exclude the market, should we nevertheless include economic associations -- trade groups, professional organizations, labor unions, and the like? What about political organizations? Does it make sense, following Antonio Gramsci, to distinguish "civil" from "political" society? If so, how are we to distinguish between political associations per se and the political activities of groups in civil society, from interest groups to religious bodies, which are intermittently mobilized in pursuit of political goals? Just when does the "civil" become the "political"? Beyond such definitional concerns, there is also the elusive character of the relationship between "civil society" and democratic governance. Just how is it that associations formed among individuals produce the large-scale political and social benefits postulated by the civil society argument? Is the cultivation of "habits of the heart" that encourage tolerance, cooperation, and civic engagement the key? If so, under which circumstances and forms of small-scale interaction are these effects likely to appear? If, as some hold, civil society's chief virtue is its ability to act as an organized counterweight to the state, to what extent can this happen without the help of political parties and expressly political movements? Finally, what prevents civil society from splitting into warring factions (a possibility that theorists since Hegel have worried about) or degenerating into a congeries of rent-seeking "special interests"? What is it about civil society, in other words, that produces the benevolent effects posited by the civil society argument? In attempting to answer these questions, it might be useful to make a rough distinction between two broad versions of the "civil society argument." The first version is crystallized in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, with important antecedents in the work of the eighteenth-century "Scottish moralists," including Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, and Francis Hutcheson. This approach puts special emphasis on the ability of associational life in general and the habits of association in particular to foster patterns of civility in the actions of citizens in a democratic polity. We shall call this family of arguments "Civil Society I." The second version, articulated most forcefully by Jacek Kuron, Adam Michnik, and their associates in formulating a strategy for resistance to Poland's communist regime in the 1980s, is also evident in recent literature on processes of "redemocratization" in Latin America. This argument, which we call "Civil Society II," lays special emphasis on civil society as a sphere of action that is independent of the state and that is capable -- precisely for this reason -- of energizing resistance to a tyrannical regime. It might already be apparent that there is a degree of contradiction between "Civil Society I" and "Civil Society II," for while the former postulates the positive effects of association for governance (albeit democratic governance), the latter emphasizes the importance of civil association as a counterweight to the state. There is no reason in principle why the "counterweight" of civil society should not become a burden to a democratic as well as...
The present world order involves a more ‘liberalized’ and commodified set of historical structures, driven by the restructuring of capital and a political shift to the right. This process involves the spatial expansion and social deepening of economic liberal definitions of social purpose and possessively individualist patterns of action and politics.Current transformations can be related to Braudel’s concept of the ‘longue duree’, in so far as the structure and language of social relations is now more conditioned by the long-term commodity logic of capital. Capitalist norms and practices pervade the gestes repetes of everyday life in a more systematic way than in the era of welfare-nationalism and state capitalism (from the 1930s to the 1960s), so that it may be apposite to speak of the emergence of what I call a ‘market civilization’.
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1. Gendering World Politics2. Troubled Encounters: Feminism Meets IR3. War, Peace, and Security4. Gendering the Global Economy5. Democratization, the State and the Global Order: Gendered Perspectives6. Conclusions and Beginnings: Some Pathways for IR Feminist FuturesBibliography
Preface Acronyms and organizations Introduction: when worlds collide 1. Theory: on power, borders, and meaning 2. Voice in teh village: building a social movement 3. State security: power versus principal 4. 'Indian market': profit versus purpose 5. Identities across borders: the politics of global civil society 6. New times: the impact of the movement Conclusion: it takes a village References Index.
Investigating the complex interrelations between culture and politics in a wide range of social movements in Latin America, this book focuses on the cultural politics enacted by social movements as they struggle for new visions and practices of citizenship, democracy, social relations, and development. The volume explores the potential of these cultural politics for fostering alternative political cultures and social transformations. Theoretical and empirical chapters assess and build upon novel conceptions of culture and politics in a variety of disciplines and fields-particularly anthropology, political science, sociology, feminist theory, and cultural studies.The notion of the cultural politics of social movements provides a lens for analyzing emergent discourses and practices grounded in society and culture, the state and political institutions, and the extent to which they may unsettle, or be reinscribed into, the dominant neoliberal strategies of the 1990s. Contributors explore how social movements-urban popular, women’s, indigenous, and black movements as well as movements for citizenship and democracy-engage in the cultural resignification of notions such as rights, equality, and difference, thus altering what counts as political. By highlighting simultaneously the cultural dimensions of the political and the political dimensions of the cultural, the book transcends the distinction between “new” and “old” social movements and thus significantly renews our understanding of them.
El trabajo estudia las condiciones que impone la "democratización con ajuste" y la tendencia hacia la globalización y la localización, para después analizar las formas institucionaales y no institucionalizadas de expresión de las identidades colectivas y de demandas sociales. Por último, aborda el papel específico que tienen los movimientos, así como el de la solidaridad en los procesos de construcción democrática. /// This paper studies the conditions imposed by "democratization with adjustment" and the trend towards globalization and localization in order to analyze the institutional and non-institutionalized forms of expression of collective identities and social demands. The author then goes on to examine the specific role played by movements and solidarity in the processes of democratic construction.
A sistimos hoy en todos los continentes a un florecimiento de movimientos sociales, de numerosas iniciativas en los ámbitos económico y social, de reacciones culturales a la desintegración social que se manifiestan a través de corrientes nacionalistas, regionalistas, religiosas. A nivel mundial, el campo social se encuentra atravesado por una serie de sacudones, que parecieran no tener un vín-culo entre ellos. Es llamativo constatar que de forma cada vez más recurrente los fenómenos so -ciales desembocan en una deslegitimación del sistema económico; ya que el capita-lismo afecta visiblemente no sólo los intereses de los trabajadores incluidos directa-mente en la relación capital/trabajo sino, también, de diversos sectores de la pobla-ción mundial afectados indirectamente por la lógica del sistema económico; es decir, por intermedio de los mecanismos financieros (fijación de precios de materias pri-mas, servicio de la deuda, tasas de interés, fuga de capitales, etc.). No todos tienen el mismo nivel de conciencia pero el fenómeno se encuentra en progresión, tal cual pu-do observarse en Seattle, Washington, Ginebra, Praga, etc.
Transnational Social Movements and Global Social Politics examines a cast of global actors left out of the traditional studies of international politics. It generates a theoretically informed view of the relationships between an emerging global civil society - partly manifested in transnational social movements - and international political institutions. This book consists of fifteen essays, all written by experts in the field. The first three parts analyze the rise of transnational social movements in the context of broad twentieth-century trends. A fourth part builds a theoretical framework from which organizations influencing global governance can be viewed.
This issue of American Behavioral Scientist is the second in a two-part series on civil society and the social capital debate. Although the first issue (Edwards & Foley, 1997) focused on the social capital debate in the United States, the present issue takes a decidedly comparative approach, with a primary focus on civil society and the character and significance of associational life for contemporary societies. In this article, we sketch the history of the notion of civil society, particularly as that term has become current in contemporary debates. The article also discusses how the notion of social capital became entangled with that of civil society and summarizes the debate surrounding social capital. Although the neo-Tocquevillean version of the civil society argument is probably most familiar to American readers-thanks in part to Robert Putnam's promotion of the notion of the decline of social capital in recent U.S. experience-we attempt to show here some of the diversity of conceptions that characterize the revival of the civil society argument in hopes of moving the debate decisively "beyond Tocqueville." In the final section of this article, we introduce the articles that follow in this context. In the concluding article, we attempt to assess what we have learned about civil society and social capital, drawing a distinction between the polemical and heuristic uses of these notions and their function as referents for empirical inquiry in which latter respect we find both concepts decidedly wanting.
Obra que reconstruye el origen y evolución de las actuales redes transnacionales que, con la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías informativas como recurso organizador y aglutinador, han logrado constituirse en movimientos más o menos presionadores en la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la protección ambiental y de una mayor equidad de género, entre otros.
The meaning of has evolved considerably since its use in the context of the 18th century European Enlightenment. Then it signified the realm of private interests, in practice the realm of the bourgeoisie, distinct from the state. While one current of thought retains that meaning and its implications, others view civil society rather as the emancipatory activity of social forces distinct from both state and capital. Antonio Gramsci's thought embraced both meanings: civil society was the ground that sustained the hegemony of the bourgeoisie but also that on which an emancipatory counterhegemony could be constructed. Is civil society today in the latter sense, a surrogate for revolution that seems a remote possibility towards the attainment of an alternative social and world order? It is useful to test this proposition by examining the potential for civil society in different parts of the world.
In this paper I explore recent theoretical expositions on culture and identity as they relate to forces of globalization on the one hand, and to the place-bound politics of contemporary nationalisms on the other. At the centre of my interest lie questions and ambiguities over contested sources of collective identity. In particular, I explore two contradictory processes: the supposed emergence of a global civil society (representing one important realm of globalization); as well as the territorial parochialism expressed through some nationalist movements. I argue in this paper, however, that these seemingly opposing forces should not be read simply as just another anomalous dichotomy of modernity, but rather as belonging to the inextricable phenomenon of globalization. I am interested in exploring notions of identity and difference to show that space/place as signifier is critical to sources of collective identity and that the politics of this signification is quite contradictory in terms of expressing forms of resistance and domination. My analysis is neither exhaustive nor definitive, but rather more cautionary and explorative in tone. In what follows is a critique: first, of the notion of ‘global civil society’ and its suggested significance for identity patterns and their associated political forms; and second, of sovereignty and nationally defined territories as sites of political change. I conclude by arguing for a reconstituted nation-state rather than its demise—a reconstitution that is becoming increasingly globalized and making us rethink our ideas about community Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd
Migration flows are shaped by a complex combination of self-selection and out-selection mechanisms. In this paper, the authors analyze how existing diasporas (the stock of people born in a country and living in another one) affect the size and human-capital structure of current migration flows. The analysis exploits a bilateral data set on international migration by educational attainment from 195 countries to 30 developed countries in 1990 and 2000. Based on simple micro-foundations and controlling for various determinants of migration, the analysis finds that diasporas increase migration flows, lower the average educational level and lead to higher concentration of low-skill migrants. Interestingly, diasporas explain the majority of the variability of migration flows and selection. This suggests that, without changing the generosity of family reunion programs, education-based selection rules are likely to have a moderate impact. The results are highly robust to the econometric techniques, accounting for the large proportion of zeros and endogeneity problems.
Globalization is a set of processes that are weakening national boundaries. Both transnational and local social movements develop to resist the processes of globalization--migration, economic interdependence, global media coverage of events and issues, and intergovernmental relations. Globalization not only spurs the creation of social movements, but affects the way many social movements are structured and work. The essays in this volume illuminate how globalization is caught up in social movement processes and question the boundaries of social movement theory. The book builds on the modern theory of social movements that focuses upon political process and opportunity, resource mobilization and mobilization structure, and the cultural framing of grievances, utopias, ideologies, and options. Some of the essays deal with the structure of international campaigns, while others are focused upon conflicts and movements in less developed countries that have strong international components. The fourteen essays are written by both well established senior scholars and younger scholars in anthropology, political science, sociology, and history. The essays cover a range of time periods and regions of the world. This book is relevant for anyone interested in the politics and social change processes related to globalization as well as social-movement theory. Mayer Zald is Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan. Michael Kennedy is Vice Provost for International Programs, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Center for Russian and East European Affairs, University of Michigan. John Guidry is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Augustana College.
In this book, Janet McIntyre addresses the need for transcultural thinking tools, to not only mend problems in the global environment but also to understand the essential nature of the problems. Thinking tools comprise the analytical concepts which organise, disorganise, pattern and question thoughts about the social and natural world. Specifically, the concepts introduced in this book are 'global citizenship', 'human rights', 'responsibility', 'social movements' and 'transcultural webs of meaning'. © 2000 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V. All rights reserved.
México El autor explora, a partir de una vasta bibliografía, cómo cambian los acercamientos y las discrepancias entre Europa, América Latina y los Estados Unidos. Trabaja el concepto de globalizaciones "tangenciales". Con cifras y datos novedosos compara los distintos modos en que se globalizan las finanzas, la ciudadanía, las arte visuales, las editoriales, la música y el cine. Examina las ambigüedades que esconden las metáforas empleadas para hablar de conflictos fronterizos y analiza el humor en malentendidos interculturales. Por otro lado, el autor propone cómo renovar los estudios culturales -en diálogo con la antropología, la sociología y la economía- para reconstruir un pensamiento crítico. Se pregunta qué hacer para que los intercambios globales no se gestionen en lobbies de empresarios sino en una esfera pública donde se vaya construyendo una economía mundial.
Norms have never been absent from the study of international politics, but the sweeping “ideational turn” in the 1980s and 1990s brought them back as a central theoretical concern in the field. Much theorizing about norms has focused on how they create social structure, standards of appropriateness, and stability in international politics. Recent empirical research on norms, in contrast, has examined their role in creating political change, but change processes have been less well-theorized. We induce from this research a variety of theoretical arguments and testable hypotheses about the role of norms in political change. We argue that norms evolve in a three-stage “life cycle” of emergence, “norm cascades,” and internalization, and that each stage is governed by different motives, mechanisms, and behavioral logics. We also highlight the rational and strategic nature of many social construction processes and argue that theoretical progress will only be made by placing attention on the connections between norms and rationality rather than by opposing the two.
What is Globalization?
  • Ulrich Beck
Beck, Ulrich (2000) 'What is Globalization?', in David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds) The Global Transformation Reader, pp. 99-104. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Globalization from Below: The Power of Solidarity
  • Jeremy Brecher
  • Tim Costello
  • Brendan Smith
Brecher, Jeremy, Tim Costello and Brendan Smith (2000) Globalization from Below: The Power of Solidarity. Cambridge: South End Press.
The Making of Global Citizenship
  • Richard Falk
Falk, Richard (1993) 'The Making of Global Citizenship', in Jeremy Brecher, John Brown Childs and Jill Cutler (eds) Global Visions, Beyond the New World Order, pp. 39-52. Boston: South End Press.
The Globalization of Modernity
  • Anthony Giddens
Giddens, Anthony (2000) 'The Globalization of Modernity', in David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds) The Global Transformation Reader, pp. 99-104. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
The Local and the Global: Globalization and Ethnicity' and 'Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities
  • Stuart Hall
Hall, Stuart (1997) 'The Local and the Global: Globalization and Ethnicity' and 'Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities', in Anthony D. King (ed.) Culture, Globalization and the World-System: Contemporary Conditions for the Representation of Identity, pp. 19-40 and 41-68. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press.
  • Robert Keohane
  • Joseph Nye
Keohane, Robert and Joseph Nye (1972) Transnational Relations and World Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Reconstructing World Politics: The Emergence of Global Civil Society
  • R Lipshutz
Lipshutz, R. (1992) 'Reconstructing World Politics: The Emergence of Global Civil Society', Millennium 21(3): 389-421.
Global Civil Society and Global Governmentality: Or, the Search for the Missing State Amidst the Capillaries of Power', Paper presented at the conference 'Power and Global Governance
  • Ronnie D Lipshutz
Lipshutz, Ronnie D. (2002) 'Global Civil Society and Global Governmentality: Or, the Search for the Missing State Amidst the Capillaries of Power', Paper presented at the conference 'Power and Global Governance', University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 19-20.
Protests as a Political Resource
  • Michael Lipsky
Lipsky, Michael (1968) 'Protests as a Political Resource', American Political Science Review 62: 1144-58.
Global-Local and Transnational Local-Local Relations in the Transformation of Latin American Civil Societies
  • D Mato
Mato, D. (1998) 'Global-Local and Transnational Local-Local Relations in the Transformation of Latin American Civil Societies', Chicago, Latin American Studies Association, paper presented at the LASA XXI International Congress, 24-27 September.
A Research Based Framework for Analyzing Processes of (Re) Construction of "Civil Societies" in the Age of Globalization
  • Daniel Mato
Mato, Daniel (2002) 'A Research Based Framework for Analyzing Processes of (Re) Construction of "Civil Societies" in the Age of Globalization', in Jean Servaes and Rico Lie (eds) Media and Politics in Transition: Cultural Identity in the Age of Globalization, pp. 127-39. Brussels: ACCO Publishers.
El Banco interamericano de desarrollo, el Banco mundial y la sociedad civil: Nuevas formas de financiamientos internacional
  • Diana Tussie
Tussie, Diana, ed. (1997) El Banco interamericano de desarrollo, el Banco mundial y la sociedad civil: Nuevas formas de financiamientos internacional. Buenos Aires: Consejo Latino Americano de ciencias sociales (CLACSO).
Revolución en el sistema mundo, tesis y interrogantes
  • Immanuel Wallerstein
Wallerstein, Immanuel (1990a) '1968, Revolución en el sistema mundo, tesis y interrogantes', in Rafael Guido Bejar, Otto Fernandez Reyes and Maria Luisa Torregrosa (eds) El Juicio al Sujeto: Un análisis global de los movimientos sociales, pp. 17-41. Mexico City: FLACSO.
Globalización de la cultura y sociedad civil. Caracas: Centro de investigación postdoctorales, Program on Globalization
  • George Yudice
Yudice, George (1997) Globalización de la cultura y sociedad civil. Caracas: Centro de investigación postdoctorales, Program on Globalization, Culture and Social Transformations, University of Central Venezuela. BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
The Globalization of Modernity
  • García Canclini
García Canclini, Nestor (1999) La globalización imaginada. Mexico City: Paídos. Giddens, Anthony (2000) 'The Globalization of Modernity', in David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds) The Global Transformation Reader, pp. 99-104. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.