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Published: 19-04-2011, 10:40


Anti-globalization: Origins

Anti-globalization: Who’s Who?

Anti-globalization: Main Concerns

Anti-globalization: Hegemonic Shifts

Anti-globalization: The Future of Anti-globalization

The spectacular growth in the intensity, scope, and visibility of globalization (understood here as the increasing interconnectedness of individuals, groups, companies, and countries) since 1990 has been accompanied by a parallel growth in anti-globalization a broad term used to characterize a public debate over the shaping, slowing, or rejecting of globalization.

Driven by the growth of international economic integration and international institutional arrangements and the spread of ever-denser networks of global communications, a debate has arisen since the 1990s around concerns regarding the distributional benefits of globalization, the desirability and impact of different types of policy, and the nature and representativeness of thepolitical institutions that decide on global policy issues. The public face of this debate has been notable for the high-profile role of nonstate actors and for its focus on perceived shortcomings in current systems of global governance.

The terms most commonly used for this global debate, particularlywith the involvement of nonstate actors anti-globalization and the anti-globalization movement were used most frequently between the failed World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial in Seattle in 1999 and theGroup of Eight (G8) Summit held in Genoa in 2001 amidst violence by both police and demonstrators. These terms are misleading, as participants in this debate are neither solidly ‘‘anti-globalization,’’ nor a single movement. Under the umbrella of these labels is a wide variety of actors with often sharply differing philosophies, objectives, and assumptions. Yet since the late 1990s they have proved a useful if contested and in large part inaccurate shorthand to describe what many identify as a new and important force in global politics.

In order to understand the nature of the current debate about globalization as well as what might happen next to the ‘‘anti-globalization movement’’ and its actors there is a need for disaggregation and a reflection on the context in which it exists. 

See also fair trade; globalization; Group of Seven/Eight (G7/G8); Tobin tax; Washington consensus; World Economic Forum; World Trade Organization


  • Chang, Ha Joon. 2007. Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies, and the Threat to the Developing World. London: Random House. A readable and critical examination of the policy prescriptions of the Washington consensus and an argument for the potential merits of active state involvement in successful development strategies that draws upon the experience of southeast Asia. 
  • Desai, Meghnad, and Yahia Said. 2001. ‘‘The New Anti CapitalistMovement:Money andGlobalCivil Society.’’ In Global Civil Society 2001, edited by Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius, and Mary Kaldor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 51 78. The Civil Society yearbook, basedat theCentre forCivilSociety at theLondonSchool of Economics, has been running since 2001 and pro vides a good overview of developments in the sector. 
  • Fowler, Penny, and Kevin Watkins. 2003. Rigged Rules and Double Standards: Trade, Globalisation, and the Fight against Poverty. Oxford: Oxfam Academic. The bench mark publication that sets out the developmental case for fairer trade. 
  • Green, Duncan, and Matthew Griffith. 2002. ‘‘Globaliza tion and Its Discontents.’’ International Affairs 78 (1): 49 68. An overview of globalization and anti globali zation movements, from which this entry draws. 
  • Held, David. 2004. Global Covenant: The Social Democratic Alternative to the Washington Consensus. Oxford: Polity Press. In many ways the counterpoint toMartin Wolf’s case for the global economy, Held argues for a ‘‘social democractic alternative’’ with greater attention to pol icies to compensate those who lose out from globaliza tion, as well as the need for a stronger and more inclusive set of international institutions. 
  • Klein, Naomi. 2001. No Logo. London: Flamingo. The best selling critique of global business trends, which blends cultural analysis, political manifesto, and jour nalistic expose´. 
  • Mallaby, Sebastian. 2004. The World’s Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and theWealth and Poverty of Nations. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. A highly readable portrait of James Wolfensohn’s pres idency of theWorld Bank, which examines the struggles between the World Bank, its shareholders from the de veloped world, its clients in the developing world, and the NGOs that straddle both worlds. 
  • Wolf,Martin. 2004.Why Globalization Works: The Case for the Global Market Economy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. A combative examination of the merits and faults of the different arguments from members of the anti globalization movement. 


Third World Network, http://www.twnside.org.sg

Focus on the Global South, http://www.focusweb.org

World Social Forum, http://www.worldsocialforum.org

Global Policy Forum, http://www.globalpolicy.org

Oxfam, http://www.oxfam.org.uk


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