Contesting Globalization: Space and Place in the World by Andr Drainville

By Andr Drainville

Contesting Globalization makes an leading edge and unique addition to the literature on globalization studying the demanding situations confronted by way of these wishing to enhance revolutionary visions of obvious international governance and civil society. This new learn heavily strains the background and improvement of the associations of world governance (The international financial institution, IMF, WTO etc.) in addition to the emergence of the anti-globalization stream. the writer argues that we're at a different second the place social forces have moved from nationwide and foreign struggles to an international fight and intervention on this planet economic system. a sequence of case experiences research the ways that towns became contested websites for international struggles from the London dockworkers moves of the 19th century to the new demonstrations opposed to the foreign monetary associations in Genoa, Seattle and Washington.

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In social scientific usage, ‘modes’ most often refer to relatively invisible but enduring, and structuring, products of specific historical circumstances. Dialectically, they are both artefacts of historical struggles and part of the conditions under which histories are made. Born of the meeting of social forces, they structure, inform, shape or over-determine historical conjunctures. Most famously, Marx used the concept of ‘mode of production’ to highlight how societies resolved the contradictory development of the means and the social relations of production.

But to think politically about these possibilities and to build on them, we need, more than we do wishful thinking, a theory of politics that does not exclude global social relations from the beginning only to reintroduce history-saving ghosts by the back door. Dialectically, we have to incorporate and relativize what ‘transnational historical materialism’ has to say about the making of world order, by looking into the possibility that the world economy itself may be a significant context for social forces to meet, where might be defined new modes of social relations.

What if ‘grass-roots’ means nothing at all? What if, more to the point, ‘global civil society’, ‘international public opinion’, ‘the peoples of the earth’, ‘the global NGO community’, ‘the peoples’ (or ‘the women’ or ‘the workers’ or ‘the poor’) of the world are not transnational subjects in any political sense, but discursive, or ideological, mirages? What if they are political creations, ‘real copies’ of global civil society (to borrow from Umberto Eco on ‘hyper-reality): perfectly fabricated, perfectly still and acceptable substitutes to contain more contentious reality (Eco 1986)?

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