Apart from inflation and war, what grips current economic thought is the apparent failure of what mainstream economics likes to call ‘globalisation’. What mainstream economics means by globalisation is the expansion of trade and capital flows freely across borders. In 2000, the IMF identified four basic aspects of globalisation: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge. All these components apparently took off from the early 1980s as part of the ‘neoliberal’ reversal of previous national macro-management policies adopted by governments in the environment of the Bretton Woods world economic order (ie US hegemony). Then the call was to break down tariff barriers, quotas and other trade restrictions and allow the multi-nationals to trade ‘freely’ and to switch their investments abroad to cheap labour areas to boost profitability. This would lead to global expansion and harmonious development of the productive forces and resources of the world, it was claimed.
The year 2019 was marked by popular movements unprecedented for decades in many countries around the world. From Algeria to Sudan via Lebanon, France or Haiti, these movements brought millions of demonstrators into action. This same year, coups d’état and reactionary offensives multiplied, as well as the attempts at instrumentalizing and diverting these great popular movements. The chronological perception of these struggles disseminated by the media prevents us from taking stock of the common issues represented by these mobilizations. Likewise, the pervasiveness of a Euro-centric reading framework masks the beginning of a new historical period of the world imperialist system and the resumption of popular initiatives that accompany it. How can we understand this new cycle of struggle? Can we link these movements to a common material foundation? Are these disconnected from the dominant ideological discourses? Etc.
Constructivist and psychoanalytic oriented social research provides evidence that human behaviour is driven by the shared meanings of the subjective social experience (Blumer 1969, Mead 1934, Berger and Luckmann 1966, Moscovici 1961, Matte Blanco 1975, Carli 1993). This perspective can be used to understand the cultural drivers underlying the elite’s political and economic action.Read More »
Globalization, a buzzword, has been variously interpreted and analysed. In its most widest and comprehensive manifestation globalization is understood primarily as an economic process that gradually absorbs the other domains of life like politics, culture, ethics, and morality. As an economic process it advocates the absorption of some policy measures which will revamp the economy of a national society in tune with the terms of global trade and market relations. The policy measures are aimed at opening up of a national economy so that the free flow of capital, technology, goods and services, and labour across national boards could be ensured. Viewed as such globalization thus contributing towards lengthening of connections between places in ‘a novel way’ which were otherwise afar and making the world becoming more deeply interconnected through the churnings of – what has been called as – ‘living globally’. The turning of a rather economic process into cultural, social and political one depends upon several key factors and forces. These factors and forces – culminating in a new market mantra – are actualized through several agencies like Trans-national Corporations (TNCs), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs).Read More »