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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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70 Counterhegemonic GlobalizationTransnational Social Movements in the Contemporary Political Economy

Peter Evans

When people invoke “globalization,” they usually mean the prevailing system of transnational domination, which is more accurately called “neoliberal globalization,” “corporate globalization,” or perhaps “neoliberal, corporate-dominated globalization.” Sometimes they are referring to a more generic process – the shrinking of space and increased permeability of borders that result from falling costs of transportation and revolutionary changes in technologies of communication. Often the two are conflated.

Implicit in much of current discourse on globalization is the idea that the particular system of transnational domination that we experience today is the “natural” (indeed inevitable) consequence of exogenously determined generic changes in the means of transportation and communication. A growing body of social science literature and activist argumentation challenges this assumption. Arguing instead that the growth of transnational connections can potentially be harnessed to the construction of more equitable distributions of wealth and power and more socially and ecologically sustainable communities, this literature and argumentation raises the possibility of what I would like to call “counterhegemonic globalization.” Activists pursuing this perspective have created a multifaceted set of transnational networks and ideological frames that stand in opposition to ...

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