Globalization of Pluralism – Again


Here is part 1 of this argument.

MNCs and NGOs are re-creating at the global level, what interest groups have long created at the domestic level. Where political interest groups emerged from domestic civil society and the economy to lobby government, the same is happening in the albeit less well integrated, global first and third sectors.

The global level has no public authority as integrated as a state. Yet it does, increasingly have policy processes that generate outcomes that apply to many states across many issues. There is neither global sovereignty, nor world government, but there is increasingly global governance. The pressures of globalization, particularly economic, but also social and environmental, have raised supra-state policy issues – human right, global warming, bank reserve ratios. States are not forced to submerge their will to supra-state policy answers – there is no world government – but rather strong functional and humanitarian pressures for coordinated policy responses. Globalization is not unstoppable, but increasingly states have gone along with its pressures to address problems at the global level. First and third sector organizations in states frequently demand such actions. Global governance, however, ramshackle and inefficient is the answer.

Globalization is the real-world driver of GG. As it elevates issues to a level of global concern, it creates strong incentives for global policy answers. But this does not explain the participation of nonstate actors in global policy making processes. In a strict inter-state model of world politics, GG would simply be regime building. But increasing actors from the for- and non-profit sector are joining the game. States could conceivably lock them out, and the most repressive do – the only voice from North Korea in world politics is the DPRK. But for an increasing number of states, preventing private actors from engaging in world politics, at least trying, is ideologically impossible. Democratization has driven up the costs of such repression. Surely Donald Rumsfeld would like to quiet Amnesty International’s harsh criticism of the Guantanamo detention facility, but to do so would violate clear norms, and in many democratic cases, written constitutional protections, of free speech. As more states democratize and liberalize, the most their internal private actors are allowed to make international connections, join the global economy and other global social movements. While GG has no formal charter to insure that is pluralistic, its most powerful state members, and an increasing number of the rest are liberal. Democratization has opened the floodgates, particularly for NGOs to spill into world politics.

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