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03 May 2011


Globalization done poorly can indeed threaten the political and economic rights of peoples who are on its receiving end. What I like about the examples above in particular is that each in its own way is an attempt to address that issue, by ensuring the changes that globalization brings about are at least in some way self-directed.

In each of my examples, the nations in question are not what are commonly thought of as highly developed, politically powerful nations on the world stage (though a few certainly have a degree of soft power). By working together for mutual benefit, these efforts are a way for the peoples of each of the involved nations to do in concert what would be difficult if not impossible for any to do alone, and to do it in socio-culturally relevant and acceptable ways that are self-directed, rather than externally imposed.

Many people now believe that the advance of globalization is inevitable. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has gone so far as to exclaim, "Globalization is in the saddle and rides mankind." Hyperbole aside, the critical question is: What are the implications of globalization for political and economic rights in particular and for democracy in general? World opinion is sharply divided about the correct answer to that question. Those who view globalization negatively argue that it has political and economic ramifications which will prove detrimental to democracy.

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