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How Have Recent Protest Movements Responded to Globalisation?

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Essay title: How Have Recent Protest Movements Responded to Globalisation?

Discuss how recent protest movements (e.g. ecological, anti-capitalist, anti-globalisation, other) have responded to globalisation

In general, globalisation refers to the increase in economic, social, cultural, political and technological global connectivity and integration (Johnson et. al, 2000). The many sub-processes of globalisation are progressively merging people and the earth’s biosphere into one global system. However, it should not be understood as a method of promoting a congruent global society where all people and cultures are becoming increasingly integrated. The awareness of this global interconnection has created new hostilities and conflicts, as well as encouraging intransigent politics and xenophobia (Held and McGrew, 2002). Consequently, globalisation is an intensely contested process (Held and McGrew, 2002).

Social movements are generally informal networks based on common beliefs that assemble conflicting issues by repetition of various forms of protest (della Porta and Diani, 2006). Globalisation has consequently led to the rise in global social movements are supranational networks that define their foundations as global and their organised protest movements involve more than one state. The ‘great globalisation debate’ identifies some of the most important issues of this era. Significant questions have been raised about the course of social change and the establishment of human affairs, the impact on the environment, and also more political affairs such as the premeditated choices confronted by society and the restrictions for effective political action (Held and McGrew, 2002). Understanding and interpreting globalisation is crucial for discussion, as one’s reaction to the process depends on this. The anti-globalisers, often referred to as the sceptics, believe that ‘globalisation’ cannot be interpreted literally as it is not a universal experience and the concept is merely a synonym for Westernisation or Americanisation (Held and McGrew, 2002). It must be recognized that globalisation is profoundly divisive and a significant percentage of the world’s population are excluded from its benefits.

Before the movement against neoliberal globalisation, forms of controversial transnational actions opposed to international institutions did exist. However, they generally took the form of ‘transnational protest campaigns’ (Gerhards and Rucht, 1992)- meaning a socially and temporarily linked series of interactions that are adapted to a specific goal. In comparison, today’s movement against neoliberal globalisation connects different transnational protest campaigns that supply a chain of organisational constitutions (Social Movement Organisations, or SMOs; Non-Governmental Organisations, or NGOs; national associations), which interact intermittently in transnational events, such as countersummits and world forums (della Porta et al., 2006). Consequently, globalisation has generally caused for many different protest movements, such as ecological and anti-capitalist, to unite and campaign together for their common belief: anti-globalisation. This essay will summarise the aims and components of the ‘anti-globalisation movement’, which incorporates many factors and sub-components within it. It then will progress to discuss and compare the ways in which different movements have chosen to protest, concluding which is the most effective measure.

The ‘anti-globalisation movement’ was developed in the late twentieth century and its affiliates aim to shelter the world’s population and ecosystem from the effects of globalisation that they consider to be harmful. Some consider it to be a social-movement while most interpret it as an ‘umbrella’ term that encompasses a number of different social movements. The members of this movement usually promote anarchist, socialist or social democratic substitutes for liberal democracy and support such issues as feminism, preservation of culture, freedom of migration, biodiversity and the ending or reforming capitalism (Leitner et al., 2007). Some perceive the movement as being a reaction to the development of neoliberalism, which is commonly recognised as having began in conjunction with the creation of a global scaled laissez-faire capitalism by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan, in which both the weakening of trade and business regulations and the liberalisation of countries’ economies were promoted. All participants share the general aim of the movement: to oppose the political power of large corporations, employed in trade agreements and those alike, which they believe destabilises such concerns as the environment, labour rights, national independence and culture, and developing countries (Held and McGrew, 2002). Most members of this movement reject the term ‘anti-globalisation’ and prefer to label themselves

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