Global justice movement

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Activists protest policies of the World Bank in Washington, DC.

The global justice movement is a network of globalized social movements opposing what is often known as the “corporate globalization” and promoting equal distribution of economic resources.

Movement of movements[edit]

The global justice movement describes the loose collection of individuals and groups—often referred to as a “movement of movements”—who advocate fair trade rules and are negative to current institutions of global economics such as the World Trade Organization.[1][2]

The movement is often labeled the anti-globalization movement by the mainstream media. Those involved, however, frequently deny that they are anti-globalization, insisting that they support the globalization of communication and people and oppose only the global expansion of corporate power.[3] The term further indicates an anti-capitalist and universalist perspective on globalization, distinguishing the movement from those opponents of globalization whose politics are based on a conservative defence of national sovereignty. It is, however, argued by some scholars of social movements, that a new concept of justice, alongside some old notions, underlies many critical ideas and practices developed in this movement. S. A. Hamed Hosseini coins this new mode of conceptualizing justice accommodative justice and argues that both the very unique nature of the movement and the global complexities of the post-Cold War era can be accounted for the rise of such notion. According to him, "this new concept of justice has emerged from many activists’ experiences of and reflections on the complexities of globalization".[4]

Important organizational pillars of the movement are Via Campesina, the family farmers' international; Peoples' Global Action, a loose collection of often youthful groups; Jubilee 2000, the Christian-based movement for relieving international debt; Friends of the Earth, the environmentalist international; and some think-tanks like Focus on the Global South and Third World Network,[5] as well as some large internationalist and transnational trade union organisations.[6] Participants include worldwide student groups, NGOs, trade unions, faith-based and peace groups, and publications such as New Internationalist. A loose coordination of the movement is taking place on the Social Forums. However, although formal power is often situated in the global South, the resources of North-based NGOs give these disproportionate power to often informally marginalize popular organizations from the South.[7]

Massive protests[edit]

The movement is characterized by the massive citizen protests and alternative summits which have, for the last decade, accompanied most meetings of the G8, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. The movement came to the attention of many in the US when activists successfully used protests to temporarily shut down the 1999 WTO Ministerial in Seattle. This represented, however, just one of a series of massive Global Justice protests that have included protests at the 1988 World Bank/IMF meetings in Germany,[8] "IMF riots" beginning in Lima in 1975, over cuts in the social safety-net presided over by IMF and other international organizations, and spreading through the world,[9][10] and "water wars" in Bolivia and South Africa.[11]

International solidarity[edit]

The global justice movement claims to place a significant emphasis on transnational solidarity uniting activists in the global South and global North. Some[who?] have argued that the World Social Forum is one excellent example of this emphasis, bringing activists together from around the world to focus on shared philosophy and campaigning. However others[who?] see the World Social Forum as dominated by Northern NGOs, donors and activists and argue that Southern representation is largely organized via Northern donors and their NGOs and that popular organizations in the global South are systematically marginalized or included in a deeply subordinated manner.[12] For this reason many grassroots movements in the South boycott the forum and the NGOs that gate-keep representation at the forum or, in some instance, actively oppose it as just one more space of domination.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tom Mertes, "A Movement of Movements", New York: Verso, 2004
  2. ^ Kate Milberry: GEEKS AND GLOBAL JUSTICE: ANOTHER (CYBER)WORLD IS POSSIBLE 2009 geeksandglobaljustice.com
  3. ^ della Porta, D. 2005. “The Social Bases of the Global Justice Movement: Some Theoretical Reflections and Empirical Evidence from the First European Social Forum.” Civil Society and Social Movements Programme Paper No. 21.Geneva: UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development).
  4. ^ Hosseini, S. A. Hamed (2009). "Global Complexities and the Rise of Global Justice Movement: A New Notion of Justice". The Global Studies Journal 2 (3): 15–36. 
  5. ^ Ruth Reitan: Global Activism, Routledge 2007
  6. ^ The Construction of a Trans-European Labour Movement, Capital & Class, February 2011, by Daniel Jakopovich
  7. ^ Jai Sen, Peter Waterman, World Social Forum - Challenging Empires. Black Rose 2008
  8. ^ Berlin 1988 IMF World Bank Conference protests
  9. ^ Greg Palast interviewing Joseph Steiglitz, "IMF’s Four steps to Damnation" The Observer (London), 29 April 2001: http://www.jubileeresearch.org/analysis/articles/IMF_Four_steps_Damnation.htm
  10. ^ John Walton, David Seddon, Free Markets & Food Riots. Blackwell 1994
  11. ^ The Democracy Center, "Bechtel Vs. Bolivia: The Bolivian Water Revolt", http://www.democracyctr.org/bechtel/
  12. ^ See for instances criticisms of how Northern donors and NGOs have determined African participation in the World Social Forum at Brief Reflection on World Social Forum 2007 (Kenya, Nairobi) by David Ntseng. World Social Forum, 2007-03-06

Further reading[edit]

  • Paul Kingsnorth, One No, Many Yeses: a journey to the heart of the global resistance movement. London: Free Press, 2003.
  • Alex Callinicos, An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto. London: Polity, 2003.
  • Notes from Nowhere, We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism. London: Verso, 2003.
  • Gelder, Melinda, Meeting the Enemy, Becoming a Friend. Boulder: Bauu Press, 2006.
  • Hadden, J. Tarrow, S., Spillover or Spillout? The Global Justice Movement in the United States after 9/11, Mobilization, 2007, VOL 12; NUMB 4, pages 359-376, online
  • David Solnit, Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World'.' San Francisco: City Lights, 2003.
  • della Porta, Donatella, The Global Justice Movement: Cross-national And Transnational Perspectives. New York: Paradigm, 2006.
  • Hosseini, S. A., Alternative Globalizations: An Integrative Approach to Studying Dissident Knowledge in the Global Justice. Movement Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2010.

External links[edit]