Thursday, December 10, 2009

Globalization and the cosmopolitan democracy

I found this article's method of argument to be very fascinating. The authors begin my informing us that there has been only one "viable" response to globalization - that of cosmopolitan democracy. This is the idea that in order for our democratic ideals to be realized (as we know them) in conjunction with globalization, we must remake and rethink our political community. I took "political community" to be international relations, including but not limited to transnational and international organizations, diplomacy (as opposed to physical aggression) and on a smaller scale entities that are not overtly or obviously (by name) political beings, but ones that have effective political power - NGOs (e.g. Red Cross, Amnesty International). After identifying cosmopolitan democracy as the only fledged response, the authors tell us that because the theory is based on too narrow of basis, it is indeed actually not a very good response to globalization at all. The article then goes on to explain what is really going on by aptly and with earning my great praise, a region which is completely seperate and different (especially culturally) from the EU (Held's basis for his theory) while still being partially founded on the same principles.

I found it very interesting to see which region the author's focused on for their exploration. It is indeed the best region to have picked to really illustrate the problems with Held's cosmopolitan democracy theory. The region is geographically isolated from the EU, has a starkly different culture, different basis for economy, and I believe to be a very different history. The Mercusor region being in the New World was largely imperialized for years while the EU has the imperializers. The region chosen for discussion really highlights the diversity that is found in globalization and at the same time shows why it is so difficult to make a proper response to it (why Held "failed" and why nobody else has "succeeded.)"

I do not understand the two different yet inter-related definitions of globalization. The first being that the spatial expansion of a social system. This one I understand - decisions in one place can and probably will affect the people in a country half way around the world. I do not understand the second definition - a change in how the social system is organized - can somebody clarify this for me please?

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