The Globalization Project (1970s – 2000s), Liberalizing Trade and Investments, and Privatizing Public Goods and Services, Has Privileged Corporate Rights over Social Contracts and Redefined Development as a Private Undertaking. Discuss

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THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies
(SALISES)

Course Work Assignment

In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements
for
SAL6010: Development Theory and Policy

M. SC. IN DEVELOPMENT STATISTICS
SEMESTER ONE
ST. AUGUSTINE CAMPUS

Name: Adeola Reid
Date: [ Wednesday, 05 December 2012 ]

The globalization project (1970s – 2000s), liberalizing trade and investments, and privatizing public goods and services, has privileged corporate rights over social contracts and redefined development as a private undertaking. Discuss

We must ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world’s people share the benefits of globalization (Kofi Annan 2001). Upon viewing this quote from the Noble Prize Laureate, Kofi Annan, it became clear that prior to reading the extensive literature on world development, this author along with the vast majority of people in the world had bought into the false hopes and propaganda presented by multinational institutions on the benefits of development and by extension globalization. The picture painted seemed enticing yet as one searches deeper, the true meaning, the conditionality and the true cost of globalization is realised. The literature has evoked ambivalent feelings which are overpowered by a sense of paralysis to effectively confront future challenges and shape development on a personal as well as national level. At the heart of the statement presented by Mc Michael (2001) which reads: “The globalization project (1970s – 2000s), liberalizing trade and investments, and privatizing public goods and services, has privileged corporate rights over social contracts and redefined development as a private undertaking” is an issue of economics, through which, the development project has been repackaged and rebranded into the contemporary word; globalization. The following pages shall present the picture painted by globalization, including as many contributing factors as can support Mc Michael’s statement. After which the author shall engage the reader in an analysis and discussion on, to what extent the statement is accurate, in lieu of past and present trends. There are many definitions which may be offered for the globalization project, Renato Ruggiero, the founding director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) defined its vision as such: the implementation of the rule of the market via the restructuring of policies and standards across the nation-state system (Mc Michael 2008). Basically this means that the globalization project’s fundamental aim is to allow the forces of the market to take the leading role in determining the direction of global development. At face value, this project seems absolutely absurd, for how can one leave something as critical as the evolution of its people as they progress from one stage to another in the ‘invisible hands’ of the market? Should not such a task be the responsibility of a nation’s elected government as well as the people themselves? The answer therein presents the missing link to the puzzle called globalization. For the perceived invisible hand of the market is managed by the wealthy corporations of the first world nations. These corporations not only possess the means to produce for a global market, but also the influence to formulate and restructure multilateral policies and trade standards towards their advantage. They have at their disposal the institutions of the Bretton Woods System which were established under the previous development project. It is certainly not coincidental that these multilateral institutions can exact much influence and sanctions on nations that choose not to comply with these one-sided policies. Hence, while Kofi Annan and many others hope that globalization is set on the premise of broadly shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, the reality...
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