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Transnational Civil Society Actors and Regional Governance in the Americas: Elite Projects and Collective Action from Below

  • Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz
  • William C. Smith

Abstract

Contemporary regionalism in the Americas constitutes a complex, multilayered arena for contestation among social forces and contending political projects. Some of these rival projects actively promote the globalization of markets, production, finance, and culture, while others attempt defensively to accommodate themselves to its seeming inexorable logic, and still others mount struggles of resistance to it.

Keywords

Civil Society Social Movement Free Trade Civil Society Organization Civil Society Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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    Richard Faulk, Predatory Globalization: A Critique (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999), p. 163. The literature does, of course, contain more nuanced analyses. See, among others,Transnational Civil Society Actors and Regional Governance in the Americas: Elite Projects and Collective Action from Below Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz and William C. Smith Contemporary regionalism in the Americas constitutes a complex, multilayered arena for contestation among social forces and contending political projects. Some of these rival projects actively promote the globalization of markets, production, finance, and culture, while others attempt defensively to accommodate themselves to its seeming inexorable logic, and still others mount struggles of resistance to it.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robert O’Brien et al., Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 15. For even stronger dissents, see Leslie Sklar, The Transnational Capitalist Class (New York: Blackwell, 2001) and William K. Carroll and Colin Carson, “Forging a New Hegemony? The Role of Transnational Policy Groups in the Network and Discourse of Global Corporate Governance,” Journal of World-System Research 9(1) (Winter 2003). Available at http://jwsr.ucr.edu Google Scholar
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    Ronnie Lipschutz, “Reconstructing World Politics: The Emergence of Global Civil Society,” Millennium 21 (1992), 390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    In drawing these distinctions among networks, coalitions, and movements, we follow the discussion in Sanjeev Kagram, James V. Riker, and Kathryn Sikkink, “From Santiago to Seattle: Transnational Advocacy Groups Restructuring World Politics,” in Khagram, Riker, and Sikkink (eds), Restructuring World Politics: Transanational Social Movements, Networks and Norms (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), pp. 3–23.Google Scholar
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    Hence, as Jelin notes, “social movements and collective actors are not always neat, rational, and unitary: rather, they contain and express a multiplicity of meanings, varying according to context and historical conjuncture.” See Elizabeth Jelin, “Emergent Citizenship or Exclusion? Social Movements and Non-Governmental Organizations in the 1990s,” in William C. Smith and Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz (eds), Politics, Social Change, and Economic Restructuring in Latin America (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Press, 1997), p. 80.Google Scholar
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    See Sydney Tarrow, “Transnational Politics: Contention and Institutions in International Politics,” Annual Review of Political Science, 4 (2001), 1–20, for an excellent survey of the relevant literature on transnational politics. See also the important study byCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Inge Kaul (ed.), Global Public Goods (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) for essays discussing global governance and the supply of global public goods, which are goods “with benefits that are strongly universal in terms of countries, peoples, and generations.”Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Marisol Pagés, “El Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas (ALCA) y la sociedad civil,” in Bruno Podestá et al. (eds), Ciudanía y mundialización: La sociedad civil ante la integráción regional (Madsid: CEFIR, CIDEAL, INVESP, 2000), p. 172.Google Scholar
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    This section summarizes some of the findings presented in Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz and William C. Smith, “Protest and Collaboration: Transnational Civil Society Networks and the Politics of Free Trade in the Americas,” The North-South Agenda Papers 51 (September 2001). This research was part of a project supported by the Ford Foundation and conducted under the auspices of FLACSO-Argentina’s Research Program on International Economic Institutions. See Diana Tussie and Mercedes Botto (eds), Sociedad civil y el proceso de Cumbres de las Américas ¿Nuevos o viejos patrones de participación y cooperación en América Latina? (Buenos Aires: Editorial Tema, 2003) for important analyses of the SOA and the FTAA, including country case studies and treatments of key thematic issues such as the environment, education, and judicial reform.Google Scholar
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    See also María Lorena Cook, “Regional Integration and Transnational Politics: Popular Sector Strategies in the NAFTA Era,” in Douglas Chalmers et al. (eds), The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America: Rethinking Participation and Representation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 516–40;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See José Seone and Emilio Taddei (eds), Resistencias Mundiales (de Seattle a Porto Alegre) (Buenos Aires: CLACSO, 2001) for analyses of the evolution of these movements. It is worth noting that the distinction between “moderates” and “rejectionists” within the Alianza Social Continental became blurred after the 1999 “Battle of Seattle.” Many Alianza affiliates, such as ART, RMALC, and Common Frontiers, increased their cooperation with other coalitions such as the Global Trade Watch networks, adopting a posture of strident, across-the-board opposition to US- and corporate-led globalization and regional integration efforts.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    For analyses of the roles these actors can play in triggering “norm cascades,” see Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), andGoogle Scholar
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  20. 23.
    Compare Anne Marie Clark, Elisabeth Friedman and Kathyrn Hochstetler, “The Sovereign Limits of Global Civil Society: A Comparison of NGO Participation in UN World Conferences on the Environment, Human Rights, and Women,” World Politics 51 (1998), p. 5: “the construction of a global society is underway but is far from complete.”CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    For insightful analyses of changing class cleavages and shifts in patterns of participation and representational regimes in post-transition democratic regimes, see Frances Hagopian, “Democracy and Political Representation in Latin America in the 1990s: Pause, Reorganization or Decline?,” in Felipe Agiiero and Jeffrey Stark (eds), Fault Lines of Democracy in Post-Transition Latin America (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne-Rienner/North South Center, 1998);Google Scholar
  22. Kenneth M. Roberts, “Political Cleavages, Party-State Linkages, and the Transformation of Political Representation in Latin America,” Studies in Comparative International Development 36 (4) (Winter 2001), 3–33; and Elisabeth Jay Friedman and Kathryn Hochstetler, “Assessing the ‘Third Transition’ in Latin American Democratization: Representational Regimes and Civil Society in Argentina and Brazil,” Comparative Politics 35 (1) (October 2002).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 28.
    Although we have modified his categories significantly, our analysis of regionalism is inspired by the discussion in Chapter 6 in James H. Mittleman, The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz and William C. Smith 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz
  • William C. Smith

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