Synthesis Philosophica 24 (1):79-99 (2009)

The latest discussions about civil society have been reconsidering the globalization processes, and the theoretical discourse has been broadened to include the notion of the global civil society. The notion and the practice of a civil society are being globalized in a way that reflects the empirical processes of inter-connecting societies and of shaping a world society. From the normative-mobilizing perspective, civil society activists and theoreticians stress the need to defend the world society from the global threat of a nuclear war, environmental catastrophes, crime and violence, domination of world powers over the fate of individual countries and societies, i.e. the need to oppose the tendency of “power policy” on the world level, and to defend the autonomy of the society as one compatible primarily with the expansion of policies based on the rule of law worldwide, and incompatible with the policy of force, state reasons, and domination of world power-centers. The globalization processes result in a conflicting and/or assimilative crossing of civilizations and cultures, as well as controversial tendencies of, on one hand, attempts for the introduction of international political institutions and the adoption of international conventions for human rights’ protection, for the defense of democratic values, for combating terrorism and segregation on various grounds, thus leading to a global standardization of the human-rights culture and of democratic political and legal order, and on the other, of rising xenophobia, particularization and ethno nationalism, civil wars, ecological threats, global terrorism, threat of hunger problem, nuclear war, new disease, etc. Contemporary victory of liberal and democratic values is the positive reach, but followed by the contested issue of sovereignty, urban decay, racism, ethnic cleansing, xenophobia, failing political legitimacy , and followed at the world scale by: global injustice, poverty, environmental dangers, mass and deadly diseases, oppression of minority groups, relentless growth of population, political and economic power great asymmetries, terrorism at the global scale, threat of a nuclear disaster, etc. Global civil society has three dimensions: 1) empirical phenomena of globalized social relations, interconnections, 2) mobilizing, formative force of the project/vision, and 3) social actors at the global/transnational level. The anti-globalization movement is an effort to counter perceive negative aspects of the current process of globalization. Although adherents of the movement often work in concert, the movement itself is heterogeneous and includes diverse, sometimes opposing, understandings of this process, alternative visions, strategies and tactics. Thus, more nuanced terms include anti-capitalist/anti-corporate alternative globalization. Participants may use the positive terms such as ‘global justice’ or ‘fair trade movement’; or ‘Global Justice and Solidarity Movement’; or ‘Movement of Movements’; or simply ‘The Movement’; or ‘anticorporatist capitalism movement’. Generally speaking, anti-globalization movement is not so much an opposition to globalization as such than an opposition to the particular way it is taking place – like neoliberal process of globalization. In that sense, many representatives of the Movement prefer to be called altermondialism
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