Street Protests and Fantasy Parks: Globalization, Culture, and the State

Article excerpt

CANADA

Edited by David R. Cameron and Janice Gross Stein

Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2002, vii, 184pp, $85.00 cloth (ISBN 0-7748-0880-2), $24.95 paper (ISBN 0-7748-0881-0)

The book presents an interesting analysis of the impact of globalization on Canadian society and culture, as well as an assessment of the ability of the state to deal with the consequences of a world characterized by expanded trade and capital flows, compounded by increasingly deep integration. The book emerges from the 'Trends Project,' funded by the federal government's Policy Research Secretariat and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and focuses specifically on the less studied cultural and social aspects of globalization, although economic dimensions tend to get intertwined. The editors have provided an introduction and conclusion, and there are four case studies: the global entertainment economy, by John Hannigan; the changing nature of identity and citizenship by Lloyd Wong; the tactics used by the anti-MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investments) lobby, by Ronald Deibert; and communication policy, by Marc Raboy.

Overall, I found the book interesting, although, as with many edited volumes, one might have hoped for more cohesiveness between the theoretical outline offered by the editors and the material in the contributed chapters. Also, the title is a little misleading: although fantasy parks were dealt with in some detail by Hannigan in his discussion of 'corporate branding,' street protests were at best mentioned in passing by the editors. The subtitle of the book, 'Globalization, Culture, and the State,' is a far more accurate indicator of what the book is about.

These minor quibbles aside, the book is a rewarding read. In their introduction, Cameron and Stein lay out the scenario of globalization in a clear and compelling manner, pointing out the long history of the process, as well as recent changes that greatly intensified the process. Also, of interest is their treatment of 'within state' and 'between state' inequalities and their conclusion that, as a result of globalization, weak states are not likely to see their relative positions change vis-a-vis their more powerful counterparts. …