A Civil Republic: Beyond Capitalism and Nationalism

A Civil Republic: Beyond Capitalism and Nationalism

A Civil Republic: Beyond Capitalism and Nationalism

A Civil Republic: Beyond Capitalism and Nationalism

Synopsis

• Evokes a realistic vision of globalization that fuses the core human values of "civil society" and the market aspects of "political economy."

• Investigates how components of civil society are indebted to corporate interests, and how they can move beyond conventions of capitalism and nationalism.

In A Civil Republic, Severyn T. Bruyn argues that the United States, and the world at large, is on the verge of a radical shift--dangerous but also full of opportunity. In a world of injustice, ecological destruction, violence and instability, weapons of mass destruction, and the rise of authoritarian government, our ability to craft a secure future lies in creating a "civil republic."

Bruyn envisions a system of governance that merges core human values of civil society into a political economy that has reigned supreme since the end of the Cold War. He sees a world in which religious institutions, health-care systems, businesses, media, and governments could support values of honesty, justice, and public health rather than stand subservient to corporate interests and those of markets and nation-states. He explores ways to implement a new model--one of public policy that builds a civil society beyond the conventions of capitalism and nationalism.

This provocative text is readily accessible to undergraduates. At the same time, it is a work of profound scholarship and wisdom. Philosophers, scholars and practitioners of international relations, economics, political science, business, international development, and international law will be treated to an informed and encouraging vision for a sustainable future. The author's website (www2.bc.edu/~bruyn) provides a vital supplement with extensive bibliography, appendices, and guidelines for research by sociologists, economists, and political scientists.

Excerpt

In his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, defined globalization as "the inexorable integration of markets, nation states and technologies in a degree never witnessed before." And, he warned, over a year before September 11, 2001, "This process of globalization is also producing a powerful backlash from those brutalized or left behind by this new system."

For many citizens of the United States and its allies, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were a symbol of prosperity and freedom, but for others around the world they stood for arrogance and domination. The shock and terror, grief and anger provoked by their destruction—not just in this country but around the world—underscore the urgency of the topics we will address in this book.

While some would say that world trade is opening a path for free markets and democracy, it is also, undeniably, a struggle for power among nation-states and corporations whose interests grow ever more global. These markets are inexorably linked to issues of war and peace. In describing how markets and nations are moving on a single track, Friedman wrote,

Managing globalization is a role from which America dare not shrink. It
is our overarching national interest today, and the political party that un
derstands that first, the one that comes up with the most coherent, cred
ible and imaginative platform for pursuing it, is the party that will own
the real bridge to the future.

These are difficult times. There could be global calamities ahead. The state of the economy could worsen and be followed by a second great worldwide depression. Unchecked environmental pollution and exploitation could trigger a collapse of the world's interlocked ecosystems. Conflicts between governments and the spread of weapons of mass destruction could be followed by ever more horrifying terrorist attacks and even a World War III that would devastate the planet and its peoples. All such terrible things could happen.

Could they be prevented? I think so. But preventing them would require a whole new system of governance in markets and states. This is . . .

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