The Politics of Globalization in the United States

The Politics of Globalization in the United States

The Politics of Globalization in the United States

The Politics of Globalization in the United States

Excerpt

This book is the product of an interest in [globalization] that goes back to the beginning of the 1990s. Indeed, my concern with this issue predates my familiarity with the term and the wide range of research and debate it has generated in academic circles. The real source of this interest was my fascination with and puzzlement over the emergence of widespread popular movements against further immigration and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which coalesced around the presidential primaries of 1992. These were movements that brought together groups and individuals from the left, the center, and the right of the American political spectrum who had always seemed at odds on the fundamental issues of modern political life. But rather than fighting each other, they were cooperating to fight the same political developments and attacking the mainstream political establishment in strikingly similar terms. Moreover, the same kinds of concerns spawned the Reform Party and the presidential candidacy of H. Ross Perot, who seemed to come from nowhere to capture a substantial share of the vote in 1992. Suddenly, the issues of trade, immigration, and language were at the roots of a protest movement that was challenging some of the key pillars of American public policy over the past two or three decades. The research that culminated in this book began as an attempt to figure out why this had happened and what it meant for understanding American politics and policymaking.

It was in the process of pursuing this work that I came across the concept of globalization and the large literature surrounding its meaning, history, and utility as a means to help us understand the direction of contemporary politics. As you will find, I don't use the concept in the same way that many popular commentators and best-selling authors do, and I have some doubts about anyone's ability to salvage the concept from the many simplifications that are often associated with it. Nonetheless, I do believe that globalization is a useful and necessary concept if we are going to come to grips with the changing politics of policymaking in the . . .

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