Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization

Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization

Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization

Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization

Synopsis

Dignity and Defiance is a powerful, eyewitness account of Bolivia's decade-long rebellion against globalization imposed from abroad. Based on extensive interviews, this story comes alive with first-person accounts of a massive Enron/Shell oil spill from an elderly woman whose livelihood it threatens, of the young people who stood down a former dictator to take back control of their water, and of Bolivia's dramatic and successful challenge to the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Featuring a substantial introduction, a conclusion, and introductions to each of the chapters, this well-crafted mix of storytelling and analysis is a rich portrait of people calling for global integration to be different than it has been: more fair and more just.

Excerpt

Melissa Crane Draper and Jim Shultz

Globalization (glo · bal · I · za · tion), noun: Process by which
the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of
commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around
the world.

Encyclopedia Britannica

We begin with a question: What is globalization? Historians might tell us that globalization actually began fifty thousand years ago, when a handful of our ancestors began a slow path out of Africa that ended up populating the far corners of the world. For centuries, through wars, commerce, migration, and religious proselytizing, the world has become steadily more integrated. In short, globalization is nothing new.

Today the word globalization has become a catchall that means many different things all at once. On the lips of some, the word refers to economic globalization—the movement of money, goods, business, and migrant labor to foreign markets in search of higher profits and wages. Others think more in terms of political globalization, the rise of global rules and institutions that wield heavy influence over the choices of sovereign nations. For others still, the term conjures up thoughts of the cultural integration—Cuban salsa mixed with British rock, forming something creative and new, or U.S. sitcoms supplanting local television programming.

Globalization leaped into popular use even more in 1999, in the aftermath of protests in the streets of Seattle outside a meeting of the World Trade Organization. The movement that filled those streets was quickly labeled antiglobalization, whereas the opposition was quickly labeled proglobalization. Neither label actually catches the more complex story underneath.

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