Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity beyond the State

Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity beyond the State

Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity beyond the State

Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity beyond the State

Synopsis

This volume aims to generate a theoretically informed view of the relationships between an emerging global civil society - partly manifested in transnational social movements - and international political institutions, with case studies exploring the theories.

Excerpt

Elise Boulding

The complex set of transnational social movements beginning in the latter part of the nineteenth century, oriented toward solving the problems of war, economic and social justice, and human rights, led to the great flowering of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOS) in this century--and it is that flowering that this book is about. the social movement perspective, with its focus on the passion for human betterment for the planet as a whole, gives a sense of the powerful dynamics at work in a phenomenon that has cried out for more adequate documentation as this century draws to a close. These movements originated in the West but soon included every continent. in today's emerging global civic culture, one overriding problem complicates transnational collaboration of peoples: the West's premature formulation of universal civic values before there had been sufficient intercultural discourse to establish an authentic consensus about such values, particularly in relation to individual rights versus group rights. This book lays the groundwork for dealing with that problem, but much work lies ahead.

We are in a strange transition period when the legacy of centuries of colonial expansion and technological development has saturated all continents with weapons and supporting military infrastructures, overwhelming traditional conflict resolution capacities as well as traditional knowledge of the ecology of local habitats. Transnational social movements have a very special role to play in countering cultural homogenization and in assisting the recovery of the damaged peace cultures on every continent. I would note especially the growing role of transnational indigenous peoples' movements in the ingo world and the two-way learning process this makes possible. Two-way learning means continuing cultural development for traditional as well as industrialized societies, and such development is very different from destruction of cultures. Perhaps the day will come when we can value . . .

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