The Dark Side of Globalization

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Globalization has brought many benefits, including the reduction of poverty in several countries. But it also has a dark side: the unleashing of negative forces as a result of the compression of time and space made possible by modern technology. From arms trafficking in West Africa through armed insurgencies in South Asia and the upsurge of jihad in the age of globalization, this book examines the challenges that the dark forces of globalization pose to the international system and the responses they have triggered. Written largely by authors from developing countries, the book's goal is to help maximize the beneficial consequences of globalization while muting its baleful effects.



New state structures in South America

During the three hundred years of Iberian colonial rule over what is today known as Latin America, political participation was limited. Privileged positions in all realms of society, be it in the civil service, the Church, education, professions, etc., could only be occupied by Europeans or their “pure blood” descendants. Those who did not fit into a particular category – that of the urban, educated, well-off, white male elite – were excluded from the ranks of civil society. The legacy of this history of exclusion and limited political participation is reflected in current projects of social transformation, democratization and inclusion – in essence, the decolonization of Latin American society – as well as in contemporary struggles against the established order. A critical understanding of civil society, democracy and citizenship in present-day Latin America requires recognition of the colonial imprint that these political categories left in the region. This chapter elaborates on some of the Latin American debates and experiences related to democracy, citizenship and civil society, and highlights the current conflicts related to these issues, with examples from Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.


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