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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: Altering world order: The alter-globalization movement and the World Trade Organization
Author(s): Paterson, William B.
Supervisor(s): Timmins, Graham
Gills, Barry K.
Keywords: World Trade Organization
Alter-Globalization Movement
Robert W. Cox
Anti-Globalization Movement
Issue Date: Dec-2006
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis analyses the relationship between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the alter-globalization movement through the theoretical framework of Robert W. Cox. A Coxian perspective highlights that the WTO is a central international organization of the current nebuleuse, and one integral to enforcing, promoting and defending transnational corporate hegemony. The emergence of the protest movement inaccurately labelled the ‘anti-globalization movement’ can be described as a Coxian counter-hegemonic structure. From the plethora of protesters making up this ‘anti-globalization movement’ who dispute the legitimacy of the WTO, a distinct alter-globalization movement can be identified. It prescribes the alternative principles of public accountability, the rights of people and the protection of the environment as guides to reforming the WTO towards a Coxian ‘new multilateralism’. This thesis asks: to what extent has this alter-globalisation movement succeeded in altering the policies and processes of the WTO in accordance with these principles? In Coxian terms the questions of how far the campaign for ‘new multilateralism’ has successfully altered the hegemony of the current world order and avoided trasformismo are asserted. After illustrating corporate structural power within the WTO’s policies and procedures, the alter-globalisation movement is defined as an entity of overlapping social movements and Non-Governmental Organizations (Alter-NGOs). The thesis identifies and evaluates three strategies employed by the alter-globalisation movement to place its values at the heart of the WTO: demonstrations on the street; assisting developing states during negotiations; and submitting amicus briefs to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). The obstacles presented by the WTO’s policy of trasformismo are then detailed, namely: political elites coopting the alter-globalization movement’s principles into their own rhetoric; the cooption of NGOs by political elites from the developing world, and the cooption of NGOs and the fierce rejection of any NGO influence within the WTO. In its conclusions the thesis details the manner in which trasformismo is a significant tool in the armoury of corporate hegemony for resisting reform, and thereby informs existing literature on the problems faced by all social movements and NGOs engaging with reforming the world order.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
History and Politics

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