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Making Globalization GoodThe Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism$
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John Dunning

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257019.001.0001

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On the Political Relevance of Global Civil Society

On the Political Relevance of Global Civil Society

(p.280) 12 On the Political Relevance of Global Civil Society
Making Globalization Good

Richard Falk

Oxford University Press

Richard Falk considers the changing role of civil society as an institution influencing the form and content of global capitalism (GC), particularly its goals and values. This is a critical chapter, which, after placing the whole range of NGO (non‐governmental organization) functions within a historical context, acknowledges that, as values and aspirations change, new demands are made on the organizations comprising these institutions. The implications of GC are given especial attention: how far, and in what respects, are NGOs (including global NGOs) twenty‐first century moral guardians (cf. governments and markets); and/or to what extent do they need to be injected with a new or reconfigured code of behaviour suitable to the particular needs of the global economy? Falk believes that global civil society has an important role to play in influencing the course and content of global capitalism, and its underlying ethical ethos. He particularly favours a globalization‐from‐below approach, which he believes provides a useful counter‐force to the globalization‐from‐above approach practised by large firms and governments; in elaborating this view, he makes the case for a normative democracy––which reconnects politicians with moral purpose and values. He then goes on to identify the components of normative democracy, and argues that most of these can best be served not by globalization‐from‐above mechanisms, but rather by those of civil society as it redefines its role as mediating between the logic of capitalism and the priorities of peoples.

Keywords:   capitalism, civil society, codes of behaviour, democracy, ethics, global capitalism, global economy, global society, globalization, morality, NGO, non‐governmental organization, normative democracy, values

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