I have seen many a bear led by a man; but I never before saw a man led by a bear.
(James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson)
Suds on the rise
On 15 December 1993, Irishman Peter Sutherland brought down his gavel,
ending seven and a half years of hard negotiations that created the World Trade
Organization. While only involved for the last six months, Sutherland played
the endgame like a chess grandmaster.
Once it opened for business, the WTO liberalised trade to an unprecedented
level, leading Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Representative to
05c Globalisation 120-143
The freetrade dilemma: the case of the
Among the political groups discussed in this book, the Liberal Democrats were
the most likely to consciously associate themselves with a particular ideological tradition, that is, liberalism – indeed interviewees claimed to uphold an
explicitly liberal approach to globalisation. Of course, this self-identification
should not be taken at face value. It does mean, however, that it is necessary to
preface a discussion of the Liberal Democrats’ discourse
The ‘globalisation’ concept has become ubiquitous in British politics, as it has in many countries of the world. This book examines discourse on foreign economic policy to determine the impact of globalisation across the ideological landscape of British politics. It critically interrogates the assumption that the idea of globalisation is derivative solely of neo-liberal ideology by profiling the discourse on globalisation of five political groups involved in making and contesting British foreign economic policy between 1997 and 2009: New Labour, International Financial Services London, the Liberal Democrats, Oxfam and the Socialist Workers Party. In addition to the relationship between neo-liberalism and globalisation, the book also explores the core meaning of the idea of globalisation, the implications for the principle of free trade, the impact on notions of the state, nation-state and global governance, and whether globalisation means different things across the ideological spectrum. Topically, it examines how the responses to the global financial crisis have been shaped by globalisation discourse and the value of ideology as an analytical concept able to mitigate debates on the primacy of material and ideational explanations in political economy.
Nineteenth-century England witnessed the birth of capitalist consumerism. This book argues that liberal consumerism managed to steer a course between historical alternatives and helped defuse the heat generated by their clash. It shows how liberal consumerism helped maintain stability in a society that was on the brink of collapse but also what was lost in that victory for both consumers and citizens. The early to mid-Victorian period witnessed a most significant confrontation that pitted competing visions of consumption against one another. It considers the ways in which not only Chartists but also their antagonists in the Anti-Corn Law League, the vanguard of economic liberalism, made sense of hunger and mobilised around consumption. The book discusses the major scandals that rocked the New Poor Law through the late 1830s and 1840s, such as the scandal of the Andover workhouse in 1845, when rumours of cannibalism were widely circulated. An important theme that has been marginalised in recent work on the Chartist movement is the appeal of democratic discourse. The book argues for an intimate connection between popular radicalism and forms of consumer organising in the first half of the nineteenth century. While the early writings of Charles Dickens that brought immediate fame prioritised hunger and scarcity, the writer also revelled in the excesses of middle-class consumerism. The book reconnects the culture and politics of the League and the wider project of free trade, and considers how middle-class charitable initiatives tackled starvation leading to the development of the modern humanitarian campaign.
’ ( Rieff, 2002 : 63). In pure geopolitical terms, nineteenth century
sanitary debates between contagionists and anti-contagionists often took on
nationalistic tones, pseudo-scientific interpretations of quarantine regulations
conveniently hinging on perceived benefits (or lack thereof) from freetrade and
eventual access to the Suez Canal ( Chakrabarti,
2014 : 85–6).
Contemporary examples are likewise not hard to come by. The portrayal of migrants,
irrespective of their status, as
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
many mistakes with respect to multilateralism. A significant one was to
give less attention to the WTO [the World Trade Organisation]. He focused much more on the
Trans-Pacific Partnership than global agreements. The Republicans also invested in the FTAA [FreeTrade Area of the Americas], but, in my opinion, there was more commitment to economic
multilateralism under Bush than under Obama.
With another Republican president, the pendulum might have swung back anyway, but it is
swinging fast with Trump. Now, I am not sure which sectors of American
The Victorian private solider was a despised figure. Yet in the first sixteen months of the Great War two and a half million men from the UK and many more from the empire, flocked to the colours without any form of legal compulsion. This book is the result of reflection on one of the most extraordinary mass movements in history: the surge of volunteers into the British army during the first sixteen months of the Great War. The notion that compulsory service in arms was repugnant to British tradition was mistaken. The nation's general state of mind, system of values and set of attitudes derived largely from the upper middle class, which had emerged and become dominant during the nineteenth century. The book examines the phenomenon of 1914 and the views held by people of that class, since it was under their leadership that the country went to war. It discusses the general theoretical notions of the nature of war of two nineteenth-century thinkers: Karl von Clausewitz and Charles Darwin. By 1914 patriotism and imperialism were interdependent. The early Victorians directed their abundant political energies chiefly towards free trade and parliamentary reform. It was the Germans' own policy which jolted the British into unity, for the Cabinet and the nation were far from unanimously in favour of war until the Germans attacked Belgium. Upper-class intellectual culture was founded on the tradition of 'liberal education' at the greater public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the European Union (EU) stands out as an important regional organization. This book focuses on the influence of the World Bank on the EU development cooperation policy, with special emphasis on the Lomé Convention. It explains the influence of trade liberalisation on EU trade preferences and provides a comparative analysis of the content and direction of the policies developed towards the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. It looks at the trade-related directorates and their contribution to the phenomenon referred as 'trade liberalisation'. This includes trends towards the removal or elimination of trade preferences and the ideology underlying this reflected in and created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (GATT/WTO). The book examines the role of the mass media because the media are supposed to play a unique role in encouraging political reactions to humanitarian emergencies. The bolting on to development 'policy' of other continents, and the separate existence of a badly run Humanitarian Office (ECHO), brought the lie to the Maastricht Treaty telling us that the EU really had a coherent development policy. The Third World in general, and Africa in particular, are becoming important components in the EU's efforts to develop into a significant international player. The Cotonou Agreement proposes to end the preferential trade margins accorded to non-least developed ACP states in favour of more liberal free trade agreements strongly shaped by the WTO agenda.
The culture of free trade versus the culture of anti-slavery in Britain and the British Caribbean, 1840–50
nominal rate from 1851 forward. Planters and their
Tory allies mounted a spirited rear-guard attack on the Sugar Act, but
managed to stave off full equalisation only until 1854. When the Tories
briefly returned to power in 1852, they made it clear that they would do
nothing to reverse freetrade in sugar. British West Indian sugar had
lost its protected status for good. 1
Most of the scholars who have
The religion of free trade and the making of modern consumerism
‘The Sublime of the Bazaar’: the
religion of freetrade and the making
of modern consumerism
Early in 1844, Richard Cobden, accompanied by Robert Moore and
Peronnet Thompson, visited Harriet Martineau on her sick bed at
Tynemouth. Cobden’s intention was to persuade Martineau to use
her considerable propagandist powers to further the cause of the
Anti-Corn Law League. He proved persuasive and the first result
was Dawn Island, a short novella published in a special edition
and sold at the great National Anti-Corn Law League Bazaar held
at the Covent Garden