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Social Movements for Global Democracy

, 304 pages

3 line drawings

December 2007
List price:$30.00
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Social Movements for Global Democracy

Honorable Mention, 2010 Book Award, Global Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems

Honorable Mention, 2010 PEWS Book Award, Political Economy of the World-System section of the American Sociological Association

This groundbreaking study sheds new light on the struggle to define the course of globalization. Synthesizing extensive research on transnational activism, Social Movements for Global Democracy shows how transnational networks of social movement activists—democratic globalizers—have worked to promote human rights and ecological sustainability over the predominant neoliberal system of economic integration.

Using case studies of recent and ongoing campaigns for global justice, Jackie Smith provides valuable insight into whether and how these activists are succeeding. She argues that democratic globalizers could be more effective if they presented a united front organized around a global vision that places human rights and ecological stability foremost and if they were to directly engage governments and the United Nations.

Illuminating the deep-seated struggles between two visions of globalization, Smith reveals a network of activists who have long been working to democratize the global political system.

Jackie Smith is an associate professor of sociology and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is coauthor of Global Democracy and the World Social Forums and coeditor of Coalitions Across Borders: Transnational Protest and the Neoliberal Order, Globalizing Resistance: Transnational Dimensions of Social Movements, and Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State.

"This impressive book presents a distinctive and provocative point of view. It successfully combines the construction of an analytical framework with the advocacy of a political agenda without allowing the political agenda to overwhelm the analytical framework or the analytical framework to obscure the political issues at stake. Social Movements for Global Democracy will play an important role in future debates over globalization."

"At last, a book that takes seriously the role of international institutions in opposing global neoliberalism! While acutely conscious of the biases of these institutions, Smith vigorously argues that the new forms of democratic participation encapsulated in the movement for global justice must engage them in contentious interaction. Her book is a challenge to movement activists and to institutional elites alike."

"Smith's book nicely illuminates the emerging world of global civil society, providing tools for its ongoing study."

"Highly recommended."

"She mobilizes a host of secondary literature, as well as original field research, to offer a well-supported examination of the threats to, and need for, making multilateral institutions work on behalf of those who would save the world, not sell it."

"An impassioned examination of transnational social movements... provides valuable insights into the mobilization, tactics, and successes of the democratic globalization movement."

"This is an excellent study that shows the diversity of the democratic globalization movement."

"Smith has gathered a very impressive collection of data on complex global processes and structures. Writing from an engaged, critical perspective, she offers a coherent, thoughtful analysis of contested processes of globalization and constructive insights on potential pathways toward global democratization. This excellent book will be of great interest to sociologists and other students of this critical issue of our times."

"The most comprehensive and well-documented study to date on current transnational movements. Smith deserves credit for penning such a thorough, reflexive, and multifaceted book."

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