Globalization and social policy: from global neoliberal hegemony to global political pluralism

Yeates, Nicola (2002). Globalization and social policy: from global neoliberal hegemony to global political pluralism. Global Social Policy, 2(1) pp. 69–91.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468018102002001095

Abstract

Many accounts of globalization and social policy accept the 'strong' globalization thesis in emphasizing the naturalistic, inevitable nature of globalization, the external constraints imposed on governments by international markets and international governmental organizations and the limitations placed on international and domestic politics and social policies. This article argues that a less 'defeatist' and more fruitful way of analysing the relationship between globalization and social policy is to consider, first, how globalization has thrown up structures for contestation, resistance and opposition and, second, how states and other interests act domestically and outwardly through their own 'multi-tiered', 'multi-sphered' strategies to determine the pace, course, timing and effects of globalization. Accordingly, the article highlights the range of actions taken by states as well as by the voting, consuming and productive populations at a number of levels (local, national, regional, international) and in a number of spheres (national/transnational, political, economic) to regulate or oppose globalizing strategies. The outcomes of these struggles for social and economic welfare are never certain in advance but depend, crucially, on the context in which they are negotiated.

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