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Globalisation | Revision

Anthony G. McGrew    For its advocates the third way represents a genuine attempt to reconstruct social democracy. For its critics it is the surrender to the hubris of globalisation and the dictates of global capital and calculated political strategy, denying the plausibility of more radical alternatives. Globalisation has featured much more explicitly in the hegemony of new labour, than in the rhetoric of its European counterparts.

     The traditional view of labour was that the growing global integration made Keynesian style managed capitalism unworkable. Mitterrand experiment in the 1980s, when French socialist government abandoned radical policy, reinforced this view. Labour left were extremely sceptical of financier and global capital. Harold Wilson’s ‘the gnomes of Zurich’. Suspicion deeply ingrained in labours mind by the forced devaluations in 1949, 67 and also the IMF Crisis in 76. In the 1987 policy review ‘Social Justice and Economic Efficiency’ it detailed the limitations placed on the state by globalisation. o Freedom of national governments were limited by international trade agreements. o Competitive pressures o Flow of capital across frontiers. o The decision of multinational firms. By 1990s Globalisation became a crucial rationale for the modernisation programme New Labour were advocating. Just as Crosland’s revisionism was prompted by the rise of Cold War managed capitalism so the revisionism of New Labour was conceived as a progressive response to the novel circumstances of globalisation. Whether this revisionism however constitutes more of a capitulation to Neo-Liberalism must be asked?

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Globalisation as New Times
   Intensified Globalisation compromised traditional forms of Social Democracy. Blair – in a global economy the old way of social democracy won’t do. Globalisation had changed the organisation and dynamics of capitalism: o Growth of global markets – isolationism isn’t an often. o Real time global financial markets – o Emergence of knowledge economy – o Intensification of worldwide completion – Tax and spend would be punished by financial markets, and the mobility of capital meant governments couldn’t so fund generous welfare states. Third way constituted a lot more than just globalisation: o Rise of individualism o Loss of faith in big government o Emergence of new politics that transcends beyond party politics.

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Globalisation as a Challenge
  Globalisation acquired a modernising role one to be respected despite its challenges. Modernisation involved accepting a more limited role for the state in managing capitalism.

it provides greater opportunities and improved standards of living for millions rather than providing privileges for the few’ Giddens ‘Social democrats should take a positive attitude towards globalisation. Globalisation as solidarity  Pg 144 .Globalisation as opportunity     Globalisation described by Friedmann as a golden straight jacket. Stephen Byers. ‘free trade causes and boosts economic growth….’ Needed effective forms of general and regional management to curb worst excesses of globalisation.