No globalization without representation : the mobilization of North American civil society against international trade and investment liberalization
Freeman, Nathan Wayne
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In recent years representatives of civil society-including environmental and public-interest oriented groups-have become involved in the politics of international trade and investment. Joined by labor, these groups have mobilized against trade and investment liberalization. How can the mobilization of civil society in this policy area be explained? I argue that civil society’s mobilization is a reaction to fundamental changes in the process by which liberalization is legalized through binding international commercial agreements and treaties. At its core, legalization refers to three components: obligation, precision, and delegation. During the past two decades, the process of legalization has undergone dramatic changes in terms of its scope, pace, and agenda at both the regional and global level. The most important change, which has elicited civil society opposition, is the shift in the objective of legalization from an emphasis on the liberalization of trade to an emphasis on the liberalization of investment.
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