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8.5: Conclusion

  • Page ID
    11143
  • The examples presented in this chapter highlight the diverse social and political adjustment processes that a largely unregulated global market system necessarily entails. While we certainly live in a global economy, for the time being we lack a common response to the challenges this brings. The analytical turn from the international to the global, as mentioned in the introduction to this chapter, alerts us to the fact that change has occurred – though measuring its trajectory is difficult due to the fragmented array of actors and agendas evident at the global level. Liberal approaches stress the inevitability of economic globalisation but place some hope in the responsiveness of particular global actors as long as their activities are made accountable. Accordingly, praise of market mechanisms as a force for good across the globe has been matched by ever-growing demand for reforms enabling ordinary people to share more the spoils of the system rather than being exploited by it. As long as democratic processes such as elections are strongly tied to domestic political communities, a still-evolving global market system built around liberal principles continues to present a serious challenge. If for our own individual benefit we believe there should be an element of control over this process, then regional and international organisations with the power to devise and implement global rules are the natural place to look. Without denying the impact of other factors such as philanthropic acts, or states acting alone, these are a second-best solution in the absence of an effectively coordinated global economic policy.