Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

New Global Studies

Ed. by Chanda, Nayan / Iriye, Akira / Mazlish, Bruce / Sassen, Saskia

3 Issues per year

Online
ISSN
1940-0004
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Globalization and Sustainable Development: False Twins?

Mohamed El-Kamel Bakari
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of English Language, Literature and Civilization, the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences, The University of Mannouba, Tunis, Tunisia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2013-021

Abstract

Ideologically, the two projects of globalization and sustainable development are informed by totally different sets of principles and values. This article launches a thorough conceptual and theoretical juxtaposition of these two projects, which shows that these two phenomena overlap structurally but diverge ideologically on a number of economic, social, and ecological issues. In essence, the juxtaposition between globalization and sustainable development provides an illuminating insight into the structural affinity as well as the subsequent potential clashes between the two. This article examines the different aspects of affinity between these two projects, analyses the most significant differences and contradictions between the two, and analyses potential solutions to harness globalization forces to sustainability. By conducting such a critical comparative analysis of these two projects, a deeper insight is gained with regard to any potential that would make them mutually supportive rather than mutually exclusive.

Keywords: globalization; neo-liberalism; sustainable development; incompatibility; reconciliation

References

  • Altvater, E. 1998. “Global Order and Nature.” In Political Ecology: Global and Local, edited by R. Keil, D. Bell, P. Penz, and L. Fawcett, 19–45. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Ashford, N. 2004. Sustainable Development and Globalization: New Challenges and Opportunities for Work Organization. In C.Nova-Kaltsouni & M.Kassotakis (Eds.), Promoting New Forms of Work Organization and Other Cooperative Arrangements for Competitiveness and Employability, pp. 204–234. Athens: University of Athens.Google Scholar

  • Axelrod, V., J. Harmon, W. Russell, and J. Wirtenberg. 2009. “Sustainable Globalization: The Challenge and the Opportunity.” In The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, edited by J. Wirtenberg et al., 204–34. New York: Amacom Books.Google Scholar

  • Bakan, J. 2004. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

  • Baker, S. 2006. Sustainable Development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Bhagwati, J. 2007. In Defense of Globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Blewitt, J. 2008. Understanding Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar

  • Carter, N. 2007. The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Chasek, P., D. Downie, and J. Brwon. 2010. Global Environmental Politics: Dilemmas in World Politics. 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar

  • Choudary, K. 2004. “Global Civil Society, Globalization and Nation-State.” Paper presented at the International Society for Third-Sector Research Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved October 9, 2012 from http://www.istr.org/?WP_Toronto

  • Connelly, J., and G. Smith. 1999. Politics and the Environment: From Theory to Practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Dale, A. 2001. At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar

  • Dresner, S. 2002. The Principles of Sustainability. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar

  • Earth Charter Commission. 2012. The Earth Charter. Accessed October 15, 2012. http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html

  • Edwards, A. 2008. The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Canada, BC: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Ellen, R. 2000. “Local Knowledge and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries.” In Global Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, edited by K. Lee, A. Holland, and D. McNeill, 162–86. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • Elliott, J. 2000. An Introduction to Sustainable Development. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Ellis, E. 1996. “Bordering on Disaster: A New Attempt to Control the Trans-Boundary Effects of Maquiladora Pollution.” Valparaiso University Law Review 30 (2):621–99.Google Scholar

  • French, H. 1993. “The GATT: Menace or Ally? Special Feature 122:1–21.Google Scholar

  • French, H. 2000. Vanishing Borders: Protecting the Planet in the Age of Globalization. New York: Worldwatch Institute.Google Scholar

  • Gendron, A., M. Dussault, N. Juneau, and P. Savoi. 2008. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); Current Status, Challenges and Perspectives. Montreal: Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec.Google Scholar

  • Gruber, P. 2004. “Good Global Governance: On the Necessity for Sustainable Development Awareness and Global Governance in an Interdependent World.” In Sustainability Creates New Responsibility: Basis for a New World Order, New Economics and Environmental Protection, edited by F. Feiler, 111–21. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Harmon, J., F. Bucy, S. Nickbarg, G. Rao, and J. Wintenberg. 2009. “Developing a Sustainability Strategy.” In The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, edited by J. Wirtenberg et al., 89–116. New York: Amacom Books.Google Scholar

  • Hart, S. 2009. Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.Google Scholar

  • Hawken, P. 1997, March/April. Natural Capitalism. Mother Jones 40–62.Google Scholar

  • Hawken, P. 2001, Winter. The Resurgence of Citizens’ Movements.” Earth Light 3rd ser 11 (40):10.Google Scholar

  • Hawken, P., A. Lovins, and L. Lovins. 2008. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Boston, MA: Back Bay Books.Google Scholar

  • Held, D., and A. McGrew. 2007. “Reconstructing World Order: Towards Cosmopolitan Social Democracy.” In The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change, edited by J. T. Roberts and A. B. Hite, 360–9. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Hettne, B. 1994. “The Regional Factor in the Formation of a New World Order.” In Global Transformation: Challenges to the State System, edited by Y. Sakamoto, 134–66. New York: United Nations Press.Google Scholar

  • Hettne, B. 2008. Development, Security and Culture. In Sustainable Development in a Globalized World: Studies in Development, Security and Culture. Vol. 1, edited by B. Hettne, ix–xxv. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • Hines, C. 2000. Localization – A Global Manifesto. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar

  • Holland, A. 2000. “Sustainable Development: The Contested Vision.” In Global Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, edited by K. Lee, A. Holland, and D. McNeill, 1–8. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • Hulse, J. 2007. Sustainable Development at Risk: Ignoring the Past. Delhi: Cambridge University Press India.Google Scholar

  • Ikeme, J. (2000). Sustainable Development, Globalisation and Africa: Plugging the Holes. Africa Economic Analysis. Accessed December 13, 2010. http://www.afbis.com/analysis/Jekwu.html

  • Ikerd, J. 2005. Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar

  • Jacobs, M. 1991. The Green Economy. London: Pluto.Google Scholar

  • Inglehart, R. 2000. Globalization and Postmodern Values. The Washington Quarterly 23(1): 215–228.Google Scholar

  • Jahiel, A. 2009. “China, the WTO, and Implications for the Environment.” In World in Motion: The Globalization and the Environment Reader, edited by G. Kroll and R. Robbins, 225–45. Lanham, MD: Alta-Mira Press.Google Scholar

  • Kates, R. 2003. “The Nexus and the Neem Tree: Globalization and a Transition Toward Sustainability.” In Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment, edited by J. Speth, 85–107. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar

  • Kelbessa, W. 2001. “Globalization and Indigenous Environmental Knowledge in Ethiopia.” In Globalization, Democracy, and Development in Africa: Challenges and Prospects, edited by T. Assefa, S. Rugumamu, and A. Ahmed, 275–306. Addis Ababa: Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa.Google Scholar

  • Kemp, R., S. Parto, and R. Gibson. 2005. “Governance for Sustainable Development: Moving From Theory to Practice.” International Journal of Sustainable Development 8 (1/2):12–30.Google Scholar

  • Kjellén, B. 2008. A New Diplomacy for Sustainable Development: The Challenge of Global Change. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Knowles, R., D. Twomey, K. Davis, and S. Abdul-Ali. 2009. “Leadership for Sustainable Surprise.” In The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, edited by J. Wirtenberg et al., 26–56. New York: Amacom Books.Google Scholar

  • Kroll, G., and Robbins, R.. 2009. World in Motion: The Globalization and the Environment Reader. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar

  • Krugman, P., and A. Venables. 1995. “Globalization and the Inequality of Nations.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 11 (4):857–80.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kütting, G. 2003. “Globalization, Poverty and the Environment in West Africa: Too Poor to Pollute?” Global Environmental Politics 3 (4):42–60.Google Scholar

  • Kütting, G. 2004. Globalization and the Environment: Greening Global Political Economy. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

  • Lamy, P. 2005. “Foreword.” In The WTO and Sustainable Development, edited by G. Sampson, vii–xi. New York: United Nations Press.Google Scholar

  • Leff, E. 2000. “From Global Agenda to Differentiated Visions of Sustainable Development.” In Global Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, edited by K. Lee, A. Holland, and D. McNeill, 62–75. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • López-de-Silanes, F., A. Shleifer, and R. Vishny. 1997, Autumn. Privatization in the United States. RAND Journal of Economics 28 (3):447–71.Google Scholar

  • Mander, J. 2003. “Intrinsic Negative Effects of Economic Globalization on the Environment.” In Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment, edited by J. Speth, 109–29. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar

  • Martin, A., and J. Huckle. 2001. Environments in a Changing World. Essex: Pearson Education.Google Scholar

  • McAdams, C. 1996. “Gender, Class, and Race in Environmental Activism: Local Responses to Multinational Corporation’s Land Development Plans.” In The Gendered New World Order: Militarism, Development, and the Environment, edited by J. Turpin, and L. Lorentzen, 51–69. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • McLaren, D. 2003. “Environmental Space, Equity and the Ecological Debt.” In Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World, edited by J. Agyeman, R. D. Bullard, and B. Evans, 19–37. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • McMichael, P. 2007. “Globalization: Myths and Realities.” In The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change, edited by J. Roberts and A. Hite, 216–32. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Mlambo, A., and E. Pangeti. 2001. “Globalization, Structural Adjustment and the Social Dimensions Dilemma in Zimbabwe, 1990–1999.” In Globalization, Democracy, and Development in Africa: Challenges and Prospects, edited by T. Assefa, M. Rugumamu, and M. Ahmed, 163–77. Addis Ababa: Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa.Google Scholar

  • Mol, A. 2003. Globalization and Environmental Reform: The Ecological Modernization of the Global Economy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Möller, U. 2004. Sustainability: Expectations and Reality. In K.Feiler (Ed.), Sustainability Creates New Responsibility: Basis for a New World Order, New Economics and Environmental Protection. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Mulinge, M., and M. Munyae. 2001. “Globalization and Sustainable Development in Africa: Putting Old Wine in a New Wineskin?” In Globalization, Democracy, and Development in Africa: Challenges and Prospects, edited by T. Assefa, M. Rugumamu, and M. Ahmed, 101–19. Addis Ababa: Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa.Google Scholar

  • Norberg, J. 2007. “In Defense of Global Capitalism.” In The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change, edited by J. Roberts and A. Hite, 263–76. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Parkins, C. 1996. “North-South Relations and Globalization after the Cold War.” In Global Politics: An Introduction, edited by C. Bretherton and G. Ponton, 49–73. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Radermacher, F. 2004. “Neoliberalism Against Sustainable Development.” In Sustainability Creates New Responsibility: Basis for a New World Order, New Economics and Environmental Protection, edited by K. Feiler, 83–102. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Redclift, M. 1993. “Sustainable Development: Needs, Values, Rights.” Environmental Values 2 (1):3–20.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Redclift, M. 2000. “Global Equity: The Environment and Development.” In Global Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, edited by K. Lee, A. Holland, and D. McNeill, 98–113. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • Robbins, R. 2009. “Introduction: Globalization and the Environment: A Premier.” In World in Motion: The Globalization and the Environment Reader, edited by G. Kroll and R. Robbins, 1–15. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar

  • Roberts, J. and Hite, A., eds. 2007. The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Rudra, N. 2002, Spring). Globalization and the Decline of the Welfare State in Less-Developed Countries. International Organization 56 (2):411–45.Google Scholar

  • Sagoff, M. 2000. “Can Technology Make the World Safer for Development? The Environment in the Age of Information.” In Global Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, edited by K. Lee, A. Holland, and D. McNeill, 115–43. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • Sakamoto, Y., ed. 1994. Global Transformation: Challenges to the State System. Tokyo: United Nations Press.Google Scholar

  • Sampson, G. 2005. The WTO and Sustainable Development. New York: United Nations Press.Google Scholar

  • Shiva, V. 2003. “The Myths of Globalization Exposed: Advancing Toward Living Democracy.” In Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment, edited by J. Speth, 141–54. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar

  • Sklair, L. 1999. “Competing Connections of Globalization.” Journal of World Systems Research 5 (2):144–63.Google Scholar

  • Speth, J. 2008. The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

  • Strange, T., and A. Bayley. 2008. Sustainable Development: Linking Economy, Society, Environment. New York: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar

  • Sydee, J., and S. Beder. 2009. “Ecofeminism and Globalization: A Critical Appraisal.” In World in Motion: The Globalization and the Environment Reader, edited by G. Kroll and R. Robbins, 248–70. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar

  • Thompson, M. 1993, April. “The Meaning of Sustainable Development.” Proceeding of the Conference on Global Governability, London School of Economic and Political Science. London: The Centre for the Study of Global Governance.Google Scholar

  • Wade, R. 2007. “What Strategies Are Available for Developing Countries Today? The World Trade Organization and the Shrinking of ‘Development Space’.” In The Globalization and Development Reader: Perspectives on Development and Global Change, edited by J. Roberts and A. Hite, 277–94. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-27


Statistics show, for example, that the percentage of services (including hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, public transport, water supply, airports, and gas and electricity utilities) provided by the US county government decreased from 15% in 1987 to 14.8% in 1992, whereas the percentage of these services provided by private contractors rose from 4.7% in 1987 to 7.8% in 1992 (López-de-Silanes, Shleifer, and Vishny 1997, 452).

IMF statistics show that many developing countries (including Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt Arab Rep., El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Korea Rep., Kuwait, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe) spent an average of 3.2% of their GDP on welfare services in 1972–1974 compared to only 2.5% of their GDP in 1994–1995 (Rudra 2002, 412).

Recent studies show, for instance, that because of the unsustainable activities of TNCs in “maquiladoras” on the American–Mexican border, the pollution rates are soaring in the whole region, resulting in children facial deformities and mental retardation as a result to prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals. Social consequences also include overcrowded areas with people settling in slums which lack sewage systems and wastewater treatment, and where rates of toxic contamination are extremely high (Ellis 1996, 630–33).

This term is often used in the literature to refer to “a distinctive green political ideology encompassing those perspectives that hold that a sustainable society requires radical change in our relationship with the non-human natural world and our mode of economic, social and political life” (Carter 2007, 6).

Statistics show, for example, that of the largest one hundred economies in the world, 52 are now corporations: Mitsubishi (the 22nd largest economy), General Motors (the 26th largest economy), and Ford (the 31st largest economy) are all larger than the economies of many countries such as Denmark, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, New Zealand, among others (Mander 2003, 126).

For example, GATT/WTO’s resolutions against “environmental trade measures” (ETMs) which are defined as “import prohibitions, product standards, and standards governing production of natural resource exports” (Chasek, Downie, and Brwon 2010, 347) include its 1991 decision that the US ban of Mexican tuna was a violation of the GATT, the 1994 decision that the US ban of European tuna was a violation of the GATT, the 1997 decision that the US Environmental Protection Agency’s restrictions on fuel imported from Venezuela and Brazil was a violation of WTO regulations, and the 1998 decision that the US ban on the importation of shrimp from India, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Thailand where shrimp was caught by vessels that kill endangered migratory sea turtles violated WTO rules. For a detailed analysis of these cases, see Chasek, Downie, and Brwon (2010, 347–52).

One of the most interesting new alternatives is what came to be referred to as the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), which departs from GDP in adding “non-market” contributions to welfare, such as household, charity, volunteer work, and different forms of unpaid work. A refined version of the ISEW, labeled the Genuine Progress Indicator, shows that the economic growth impact on the welfare of Americans since the early 1970s has been far less than indicated by GDP. Other attempts to devise more comprehensive measures than GDP were carried out by some economists and social scientists like Daniel C. Esty and his colleagues who developed a global Environmental Sustainability Index, which evaluates nations’ environmental performances not their economic growth. Still, another example is the Happy Planet Index which basically measures human well-being by multiplying a country’s life satisfaction score times its life expectancy, and then it divides this by the country’s ecological footprint.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon explains that this document “asks companies to embrace universal principles and to partner with the United Nations. It has grown to become a critical platform for the UN to engage effectively with enlightened global business” (as cited in the United Nations Global Impact website http://www.unglobalcompact.org/).

The term “civil society” is used in this article to stand for “the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values,” which is the definition given to this term by the London School of Economics’ Centre for Civil Society (as cited in Strange and Bayley 2008, 118).

For a thorough analysis and specific cases of TNCs’ endorsement of the sustainability agenda (such as the case with Interface Inc., Unilever, Philips Electronics, General Electric, and Wal-Mart), see Harmon et al. (2009, 101–05).

For more examples of industries related to electronics, tyres, oil, batteries, oil filters, paints, pharmaceutical products, and automobiles, see Gendron et al. (2008, 6–7).


Citation Information: New Global Studies, ISSN (Online) 1940-0004, ISSN (Print) 2194-6566, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2013-021.

Export Citation

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
E A Fedulova, I V Korchagina, S V Vik, O I Kalinina, and V L Martyanov
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2017, Volume 50, Page 012023

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in