Like the GSMs, the AGSMs also have a common feature – diversity, apparent in the anti-globalization protests. The participants represent a multiplicity of issues and not all of them are pursuing the same target. For some, anti-globalization is a major issue, a prime concern; for others, it is merely a shared goal and the demonstrations are simply a means to an end. But they gather under the banner of anti-globalization to attract attention of the media and gain publicity.
Some factions of the movement reject globalization as such and some overlap exists with older right-wing movements, such as nativism. The other factions align with older left-wing movements such as Luddism, anarchism and communism. Other activists in the movement object not to capitalism or international markets as such, but rather to what they claim are the non-transparent and undemocratic mechanisms, and consequences, of globalization. They are specially opposed to neoliberalism, and international institutions that promote it, such as, the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO); neo-liberal free trade treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI); business alliances like the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) and the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC); as well as the governments which promote these agreements, institutions, and policies.
The AGSMs represent a broad spectrum of goals and causes. These include environmentalists, human-rights activists, anarchists, socialists, gaians, and communists. The causes championed by the movements members are also diverse including labour rights, environmentalism, feminism, freedom of migration, preservation of the cultures of indigenous peoples, biodiversity, cultural diversity, food safety, organic farming, opposition to the green revolution and genetic engineering and ending or reforming capitalism. Many of the protesters are veterans of single-issue campaigns, including forest/anti-logging activism, living wage, labour union autonomy, anti-sweatshop campaigns, homeless solidarity comp outs, urban squatting, urban autonomy and political secession. Movement members see most or all of goals as complementary to one another, together forming a comprehensive agenda touching on nearly all aspects of life. Some relatively well-known organizations and causes often are represented at anti-globalization demonstrations. For instance, AFL-CIO advocates labour’s interests; and Rainforest Action Network, Earth First! and the Sierra Club represent the environmentalist goals. Similarly, Global Exchange, Direct Action Network, Nader’s Group, Radical Roots, and Global Trade Watch highlight the human rights issues. The California-based Ruckus Society and the Calgary-based Co-Motion Action are two organizations that specialize in training the protestors and organizing the demonstrations.
The AGSMs have displayed remarkable success in organizing, arranging and directing the operational activities. Though, to some degree, the participation at protests and demonstrations depends on the subject of the targeted meeting or conference. For instance, labour had serious concerns about the proposals scheduled to be discussed at Seattle’ WTO meeting. Consequently, labour was well represented. The World Bank/IMF Meeting in Washington, however, had more ramifications on development and international finance issues than on labour and thus drew a much smaller number of labour supporters. Besides this, the organizational and administrative activities are coordinated effectively without the obvious management of central authority, command, or control. Like-minded individuals or groups often gather in affinity groups and travel to the site of demonstrations and plan their roles and activities. Once at the site, they join with other like-minded affinity groups to form clusters and to select a spokesperson that attends the daily spokescouncil. These groups hold discussions and pass information concerning operational and administrative activities such as accommodation, feeding, and legal advice, type of actions to be implemented. Prior to the Washington World Bank/IMF demonstration, a number of movement groups met several months in advance, as did representatives of the spokescouncil and working groups.
For their organization and support the AGSMs owe a lot to the Internet, which has permitted them to share ideas, experiences and problems from a global perspective. It has enabled the organizers to arrange protests and demonstrations worldwide quickly and easily, if necessary. It has helped them to establish dates, share experiences, accept responsibilities, arrange logistics, etc very quickly. That too with minimal resources and bureaucracy. This would not have been possible in the past.
As regards the material and financial support, these are partly self-generated and partly funded through the contributions of interested parties. Some funding comes from the large and better-known protest organizations, such as, the Direct Action Network and the Alliance for Global Justice. Protestors attending demonstrations considered to be in the interest of labour are often provided funds, transportation, meals, and lodging by labour unions and affiliated groups.
While the most obvious form of the AGSMs has been the protests and demonstrations since 1990s, the movement has yet to show a significant degree of consolidation and visible institutional development. On one hand, more transnational movement organizations gain access to established multilateral economic institution such as the World Bank, IMF, and WTO.
Though the efficacy and institutional position of AGSMs is still too early to judge, it is certainly true that the multilateral economic institutions are more concerned about local interests and actively seeking to involve various NGOs in their policy research implementation processes. The anti-globalization protest alone has not caused the changes taking place in the institutions and norms of global economic and financial governance. Governments that are vulnerable to and critical of liberal economic policies also engage local and international NGOs. For instance, the coalition between NGOs and the governments of developing countries has been critical in the stopping of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) in 1998.
It would have been very difficult to imagine, a few years ago, that the leaders of the international institutions would pursue, even rhetorically, the policies they do today. But a page was turned when the President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn said of the protestors, “I believe many of them are asking legitimate questions, and, I embrace the commitment of a new generation to fight poverty”. This may be a tactical move on the part of these institutions, but there is seriousness and substance behind the statement.
Any account of the AGSMs would not be complete without saying something about the World Social Forum, which is clearly a direct organizational manifestation of these movements. Here the anti-institutional part of the movements is consolidating the organizational ties and communications. Starting from the year 2001, the anti-globalization movement has modelled after the Forum, highlighting the negative impacts of globalization in different areas such as human rights, development, peace, labour and women’s rights etc. It also operates as a main arena of networking where different movement organizations seek and form coalitions to further their interests and causes in a given issue area.
The Transnational Advocacy Networks –
How do they work?
This chapter deals with the nature and scope of transnational advocacy networks. In the previous part, I established the linkage between the AGSMs and TANs, whereas this part looks, more specifically, at how these networks operate. This chapter relies heavily on the Keck and Sikkink model of international advocacy networks because this is the most apt and suitable model to explain the functioning of AGSMs for the purpose of this study. Broadly, the discussion will be based on two dimensions: a) that TANs can best be understood from the standpoints of the political opportunity structure and the resource mobilization theory, and b) the functioning of TANs as networks of different types of interactions.
The Transnational Advocacy Networks are the face of the Social Movements (SMs). This applies to the Anti-Globalization Social Movements (AGSMs) as well. In the words of Arturo Escobar, the networks are the “most appropriate metaphor” to describe the AGSMs. Similarly, Peter Evans also puts emphasis on the networks as he mentions, “three different but interrelated kinds of transnational action are candidates for counter-hegemonic globalization” and these are – Transnational Advocacy Networks, The Transnational Labour Networks and, the Labour Movement. For the purpose of this discussion, I do not delve into their peculiarities; instead I take the interrelationships and similarities as a sufficient medium to compare and assess the performance of these networks. My main focus, however, remains on the Transnational Advocacy Networks or, TANs.
2.1 TANs - The Political Opportunity Structure and Resource Mobilisation Models:
The Political Opportunity Structure and the Resource Mobilisation Model are the two main approaches that help understand the nature and functioning of the social movements and the networks. These paradigms have their own deficiencies, yet they are good tools that help understand the typology of the anti globalization social movements and transnational advocacy networks.
2.1.1 The Political Opportunity Structure Model (POSM):
The literature on Social Movements suggests that the success of the movements depends substantially on their capability to capitalise upon and benefit from the structures of political opportunity. This approach is commonly known as the political opportunity structures paradigm.
Social scientists emphasize four tenets of the political opportunity structure paradigm: 1) the relative openness of the institutionalised political system, 2) the stability of a set of elite alignment that typically supports a polity, 3) the presence of elite allies, and 4) the state’s capacity and propensity for repression. The success or failure of social movements depends upon the nature and composition of these variables in a polity. The more favourable these conditions are, the greater is the likelihood of success for the movements.
Jenkins and Maguire argue that changes in a representation system heavily affect the fate of social movements. Similarly, Maguire maintains that the peace and anti-nuclear movements in Italy and Britain in the 1980s were largely the products of party politics and left-wing parties’ organizational capacity. However, as admitted by many, the type of political process theory that emphasize institutional politics has been more useful explaining the policy successes and failure of the United States and Western Europe than explaining the diffusion of movements.
The political opportunity structures often use the alliance with opposition parties or political elites as a strong indicator of political opening. They do not differentiate between prior alliance and subsequent alliance. This alliance with political elites can be a causal link to political opening and mobilization. The type of mobilization and diffusion of movements largely influences the duration of political opening or transformation of this opening into a broader alliance. As Tarrow points out, “by communicating information about what they do, once formed, movements create opportunities – for their supporters, for others, for parties and elites.”
Nevertheless, the proliferation of the political opportunity approaches sometimes results in over-broadening of its definition, making it an all-encompassing fudge factor for all the conditions and circumstances, and any variation that may lead to mobilization is defined as political opportunity. This danger is realised by social scientists that maintain that it should not be taken as a sponge that soaks up every aspect of a movement.
As is evident from the discussion above, regardless of the relevance of the political opportunity structure paradigm, it should not be taken as a panacea for all problems. This has to be born in mind in any discussion regarding the operational outlook of the anti-globalization movements and the advocacy networks.
2.1.2 The Resource Mobilisation Model (RMM)
The resource mobilisation model represents an alternative to evaluate the performance of the TANs. It tries to explain the emergence, and the success and failure of the movements, in terms of their access to resources such as time, money, people and leadership, and above all organizational skills. This concept is enshrined in the social theory put forth by McCarthy and Zald who, departing from the concept of state cohesion and grievances, argue for entrepreneurial theory of social movements. They emphasize that the availability of resources, such as cadres and organizing facilities, are important tools to assess the performance of these movements.
McCarthy and Zald formulated the resource mobilization as an alternative approach to theorising the movements and participation in political activism. Resource mobilisation theory is a response to and departure from social psychological theories that focused on grievances or viewed social movements as collective identities and wider external environment. McCarthy and Zald have highlighted several ntions that are central to this perspective. Amongst these are:
- The study of the collection of resources - money and labour - is crucial to an understanding of social movement activity, as resources must be amassed for the purpose of engaging in collective conflict;
- Resource aggregation requires some minimal form of organisation, and hence, the model focuses directly on the organisational components of social movements.
In accounting for a movement’s successes and failures, there is an explicit recognition of the importance of involvement of individuals, resources and organisations from outside the collective, which a social movement represents. The following diagram demonstrates this.
McCarthy and Zald attribute the success of civil rights movements in the 1960s and 1970s to institutional resources co-opted from private foundations, the mass media and universities along with a “conscience constituency” of the affluent middle class. While these features can explain the professionalization of certain movements, as Jenkins point out, they cannot fully account for mass mobilization. In other words, a resource mobilization perspective that focuses on material resources, elite sponsorship and institutional access cannot satisfactorily explain the middle-class and student involvement in the various movements of the 1960s that were motivated by changing cultural values in that period.
In conclusion, in spite of some shortcomings and pitfalls, the resource mobilization paradigm is an effective way to assess the efficacy and efficiency of social movements. The resource mobilisation perspectives have begun to incorporate the network approach to the social movements, and it is believed that the denser the networks are the more likely is the eventuality that a social movement activity develops. As such, the TANs model put forward by Keck and Sikkink holds a position of primacy in study of the anti-globalization movements.
2.2 How Do the TANs Work?
The transnational advocacy networks, as defined by Keck and Sikkink, are the “webs of personal relationships”, and they represent the forms of organization characterised by “voluntary, reciprocal, and horizontal patterns of communication and exchange”. They are the “third form of economic organization, distinctly different from markets and hierarchy (firm)”, and they are “lighter on their feet” than hierarchy. Furthermore, they are “particularly apt” in the circumstances where more efficient and reliable information is required.
Advocacy networks are not a new phenomenon and examples can be traced back as early as the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement. However, the number, size, density and the complexity of international linkages have grown dramatically in the last three decades, especially in areas like women rights, human rights and environment. As noted by Keck and Sikkink, the international advocacy networks include the international and domestic nongovernmental research and advocacy organizations; local social movements; foundations; the media; churches, trade unions, consumer organizations and intellectuals; parts of regional and international intergovernmental organizations, and; parts of the executive and/or parliamentary branches of governments.
The different groups that represent these networks “share values” and frequently exchange “information and services”, and the flow of information among the actors “reveals a dense web of connections” both formal and informal. International and national NGOs play a pivotal role in all of the advocacy networks “initiating action” and pressurizing the powerful actors to “take positions”. They “introduce new ideas, provide information, and lobby for policy changes” and are more likely to emerge around issues where: 1) channels between domestic groups and their governments are blocked, hampered, or are ineffective in solving a conflict; 2) networking will improve efficiency of activity and campaigns, and 3) conferences and other forms of international contact create arenas for forming and strengthening the networks. For instance, in the context of anti-globalization movements, the World Social Forum provides for such an arena.
These networks are useful where the channels of participation are blocked. Where individuals and domestic groups have no recourse within domestic political or judicial arenas, they resort to networks that provide them with room and space and, international connections – boomerang strategies -in order to voice their concerns and seek the desired policy changes.
International advocacy networks often employ the same ways and techniques to evoke the aimed policy changes as many of the political groups and movements do. These ways and techniques cut across different systems, societies, governments and cultures. Some of the mechanism that these networks employ in order to achieve their goals and causes are detailed below:
- Information politics – Information Politics is an important method implemented by networks. The use of various media for disseminating information, such as telephone calls, e-mails and fax communications, circulation of newsletters, pamphlets and bulletins etc, disseminates information that would otherwise not be available; and from the sources that might not otherwise be heard. Examples of information politics are the successful campaigns against ‘female genital mutilation’, the anti ‘deforestation’ campaigns, the ‘ecology and environment’ and the anti ‘baby food & mothers’ formula’ campaigns etc. The advocacy networks have successfully established now that information is no more the monopoly of governments or the corporate sector.
- Symbolic politics – This approach refers to the networks’ ability to capitalize upon the symbols, actions, or the stories that make sense of a situation for an audience that is far away. For instance, the symbolism disseminating from awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Maya activist Rigoberta Menchu in 1992 and the UN’s designation of 1993 as the Year of Indigenous People raised the public awareness of the situation of indigenous people in Americas. The advocacy networks thrive upon this symbolism to forge their causes and goals. Similarly, the juxtaposition of the 1973 coup in Chile, war in Vietnam, Watergate, and the Civil Rights Movement gave birth to the Human Rights Movement - something the networks benefited from heavily.
- Leverage politics – This tactic refers to the ability of the networks to utilize powerful actors to affect a situation where weaker members of a network are unlikely to have influence. This means getting the ‘policy changes’ effected by the ‘target actors’ such as governments, international financial institutions like World Bank & IMF or private actors such as transnational corporations. Human Rights campaigners achieved remarkable success in leveraging the international organizations, aid institutions and governments to cut off aid against non-complying governments. Similarly, for the environmentalists the linkage of environmental protection with access to loans was a great success.
- Venue Shifting – Venue shifting is a very effective tool employed by advocacy networks. It refers to projecting local struggles onto different arenas where new alliances can be structured. The formation of networks helps a local social movement to act globally. Where the national governments, ruling elites, or the policy makers do not adhere to demands of local social movements and networks, ‘venue shifting’ is the alternative.
- Accountability politics – This refers to efforts holding powerful actors accountable to previously stated policies or principles. International advocacy networks devote considerable energy to convince the governments and other actors to publicly change their positions on issues. Later, they capitalise upon the gaps between the discourse and practice. For instance, the Helsinki Accords helped revive the human rights movement in Soviet Union and other governments of Eastern Europe.
2.3 The Transnational Advocacy Networks – an Assessment:
In the preceding part of this chapter, I have discussed briefly the Keck and Sikkink’s model of TANs explaining the nature of TANs and how they work. This sections aims to highlight applicational aspects of TANs in the context of anti-Globalization movement with the help of a few examples. It was discussed earlier that networks help social movements to act globally – something that was referred to by Brecher and Costello as the ‘Globalization from below’, in Keck and Sikkink’s discussion on TANs, the traditional issues of the anti-Globalization Movement like environment, the issues of wage and labour, consumer rights and human rights are very much in the background.
The Nike case is one famous example of the effectiveness of the transnational advocacy networks. It was one the highest flying multi-national corporations in the United States by mid-1996, and it was predicting even higher growths in the subsequent years. The campaign of the advocacy networks regarding the plight of young Vietnamese women Nike workers, 13 or 14 years of age and earning hardly a dollar per day, highlighted the adverse working conditions and generated an image problem for the Nike products. As a result, the corporation’s stock price fell by 40% in 1997. The fall was believed to have occurred because of the efforts of transnational NGOs like Global Exchange and Action Center who vividly documented the Nike case and organized the campaign against the exploitation of the workers.
Another very useful example of such action is the case of environmentalists’ campaigns regarding the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazonia development promoted by the Brazilian Government favoured the large-scale landowners who were destroying forests to make way for cattle at the expense of both the environment and local small-scale producers, especially those interested in using forest products like rubber. Groups like the rubber tappers organized by Chico Mendes in Acre had been fighting against the odds for several years. Since the local landowners controlled the local means of violence, i.e. they hired gunmen, and had good connections to local and regional politicians; the transnational environmental groups could not gain leverage in Brazil because they were outsiders. This situation changed, once the local movement and the environmental groups became connected. First, the rubber tappers programs were reframed to emphasize their ecological benefits. They subsequently were able to act quite effectively using a completely different venue: the politics of US congressional oversight vis-à-vis the World Bank. Conservative congressmen wanted to exercise more control over the Bank for their own nationalist reasons, so the Bank needed all the liberal allies it could get. The World Bank was an important funder of the Brazilian government’s Amazon development plans. Consequently, when Chico Mendes and US environmental groups were able to portray that the Bank’s project was destroying both the environment and poor people’s livelihood, the Bank was in trouble. To regain its own political legitimacy, The World Bank was forced to put pressure on Brazil. The Brazilian government was now faced with an internationally known local movement that combined social justice and ecological ends with simultaneous pressure from one of its most important international funders. The political leverage had been shifted substantially. Though local landlords killed Chico Mendes, his project was still alive ten years after his death. Jorge Viana, like Mendes, was an activist in the Worker’s Party and was elected Governor of the state of Acre; one of the first initiatives of his new government was a programme of subsidies for natural rubber production that would make economically feasible the extractive reserves Mendes had fought for.
Concluding the debate here, I would emphasize that the TANs provide a very important pedestal for the anti-globalization social movements and by themselves play a very important role in organizing them. The techniques and tactic brought forward in Keck and Sikkink’s model on TANs are apt and appropriate to gain an understanding of the contours of the anti-globalization movement.
The Anti-Globalisation Social Movements –
Movements Against the New Global Order
In the preceding parts of this dissertation, I tried to establish the linkages between the Anti-Globalization Social Movements (AGSMs) and the Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs) with a view to discuss how the AGSMs and TANs operate. In this chapter, I present and analyse case studies of two important Social Movements that explicitly oppose the global order of the 1990s. These movements come from extremely different cultural, economic, and institutional contexts through sharply contrasting ideologies. First, is the Zapatistas movement in Chiapas, Mexico, and the second is the American Militia movement. The reason that these case studies are picked is that both have come from a very different ideological context. The former adheres to leftist tendencies, whereas the later is an extreme right movement. Yet both movements owe their identity to the segments of the society considered marginalized and excluded by their governments and new global order. The case studies help link the empirical evidence with the conceptual and theoretical framework in this paper. They also enable a better understanding of the AGSM ideology - a reaction to the Globalization or Counter-hegemonic Globalization. In analysing these case studies I employ the typology, used by Manuel Castels, that a social movement is characterised by the three principles: 1) the movement’s identity, 2) the movement’s adversary and, 3) the movement’s vision or, social model or, the societal goals. Here, I again revert back to the political opportunity structure and the resource mobilization models to arrive at a vivid picture of these movements. I also assess how these movements employ the networks techniques like information politics, symbolic politics and venue shifting etc as mentioned in the preceding part.
3.1 Case Study - I: The Zapatistas Movement:
It is now nine years since the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN) - Zapatista Army of National Liberation - came to the attention of the world when they seized five towns in the Southern Mexican state of Chiapas on New Year’s day in 1994. The years since have seen only a couple of weeks of actual warfare. However, the uneasy cease-fire has seen hundreds of land occupations and several national and international gatherings. “Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people have travelled to Chiapas to see the rebellion with their own eyes. The Mexican government for doing so has deported hundreds of them. Solidarity groups exist in most western countries, including Ireland. In 1993 Chiapas was as an unknown backwater in Mexico. Now, in the eyes of many activists, it has moved to centre stage”.
They were about 3,000 armed men and women; mostly the Indians, tzeltales, tzotziles and choles, and they represent primarily the peasants settled in the Lacandon rainforest, near the Guatemalan border, since 1940s. These peasant communities were generally marginalized and had been kept under constant insecurity by the Mexican government given the constant threat of dislocations. They had no legal rights to land, no places for their cattle to graze, no rights to even communal possession of the agricultural property, and were a peasantry refused to serfdom serving the big landowners.
They had been struggling for their rights since the 1970s against the government’s apathy and authoritarianism. A final blow to their fragile economy came in the 1990s when the government announced economic liberalisation policies, in preparation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that ended restrictions of imports of corn and eliminated protection on the price of coffee. The local economy, based on forestry, cattle, coffee, and corn was dismantled. The status of communal land became uncertain after an amendment in the Mexican Constitution that ended communal possession of agricultural property by the villagers (ejidos) in favour of full commercialisation of individual property; another measure directly related to Mexico’s alignment with privatization in accordance with NAFTA leading to discontent and frustration in the peasants.
By the middle of 1993, in most of the communities, the corn was not planted, coffee was left in bushes, children withdrew from schools, and cattle were sold to buy weapons. Finally, people resorted to rebellion. The headline of the insurgents’ Manifesto on January 1, 1994 read: “Hoy Decimos BASTA!” - Today, we say ENOUGH!
The Zapatista movement was influenced and led by various revolutionaries, urban intellectual like Subcomandante Marcos, and Catholic Bishop Samuel Ruiz, etc. The Catholic Church not only supported and legitimised the peasants, but it also helped them form hundreds o f cadres of peasants’ unions and virtually provided the backbone of the movement. The second factor was what the EZLN terms ‘Civil Society’. By this they mean a combination of non-government organisations (NGOs), unions, community projects, political parties and individuals. Many of these organisations were formed locally. The process greatly escalated in the face of government plans across the Americas to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of America. To the indigenous of course this represented the start of 500 years of, at best, enslavement; and at worst genocide.
The Zapatistas movement has undergone various changes since its inception. Its essential character, however, has remained as a symbol against the neo-liberal globalization policies of a global economic order. For instance, Noam Chomsky said in interview with a Mexican Journal, “The Zapatistas have a chance to change the course of contemporary history.” He named the Zapatista movement as one of the most important in a worldwide surge of movements challenging the essential tenets of globalization and neoliberalism.
Chomsky includes the Zapatista movements with other worldwide movements like the Sin Tierra (without Land) from Brazil, peasant movements in India and the growing opposition to globalization that manifested itself in the WTO protest in Seattle and other parts of the industrialized world. He said, “the march on the capital of Mexico and the connections being established internationally between movements are signs of global hope.”
3.2 Case Study - II: The American Militia Movement –
Extremism in America
The American Militia Movement started somewhere in mid-1993. Its prominent leaders were John Tochmann (Montana), Ron Gaydosh (Michigan), Randy Miller (Texas), Charlie Puckett (Kentucky), Mark Koernke (Michigan), Carl Warden (Oregon) and Gib Ignwer (Ohio). Its ideology was anti-government, opposition to a new world order, and conspiracy oriented with a main focus on firearms.
The Militia is the youngest of the major right–wing anti government movements in the United States, such as the Sovereign Citizen Movement and the Tax Protest Movement, yet it has seared itself into the American consciousness as virtually no other fringe movement has. This movement is accused of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which by blowing up a federal government building exposed a powerful undercurrent in American society that until then had been relegated to powerful hate groups and political marginality. Since 1994, this movement has embroiled itself in various bombing plots, attacks on the government establishments, conspiracies and serious violations of law.
This movement owes is tradition to an old fascination of American society with paramilitary groups emanating from World War II. The anger embedded in the philosophy of the movement ranges from the election of Bill Clinton to the Rodney King riots and the passage of NAFTA.
A major element in the movement is the vast fascination with conspiracies and guns. The movement not only accepted the traditional conspiracy theories, but created host of new ones. For instance, that the United States government was collaborating with the New World Order believed to aim for a one-world socialist government under United Nations, giving way to slowly stripping Americans of their freedom. The New World Order is a utopian system in which the US economy will be globalised; the wage levels of all US and European workers will be brought down to those of the workers in the Third World; national boundaries will for all purposes cease to exist; an increased flow of Third World immigrants into the United States and Europe will produce a non-White majority everywhere in the formerly White areas of the world; and elites consisting of international financiers, the masters of mass media and managers of multinational corporations will call the shots; and the United Nations peacekeeping forces will be used to keep anyone from opting out of the system.
The militia movement grew rapidly from 1994 until April 19, 1995, the day of the Oklahoma City bombing, which unleashed a storm of publicity about the movement throughout the country. As a result of media attention, the movement grew in numbers and activity all through 1995 and into 1996. By early 1996, virtually every state had one militia group, and most states had several. This was the time when the criminal activities of the movement came under serious scrutiny by the law enforcement agencies. By 1998, five members of groups had been arrested and convicted on multiple charges; leaders Brad Metcalf and Randy Graham received 40 and 55-year sentences, respectively. In Missouri, on July 4 1997, they planned to attack the annual “Freedom Festival” attended by 50,000 people – a move which was prevented because of good work of police and FBI. This movement continues to exist in the years after 2000, though its strength and appeal has substantially declined.
3.3 The Zapatista and the American Militia Movements –An Analysis:
In the following lines, I try to draw a comparison between the Zapatista and American Militia movements in terms of the typology used by Manuel Castels i.e. the movement’s identity, adversary and goals. I also compare them in terms of their capability in the context of the political opportunity structures and resource mobilization models.
For Zapatistas, the movement’s identity was that they saw themselves as oppressed and excluded Indians who lived in Mexico. In the case of the American Militia, it was the American citizen fighting for their sovereignty, and for their liberties, as enshrined in the American Constitution. As for the movements’ adversary - for Zapatistas it is global capitalism that they are fighting against, especially the neo-liberalism policies adopted by the Mexican government following the trade and economic liberalisation envisaged in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For the American Militia, the adversary is the New World Order and the American government, as they view both as their rivals, adamant to deprive the American people of their economic and political leverage in the World. Human dignity and democracy for the depressed and marginalized classes in Mexico is the goals of the Zapatista Movement. In the case of the American Militia, the goals of the movement are liberty and sovereignty of American citizens and local communities. In terms of identity, adversary and goals typology, the following chart depicts both the movements’ profile in a more appropriate manner:
Viewed from the perspectives of political opportunity structure and resource mobilization approaches, both movements have been very successful. These movements have interacted closely with the political process of the societies in which they are embedded. The Zapatistas deliberately launched their attack in the year of the Mexican presidential election, and they played a fundamental role in deepening the contradictions within the ruling PRI government and in opening up of the Mexican political system. For them the involvement of the Communist and Maoist revolutionaries, the urban intellectuals, and above all the availability of the Catholic Church were very beneficial. In addition, the overall dissatisfaction with the new liberal policies of the World Bank and IMF in the rest of the parts of the world provided them with a good launching pad to voice their concerns and make their existence known to the international community. Furthermore, the availability of a global civil society – NGOs, networks, and other movements, has been very useful in highlighting the Zapatistas’ cause. The American Militia also grew in a context of widespread political disaffection and anti-government sentiment in the United States. This sentiment was expressed in electoral politics through the Republican Party’s “neo-conservative revolution”. A significant part of this new conservative vote had its origin in Christian fundamentalism and it manifested itself in the Republican congressional landslide victory in 1994. In addition, the rise of right-wing libertarianism and populism within mainstream politics contributed to the popularity of the movement.
One very noteworthy element of the above two movements is their capability to draw the attention of the media and their effective use of information technology – websites, emails, Internet etc. “Media attention is sought, or found, by performing in the French anarchist tradition…by its powerful appeal, even through sacrifice, calls people’s attention to the movement’s claims, and is ultimately intended to wake up the masses, manipulated by propaganda and subdued by repression.” The media-oriented strategy was particularly explicit, and skilfully executed, in the case of the Zapatistas. Similarly, the American Militia movement really capitalised upon the attention it manage to attract in media circles and skilfully used to promote and perpetuate its causes. As for the resources the militia raised funds from personal contributions of the members, some of whom even sold their person properties to be agile and efficient for the movement. Following table presents a vivid view of the movements in terms of political opportunity structures and resource mobilisation capabilities:
The Keck and Sikkink’s “network” methodology – information politics, symbolic politics, leverage politics, venue shifting and, accountability politics - also applies to both the case studies with a variance of application. For instance both movements relied on their advocacy networks, local or international. The Zapatistas benefited from the networks of civil society and sympathisers both in the ruling elites and internationally. The American Militia though was confined within US but it benefited from its networks effective in the US Congress, the Republican Party and the government. Information politics is universally applicable to the both as these relied heavily on the information technology and its networks in terms of promoting the causes and goals and reaching the audiences. Similarly, both the movements used weapons as symbols of freedom and for calling media attention. Similarly, the indigenous people and land right amendments in the Mexican constitution were the result of leverage and accountability politics by the networks of Zapatista sympathisers form all parts of the world. In the same way the networks that supported the American Militia movement were successful especially in leveraging for the right to carry the weapons for the American people which was one of the movement’ principal aims. Venue shifting, though does not apply to Militia’s case as such, but it does apply to the Zapatistas’ movement as the world wide support for the movement took the cause of the Indian peasants from the back yard of Mexico to the centre stage of the world – that too in a larger framework of anti-globalization resistance movement.
3.4 Anti-Globalization Movements - Scope and Future:
As mentioned in the preceding chapters, the Anti-Globalization Social Movements (AGSMs) are all about contentious politics, based on the rationality of protest, that revolves around the Globalization agenda of neo-liberalist institutions like World Bank, IMF and WTO. The essential character of the movements, whether they are local or global, is that they are about reforming the corporate capitalism. I have tried to establish that no matter a movement’s scope and appeal, its tactics or techniques or its time and duration, the success and failure depends on the its capability to thrive upon political opportunity structures and the resource mobilization capacity. This formula applies to all the social movements whether these are the ones discussed in the case studies, or others – for instance the environmentalist and human rights or labour right movements.
Critics may think otherwise, but the fact is that anti-globalization social movements have played significant role in drawing the attention towards unilateralist policies of the hegemonic globalization. Some may view it to be “too little” but as long as this “too little” does not turn into “enough” the anti globalization movements have every reason to grow and perpetuate, as their goal is a humane capitalism, rights of the marginalized, rights of the labour classes, the concerns about environment etc. It may happen that one movement succeeds in achieving its goals and the other doesn’t. Some of them may get caught into metamorphosis and diffuse with the passage of time, but as long as the enemy (corporate capitalism and neoliberalism) is there so would the adversary (marginalized and excluded) be, and this will give birth to more contentious collective action – the AGSMs.
This dissertation tried to discuss the genesis and scope of Anti-Globalization Social Movements (AGSMs) and Transnational Advocacy Networks in the context of the Globalization policies of international financial institutions and World Trade Organization (WTO).
The first part, discussed the nature and evolution of AGSMs and TANs and their linkage and interrelationships. This constituted the theoretical and conceptual framework of the dissertation. The composition and organization of the Anti-Globalization movement was also discussed in this part. This part established that the most appropriate way to describe and analyse the AGSMs the Keck and Sikkink’s networks model.
The second part, dealt specifically with the TANs and their operating methodology. This section established the Political Opportunity Structure Model (POSM) and the Resource Mobilization Model (RMM) is the basis of further examination on AGSMs and TANs. In that it was established that a social movement’s success and failure large depends upon the applicability of these two models and that these models suggest an appropriate mechanism to evaluate them. It is also discussed the methodology the TANs employ in achieving the goals of various social movements which in the present case was the AGSMs.
The third and final part comprised to two case studies of Anti-Globalization Movement – The Zapatistas Movement in Mexico and the American Militia Movement in the United States. Whereas, one is extreme left-wing movement resenting the Globalization and other is, its opposite, an extreme right wing movement with the same ideology and cause. This part actually applied the theoretical foundations actually traced in the earlier parts on the empirical evidence selected for the purpose of this study. With a view to assess the success and scope of these movements both the POS model and the RM model were applied on these movement. It was discovered that the networks model was also helpful in examining them. Basing upon the identity, goals and adversary model this part also synthesised that the AGSMs have a future as long as their adversary – the corporate capitalism and hegemonic globalization exist. This application of this typology also revealed that the AGSMs have a capability of sustenance no matter their complexity and heterogeneity.
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Including the Maoists, communist revolutionaries. Quite a few believe that this movement is heavily influenced by Che Guerra.
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Adapted from Manuel Castels, Ibid, p-105.
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Extremism in America: The Militia Movement, Ibid.