Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 6, No 2 (2010)

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TINA Go Home! ALBA and Re-theorizing Resistance to Global Capitalism

Thomas Muhr

Abstract


Centred around Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, this paper employs a critical globalisation theory framework to argue that the 1990s notion of ‘changing the world from below’, understood as resistance to capitalist globalisation through a ‘transnational civil society’, requires re-theorisation in the light of the contemporary developments in Our America. I make a methodological case for a neo-Gramscian approach to argue that ‘counter-hegemony’, together with an adequate theorisation of the state and power, should be the preferred concept over the inherently apolitical and under-theorised ‘alter-globalisation’. Whilst the alter-globalisation movement’s ideational and normative challenges to hegemony (captured in ex-British prime minister Thatcher’s There-Is-No-Alternative-Doctrine, TINA) are undisputed, the transformation of the global geographies of power through local actors alone has remained illusory. Rather, the experience of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-PTA) strongly suggests that counter-hegemonic globalisation theory will have to consider the roles of both the ‘state-in-revolution’ and the ‘transnational organised society’. This will be shown through the analysis and theorisation of the ALBA-PTA as a multi dimensional inter and transnational counter-hegemonic regionalisation and globalisation project that operates across a range of sectors and scales.

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