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

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FINAL-Muhr

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 globalization theory framework to argue that the 1990s notion of ‘changing the world from below’, understood as resistance to capitalist globalization through a ‘transnational civil society’, requires re-theorization 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 theorization of the state and power, should be the preferred concept over the inherently apolitical and under-theorized ‘alter-globalization’. Whilst the alter-globalization 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 globalization theory will have to consider the roles of both the ‘state-in-revolution’ and the ‘transnational organized society’. This will be shown through the analysis and theorization of the ALBA-PTA as a multi dimensional inter and transnational counter-hegemonic regionalization and globalization project that operates across a range of sectors and scales.

Keywords: ALBA, counter-hegemony, resistance, alter-globalization, anti-globalization, regionalization, socialism

Introduction

To those of us who grew up under United States (U.S.) military occupation, ‘Yankee Go Home’ may evoke memories of some sort. In Germany, the local adaptation ‘Ami Go Home’ (‘Ami’ for U.S.-American) was associated with the student and peace movements of the 1960s through the 1980s. For decades, the slogan decorated inner city walls, after entering German literary and music (sub)culture from the 1950s onwards. On the other side of the Atlantic, in Our America, which is José Martí’s decolonialist conception of the modernist-racist ‘Latin America and the Caribbean’[1], the maxim became folk culture through Venezuela’s protest singer Alí Primera. Primera’s ‘Yanqui Go Home!’ is a revolutionary call for unity among the oppressed classes in their resistance to imperialism and its different manifestations.

As perhaps the second wave of imperialism, the neo-imperialist (or neo-colonialist) global governance regime does not principally exercise direct control over foreign states through territorial conquest. As a dialectical relationship between territorial and capitalistic logics of power, control over spaces, resources and specified people is sought indirectly through a structure that includes multi- and transnational capital in the forms of: ownership of productive resources; international financial institutions; foreign direct investment; so-called development cooperation; and charity. As a range of scholars have shown, this new imperialism relies on Gramscian hegemony.[2] When hegemony is established, the supremacy of a social group manifests itself in economic, intellectual, political and moral leadership, to which the subalterns give their active consent, while domination (coercion) is used only exceptionally to discipline those who deny consent.[3] The consensual element in hegemony, i.e. the ‘acceptance by the ruled of a ‘conception of the world’ that belongs to the rulers’, which appears as ‘common sense’, mystifies the power relations upon which the order rests.[4] As the hegemonic form of globalization, or ‘globalization-from-above’, capitalist globalization has been assumed by many people—including its victims—as the only, inevitable form of globalization.[5] This idea has been disseminated and consolidated through a discourse that constructs globalization as an ahistorical, natural order and an impersonal force devoid of agency and interests[6], as captured in former British prime minister Thatcher’s oft-used dictum TINA—There is no alternative (to neoliberalism)[7].

TINA Go Home! should be understood as not only an expression of resistance to neoliberalism, but to the centuries-long class war from above generally. As James Mittelman has illustrated, resistance is a creative force within an open-ended historical process. As a positive, protective property associated with civil disobedience, especially against fascism, resistance contains an appeal to morality and agency to effect structural transformation.[8] Accordingly, a ‘politics of resistance and empowerment’ has been characterized as a form of political action that involves the mobilization of transnational communities of solidarity in the societal or general interest and with the potential, or objective, to transform the political situation and generate a real alternative.[9] Consequently, for much of the past two decades, in reaction to the historical failure of state-centred, authoritarian models of ‘socialist’ transformation, the discussion of resistance to capitalism has been dominated by an implicit and explicit denial of state power, as most radically expressed in John Holloway’s catch-phrase ‘change the world without taking power’[10]. Progressive transformation through a ‘transnational civil society’, as sought by the anti- and alter-globalization movements, however, has remained illusory.

This paper uses the case of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-PTA) to advance a re-theorization of resistance to global capitalism.[11] As a poster in an ALBA-PTA exhibition in Caracas in September 2009 stated, the ALBA-PTA is ‘propositivo’—a move from opposition to proposition thus activating the forces of resistance and revolution, where ‘revolution’ can be understood as a mass-based, open-ended ‘fundamental transformation of the state and social structure’[12] that involves a ‘significant restructuring of the social configuration of power’.[13] In this process, the ‘state-in-revolution’, i.e. the ALBA-PTA bloc of nations (Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Venezuela), and the ‘transnational organized society’ join in the transformation of the global geographies of power.

The first part of the paper discusses key features of hegemonic globalization, followed by a brief outline of the shift from anti- to alter-globalization. My discussion of power and the state frames the case made for counter-hegemonic globalization as the preferable concept over the inherently apolitical and under-theorized ‘alter’-globalization. The second part analyses the politics, policies and processes of the ALBA-PTA as a multi-dimensional inter- and transnational counter-hegemonic project that operates across a range of sectors and scales, its institutionalization, and the emergent ALBA-PTA governance regime.[14]

Hegemonic Globalization

In the late 1990s, David Held and collaborators[15] distinguished between three broad categories of globalization theory: hyperglobalists would argue that globalization has become the all-defining phenomenon of a new epoch in human history, in which the nation-state has become less prevalent or even defunct in the single global capitalist economy; new forms of social organization—a global governance regime—have supplanted the nation-state as the primary economic and political unit of world society. Diametrically opposed to this view, the sceptics maintained that nothing much had changed in the structure of the international economy, which had increasingly segmented into three regional blocs (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific) and in which the regulatory power of national governments was undiminished. The transformationalist thesis, which underlies this paper, understands ‘globalization’ as a set of globally interconnected spatio-temporal processes that include transnational and transregional processes, rather than merely international and interregional ones. ‘Globalization’ thus understood is a set of non-linear and socio-historically contingent processes shaped by multiple conjunctural forces and inscribed with contradictions; their future trajectory is unpredictable. While the nation-state is not necessarily any longer the primary scale of political, economic and ideological struggles, it does not mean that ‘the national’ is redundant.[16] The three schools of thought do not correspond with traditional ‘left’ or ‘right’ ideological and normative convictions; each can be approached from different traditions of social inquiry, such as the neoliberal and the Marxist philosophies.

Key logics of hegemonic, capitalist globalization may be summarized as follows: financial deregulation and the development of international financial markets; profound technological changes, technology transfer and product innovation and the emergence of a new production paradigm; the development of ‘free’ markets shaped by classical economic theory; the ‘information revolution’ and its impact on the media and communications systems; and the diminution of costs and time in moving commodities and people from one place to another.[17] Rather than homogeneity and a global society, to transformationalists the global system is characterized by a new geography of power in which the geographical core-periphery hierarchy has been reconfigured along social lines.[18] Driven by the global division of labour integral to transnationalized production processes, and the associated global downward equalization of salaries and labour conditions, inter-country inequalities have been joined by dramatically increased intra-country inequalities. This new geography of social exclusion, i.e. the selective inclusion and exclusion of segments of societies and territories across nation states, has also been termed the ‘Fourth World’ or ‘the global South’.[19]

To David Harvey, inequality—the accumulation of wealth and income in the hands of the few—is an expression of class power.[20] ‘Class power’ may be understood as ‘the capacity of one or several classes to realize their specific interests […] in opposition to the capacity (and interests) of other classes’.[21] The key mechanism of the upwards redistribution of past decades has been ‘expropriation by dispossession’.[22] The concept stands for the proliferation of Marx’s ‘primitive’ (‘original’) accumulation, which was the precondition for all further accumulation, or for capitalism to develop. Based on fraud, thievery, predation and violence, primitive accumulation has occurred most blatantly with respect to land in order to create a landless proletariat forced to sell their labour power. Harvey, however, argues that the predatory activity is not only an initial feature, but has become an on-going, internalized process within capitalism in response to the crisis of over-accumulation, at the root of which is the lack of profitable investment opportunities for surplus capital, without which devaluation looms. Key processes of accumulation by dispossession are the commodification, privatization and acquisition by transnational capital of common property resources (e.g. land, water). This involves the conversion of property rights from common, collective or state to exclusively private, the suppression of alternative forms of production and consumption, curbing the rights of the subalterns, above all to basic utilities and welfare (health care, education, transportation, housing, pension), and the commodification of nature (e.g. genetic material) and knowledge (e.g. intellectual property, such as copyright and patents). In these processes, the state assumes a crucial role due to its definitional powers of legality and its monopoly of violence, in the face of popular resistance.

Neo-imperialism is driven by a non-accountable elite—the transnational capitalist class (TCC), whose power has become institutionalized in a global regulatory (‘disciplining’) governance structure, i.e. a web of regional and global institutions and regimes, multilateral agreements and transgovernmental policy networks[23] that include the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Organization of American States (OAS), the Group of Seven/Eight (G-7/8) state apparatuses, the European Roundtable of Industrialists, as well as credit-rating institutes and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The TCC integrates segments of national bourgeoisies whose common interest consists in securing the conditions for capital accumulation on the global scale, which includes globalized production and the deregulation of capital and services.[24]

By reference to Robert Cox’s conception of historical structure, Stephen Gill argues that the ‘historical congruence’ of material forces, ideologies and institutions under globalization may allow us to speak of a Gramscian ‘transnational historical bloc’, with the TCC at its core.[25] However, although the historical structure, or ‘framework for action’, imposes pressures and constraints, it is non-deterministic. Successful collective resistance to a prevailing historical structure has the potential to transform social relations in the creation of a rival structure or alternative configuration of forces.[26] As the second part of the paper will argue, the ALBA-PTA is such an emergent rival structure to global capitalism, in which the interaction of ideas, material capabilities and institutions is changing the ways people are organized as producers on and across the local, national and regional scales, with the potential of transforming both states and world order. The theoretical foundations of this argument are laid by the following discussion of the shift from anti- to alter-globalization, whilst making the case for counter-hegemony.

From Anti- to Alter- to Counter-Hegemonic Globalization

The ‘anti-globalization movement’—a label imposed by corporate media elites—unified a broad spectrum of mass-based protest, campaign groups and single issue concerns around a variety of justice-related causes, especially with respect to inequality and dispossession, labour, gender, and the environment. At its peak, between 60,000 (Seattle 1999) and 300,000 (Genoa 2001) demonstrators were mobilized.[27] To Robin Broad and John Cavanagh, the anti-globalization movement originated in 1970s local citizen group resistance to the dominant neo-imperialist notion of ‘development’, and their consequent struggle for people’s fundamental social, cultural, economic, and political rights.[28] In Our America, the first popular uprising against the implementation—rather than the consequences—of the neoliberal ‘Washington Consensus’ policies[29] erupted in Venezuela in January 1989. The rebellion and its suppression by the armed forces intensified the crisis of hegemony of the Venezuelan ruling classes and marked the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution.[30]

The anti-globalization movement, however, came under attacks for being simplistically negative-oppositional, and even nationalistic.[31] This was accompanied by the decline of the characteristic mass protests, certainly to some extent related to the increased repression and criminalization of democratic expression especially in the US and Europe since the events of ‘9/11’.[32] The nascent alter-globalization movement, meanwhile, adopted a more coherent strategy of organized gatherings, of which the 2001 World Social Forum (WSF) was the first of its kind.[33] Unlike the anti-globalization movement, which lacked a clear transformative vision, the alter-globalization movement identified globalization as a socially constructed, open-ended process, and embraced the notion of a ‘progressive globalization’, or ‘globalization-from-below’, through the empowerment and organization of local people to take control over their resources and the construction of transnational social movements.[34] Transnational movements are one form of deterritorialized political and economic organization that have emerged under globalization, together with multinational corporations, regulatory agencies, and the like.[35] The concept includes counter-movements, networks and campaigns with varying (and sometimes competing) goals and organizational capacities.[36] Through structures of autonomous, networked and decentralized social movements, and international and global solidarity freed from the patriarchal state and bureaucratic and hierarchical forms of organization, local dimensions of democratic politics are upscaled to the global through ICT, ideally generating ‘democratic self-empowerment’ and ‘cosmopolitan citizenship’.[37]

For much of the past two decades, in the post-Soviet climate and in reaction to the historical failure of state-centred models of socialist transformation, a rich repertoire of imageries has been produced to describe these possibilities: ‘transnational advocacy networks’ and ‘transnationalism from below’[38]; trans-local alliances (‘subaltern cosmopolitanism’) and the globalization of the ‘anti-hegemonic locale’[39]; cross-border networks understood as a ‘global politics of place’[40], to turn hegemonic globalization’s ‘own ideological and organizational structures against itself’[41] in an emergent ‘global’ or ‘transnational civil society’.[42] Understood this way, the idea of a transnational civil society seems to have relied heavily on the hyper-globalist assumption of the state having been substantially weakened.[43] It also appears to build on the liberal ontological separation of civil and political society, and the neo-realist idea of an independent civil society as a constraint or counter-weight to the state.[44] However, as Gramsci’s ‘enlarged notion’ of the state has suggested, in advanced capitalist societies the state actually encompasses civil society (‘dictatorship + hegemony’).[45] Whilst a large and diverse body of important case studies of local, micro-cosmic resistance has been generated[46], the mismatch between the normative significance of the experiences and the absence of any strategy of how to actually create the necessary institutionality at the different levels of governance against the accumulated power of the TCC, largely remained unaddressed in the respective literature. As the recent Argentine experience has shown, autonomous movement mobilization and resistance, whilst neglecting strategic organization, coordination and leadership, will not challenge the power of global capital, neither at the state level nor inter- and transnationally.[47] The effectively disempowering alter-globalization agenda was pushed to utopian extremes by John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power and its explicit rejection of the state as a tool for revolutionary transformation.[48]

The state, however, as Nicos Poulantzas has shown, does not ‘disappear’ through some kind of ‘anti-state-wishful-thinking-self-management’.[49] As argued in the section on hegemonic globalization above, the bourgeois-dominated state remains the principal instrument for structuring and policing the conditions for the globalized regime of capital accumulation; that is, the state as the ‘broker’ for the TCC.[50] While state powers with their jurisdictions play a key role beyond the national, i.e. in the neo-imperialist international organizational arrangements, their monopoly of violence enables them to crush insurgent movements that oppose accumulation through dispossession.[51] This truism is once again confirmed by the increasing ‘Colombianization’ of Mexico and the consolidation of the de facto dictatorship in Honduras since the military-oligarchy coup d’etat of June 2009, which served two purposes: to create the conditions for the withdrawal of the country from the ALBA-PTA in January 2010; and to thwart ex-President Zelaya’s intent to comply with the popular mandate and to follow the Venezuelan, Bolivian and Ecuadorian examples of democratising society beyond polyarchy[52] via the creation of a constituent assembly in charge of drafting a new, popular constitution (a constitution in the popular rather than oligarchic interests).

While elaborations of alter-globalization have indeed integrated the question of hegemony, the role of the state and state power has only inadequately been dealt with in many of these accounts. For instance, Santos’ and Evans’ conceptions of ‘counter-hegemonic globalization’ bracket out the state altogether, whilst concentrating on transnational movements, networks and ideology exclusively[53]; Mittelman, whilst recognising the importance of the state in promoting globalization, concentrates on civil society and the consensual aspects (a new commonsense) in his discussion of counter-hegemony and power.[54] Although occasionally the alter-globalization literature anticipated the need for counter-hegemonic political alliances between states and social movements[55], the theoretical implications remained unexplored.

As stated, by analysing the ALBA-PTA as an alliance between the ‘state-in-revolution’ and the ‘organized society’ in resistance to global capitalism, this paper makes the case for extending the inherently apolitical and under-theorized ‘alternative’ in favour of (neo-)Gramscian (counter-)hegemony in its original sense. That is, to explicitly consider the state and state power, which ‘alter-globalization’ does not necessarily do. The following theoretical exploration of ‘power’, ‘the state’ and ‘counter-hegemony’ will guide the subsequent analysis of the ALBA-PTA. In a way, the discussion follows Joachim Hirsch, who has argued that an inadequate theorization of the state led to the over-estimation of the potential contribution of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to emancipatory social change and the democratization of international society. This is so because NGOs are components of the extended capitalist state and thus cannot be regarded as counter-actors to it.[56] In the case of alter-globalization, it may be argued that the absence of adequate theories of the state and power in the respective literature has led to a similar over-estimation of the transformative potential of anti-capitalist transnational social movements. This is, of course, not to suggest that in practice national social movements in Our America, most pronounced in Bolivia under Evo Morales’ leadership, had not been aware of the importance of capturing the state.

A re-theorization of resistance to global capitalism should transcend the deterministic and linear conceptions of ‘power to’ (do) and ‘power over’, upon which, for instance, Holloway’s ‘anti-power’ rests; it also has to go beyond Michel Foucault’s micro-physics of power, sometimes integrated in the alter-globalization literature.[57] More useful, perhaps, is Andrew Sayer’s critical realist theory of power.[58] Rather than concentrating on specific modalities of power, such as domination, authority, coercion, manipulation, seduction, and by making a case for a ‘geography of power’, Sayer distinguishes ‘power as capacity’ (Power1) from ‘power as exercised’ (Power2). Power1 refers to the causal powers of agents or social objects—individuals, institutions, relations (including discourse)—with the potential to produce change. Social objects, however, also have particular ‘causal susceptibilities’, such as individuals being susceptible to feeling shame. Most of the causal powers, such as the power of a speaker to seduce or the power of an army to invade, are acquired, and powers and susceptibilities may change over space and time.

Power2 refers to the activation of causal powers and susceptibilities, and is subject to a ‘double contingency’: firstly, whether such powers are activated depends on the relation to other social objects, which have their own causal powers and susceptibilities; secondly, if they are activated, their effects are equally dependent on the causal powers and susceptibilities of the other objects, which may reinforce, modify, override, or block the activation of Power1. Power1 does not assume the capacity to achieve a given effect irrespective of circumstance (as power to would), and Power2 does not necessarily mean domination (power over) because it does not necessarily produce the desired result(s). Rather, the successful exercise of Power1 depends on relational factors. For instance, someone with the capacity (Power1) to open a door may try but not succeed because the door is locked (Power2).[59]

The double contingency, which shows that causation is non-linear and for which reason purposeful action may produce unintended positive (constructive) or negative (destructive) outcomes, underscores the space and time relativity of any exercise of power. As all social objects have causal powers and susceptibilities, activated or not, Power1 is ubiquitous. However, causal powers are neither everywhere equal, nor concentrated in one place. For instance, the power of a multi/transnational corporation (MNCs/TNCs) may vary over different spatial terrains, thus power may be concentrated in some locations and diffused in others; governance operates both through direct influence in a particular place in real time, and through spatially distant and unconnected causal powers activated in other places at previous points in time (e.g. discourse). As power relations produce dominant and subordinate agents, the latters’ repertoire of action ranges from resistance to active consent, which involves a greater or lesser degree of freedom and responsibility.

The significance of Sayer’s theorization of power for counter-hegemony is at least twofold. Firstly, different causal powers combined, as in collective action, may produce an ‘emergent power’, which transcends the sum total of its constituent parts and can manifest itself in a social structure.[60] Since the activation of causal powers, and therefore emergent powers, is always relational and contingent, thus potentially susceptible to the effects of counter-causal powers (Power2), structural power (the framework for action) can be contested through counter-hegemonic action in spaces constituted by the social objects across scales, as envisioned in alter-globalization’s ‘transnational civil society’ and the ALBA-PTA’s ‘transnational organized society’. To be sure, organized society is the counter-hegemonic concept antithetical to the liberal-bourgeois, elite and middle-class dominated ‘civil society’, and means mass-based organization and the collective exercise of ‘Popular Power’ through councils (communities, workers, etc.) and movements within anti- and non-capitalist social relations.[61] Transnational organized society then can be viewed as the response to the ‘neoliberal transnationalism’ of the ‘bourgeois civil society’ which, as Kees van der Pijl points out, was a strategic reaction to absorb, reverse and transcend the democratic achievements within the national terrains of the progressive leftist forces of the 1960s/70s.[62] Secondly, the issue at stake is not the existence of state power per se, but whether and how potential state power (Power1) is activated (Power2). As stated, this is contingent and relational, and always potentially susceptible to the counter effects of other causal powers. In this respect, following Poulantzas, whilst the state is not class neutral, neither is it a monolithic bloc at the exclusive service of the bourgeoisie and free from internal contradictions, as Marx’s instrumental conception of the state had suggested.[63] Since the construction of an emancipated society requires restructuring the state, rather than simply taking state power[64], a counter-hegemonic politics of state power implies struggle both in and against the state in the struggle over the form of the state.[65] As Poulantzas has argued, a democratic transition to socialism requires going beyond existing institutions by promoting a combination of ‘a transformed representative democracy’ with ‘popular movements’, ‘democratic organs at the base’ and ‘self-management networks and centres’ participating inside and outside the state apparatuses to condition and control the state itself.[66]

This is precisely the role of organized society in the state-in-revolution, to date in most detail researched in Venezuela, but evident also in other ALBA-PTA members, especially in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. The state-in-revolution may be viewed as seeking to dissolve the liberal separation of state, economy and society within the ‘protagonistic revolutionary democracy’ model that complements representative democracy with two distinct direct democratic and participatory democratic models.[67] With particular respect to Venezuela, the state-in-revolution means the geopolitical restructuring of the inherited bourgeois-colonial state towards the ‘communal state’, a system of mass-based communes as the revolutionary materialization of social power relations within the logic of a ‘new power geometry’. Here, the Bolivarian government consciously deploys Doreen Massey’s concept of ‘power-geometries’ in political practice.[68] Power geometry builds on the insight that there are unequal geographies of power—that power is exercised relationally in processes of social interaction and that space is constructed through power relations, ‘to capture both the fact that space is imbued with power and the fact that power in its turn always has a spatiality’.[69] Power-geometries thus are the product of processes of socio-political contestation that are contingent on space and time. However, precisely how power relations (e.g. domination, authority) are constituted through their spacing and timing (‘spatiality of governance’) will require concrete levels of analysis that address specific processes, with their distinctive causal powers and situated in specific spatio-temporal contexts.[70]

To Gramsci, counter-hegemony could take either of two forms, both with the objective of seizing state power: while a war of manoeuvre (frontal attack) is only viable when a system’s power is concentrated in one or a few sites (the state as represented by the palace, military etc.), a war of position is non-violent, strategic resistance when the power of the dominant group(s) is diffused to transform the power structures when state power cannot be taken. Declared collective action may include boycotts to impede the functions of the state and gradually effect changes in attitudes.[71] A war of position is grounded in the principle of dialectic in critical theory, which opens up revolutionary potential through the development of a rival structure within the hegemonic superstructure ‘by seeking out’ the counter-structure’s ‘possible bases of support and elements of cohesion’.[72] It goes without saying that resistance in the form of the construction of a counter-structure within the framework for action, and the multiple forces, dimensions and levels that compose it, can never be at once, full-scale, as if occurring in a ‘vacuum’ (which would presume a non-relational view of the world). Rather, certain forces will have to be challenged at certain points in time, which makes structural transformation not only a lengthy and gradual process, but also one that contains inevitable trade-offs and potential contradictions. This appears to be particularly true when considering the democratic construction of a socialist political economy within the existing global capitalist power structures—what the ALBA-PTA essentially stands for. Therefore, structural constraints may appear as contradictions, whilst more realistically they may, in Wendy Wolford terms, be ‘windows’ onto the complex relationship between structure and agency.[73]

From this it follows that, under globalization, attempting to form a counter-hegemonic historical bloc within national boundaries will not suffice. This has, for instance, been demonstrated through Nicaragua’s revolutionary experience of the 1980s: even if state power is taken, counter-revolution operates through inter-, trans- and supranational disciplinary arrangements, in addition to coercion, in the Nicaraguan case in the form of U.S. terrorism against the country.[74] The institutional patterns, political practices and policy processes associated with meta-governance[75] imply the active re-making not only of state apparatuses and governmental practices, but also of the institutions of civil society.[76] Therefore, in recognition of the relational approach to the state and meta-governance, revolution, as Poulantzas argued, is not a ‘straight choice’ between war of position and frontal war of movement because of the relationship of forces within the state apparatuses, national and transnational civil society and the governance regimes, which all become strategic sites of political, ideological and economic class struggle.[77] To be successful, counter-hegemony thus will have to be upscaled and involve the formation of an inter- and transnational revolutionary historical bloc of forces. In this respect, the Venezuelan strategy aims for radical reform of existing hegemonic institutions (especially the UN) and the simultaneous creation of new counter-hegemonic institutions to replace the existing institutionality. As the following, final section will illustrate, the Venezuela-driven regional and sub-regional projects, above all the ALBA-PTA, but also the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and perhaps the newly created Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), should be analysed against this backdrop. Moreover, in the transnational war of position, transnational organized society, which is becoming organized from the bottom up in the ALBA-PTA Council of Social Movements, assumes a crucial role with respect to the counter-hegemonic strategy and democratic legitimacy of the revolutionary project.

Counter-hegemony in America: the ALBA-PTA

As a ‘politics of relations’ (between social groups, local places, countries, etc.), or a ‘politics of place beyond place’, Massey legitimately associates the ALBA-PTA with the mobilization of the concept of power geometry beyond the restructuring of politics and democracy in the internal (Venezuelan, and other ALBA-PTA member states) political sphere in order to transform the geometries of power at the international, regional and global scales.[78] This counter-hegemonic power politics is anchored in Venezuela’s foreign policy agenda and legislation that obliges the government to pursue ‘Latin American and Caribbean integration’ guided by the normative imperatives of ‘solidarity’, ‘peaceful cooperation’ between ‘equal states’, ‘complementarity’ and ‘social justice’, in the form of a ‘community of nations’ with a common foreign and defence policy, for ‘regional sovereignty’, the ‘democratization of the international society’, and the construction of a ‘multi-polar’ world order to achieve an ‘international equilibrium’. Strategies include: ‘reversing the traditional concentration of power in the international organizations’ through ‘concerted action by the developing countries’; redefining the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR); and the international promotion of ‘participatory democracy’.[79]

The ALBA-PTA, which originated in resistance to the U.S.-promoted Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), revitalizes the 1970s project of a New International Economic Order (NIEO)[80]. It is an explicitly political economic and geo-strategic project between ‘states that share the same vision of the exercise of national and regional sovereignty’.[81] As the radicalization of ‘endogenous development’ as originally proposed by Osvaldo Sunkel and collaborators[82], ALBA-PTA’s development from within captures the globalist vision of the community transcending the local towards the national, regional and global.[83] Defined as an ‘Economic Zone of Shared Development’[84], the ALBA-PTA is conceived of as a needs-based social and popular economy that replaces comparative advantage with ‘cooperative advantage’ in the construction of a 21st century socialism.[85] This practice is grounded in the ALBA-PTA principles of solidarity, cooperation, complementarity, reciprocity and sustainability (Appendix: Table 1)—principles that are integral to Waterman’s conception of ‘international solidarity’, or ISCRAR: Identity, Substitution, Complementarity, Reciprocity, Affinity, and Restitution. To Waterman, complementarity ‘suggests the provision of that which is missing, and therefore an exchange of different desired qualities’; ‘Complementary Solidarity’ means that ‘what was moving in each direction could differ but be equally valued by participants in the transaction’; and reciprocity ‘suggests mutual interchange, care, protection and support. It could be taken as the definition of the new global solidarity’.[86]

Elsewhere, I have drawn on new regionalism theory and regulatory regionalism theory to illuminate the ALBA-PTA as a counter-hegemonic globalization project that operates through both inter-state (regionalist, sub-regionalist, multi- and bilateral) and transnational processes across a range of sectors and scales to integrate the entire region. The theoretical frameworks coincide in ascribing utmost relevance to the development of a regional identity, where in the ALBA-PTA the counter-hegemonic ethics of solidarity and cooperation merge with the historical-ideological in the construction of a regional community. In contrast to existing (sub-)regionalisms, in the ALBA-PTA the social dimension (welfare) has assumed a key integrationist role from the outset to balance out the geographies of uneven development across the region. Moreover, the ample reference made to an array of regional, national and local anti-colonialist/imperialist guerrilleros and liberators in ALBA-PTA discourse suggests an attempt to construct a regional, popular-revolutionary consciousness and identity—a ‘culture of resistance’ that underlies transnational organized society.[87]

Regionalism theory has further allowed us to distinguish the formal state-led ALBA-PTA regionalism, currently composed of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, and Venezuela, from transnational processes of regionalization that reach beyond the formal sub-regional territoriality (the de jure region) into the de facto region (Our America).[88] While in capitalist globalization the ‘transnational’ has been associated with forces, institutions and processes that cross borders and do not originate with state actors[89], in the ALBA-PTA both states and non-state actors operate through sets of mutually constitutive and reinforcing political, economic, cultural and social processes. As previously stated, unlike the existing neoliberal sub-regional projects (e.g. MERCOSUR; North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA), which are driven by powerful economic, governing and civil societal elites and interests—especially domestic and transnational corporations—the ALBA-PTA is constructed by the interplay of the state-in-revolution and the organized society. The significance of the transnational ALBA-PTA strategy consists of the contestation (production and reconstruction) of spaces dominated by capitalist social relations, especially in countries that are not formal members of the ALBA-PTA.

Key players in these processes are the bi-/multi-state-owned grand-national projects (GNPs), grand-national enterprises (GNEs), and grand-national institutes (GNIs). By drawing on Simón Bolivar’s vision of a ‘Grand Homeland’ [Patria Grande], they are the counter-hegemonic responses to capitalist MNCs/TNCs in the creation of regional production chains and networks, that also integrate other forms of social organization (e.g. cooperatives, community-owned enterprises, etc.), within and beyond the de jure region. In accordance with Venezuela’s endogenous development rationale, GNPs, GNEs and GNIs operate within and across the various ALBA-PTA dimensions (Appendix: Table 2) whilst aiming to transcend the national to ‘confront the global through a strengthening of the local capacities by amalgamating them’.[90]

Of greater relevance for the purposes of this paper are the two distinct pillars of the ALBA-PTA governance regime. Figure 1 (Appendix) depicts the state-in-revolution organized in the Council of Presidents as the ‘highest instance of deliberation, decision and political orientation’, three ministerial councils (political, social, economic) that elaborate policy proposals and projects, a Political Commission for political, social and economic coordination, and a number of Committees and Working Groups.

While the state organs derive their legitimacy from representative democratic mechanisms and procedures, the Council of Social Movements is the direct democratic embodiment of the transnational organized society. Defined as an ‘anti-imperialist space’ and the ‘principal mechanism for direct social integration and participation’, its overall mission is to ‘integrate the social movements of the ALBA-PTA member countries and those from non-members that identify with this effort’ and thus to ‘contribute to the development and extension of the ALBA-PTA process’.[91] Actors therefore may include ‘old’ and ‘new’ local, national, inter- and transnational popular, indigenous and other social movements of the entire region and beyond to ‘globalize the struggle’.[92] In the ALBA-PTA member states, direct democratic council structures are built (community, worker, student, etc.), and ‘national chapters’ are created that coordinate and define independently the dynamics of action and liaison with the governments. This way, local struggles are upscaled to the transnational Council of Social Movements. The functions of the Council include the presentation of proposals, projects, declarations and other initiatives to the Council of Presidents. The direct link between the two may be viewed as a mediating mechanism between the formal state-led bloc and the organized societies in the bottom-up construction of the ALBA-PTA, and for direct democratic participation in regional governance.

Outlook: the ALBA-PTA as ‘post-World Social Forum’ resistance to global capitalism

In accordance with the transformationalist approach and the repositioning of the nation-state under globalization, fundamental for re-theorising resistance to global capitalism is the recognition that hegemonic globalization is driven by capitalist state and capitalist private actors. Analogously, the counter-project, as this paper has shown, is constructed jointly by the state-in-revolution and transnational organized society. The processes and relations involved are dialectical and co-constitutive in building what may be termed a ‘transnational revolutionary class’ in an emergent ‘transnational revolutionary governance regime’. This alliance may become a very effective mechanism to exercise counter-hegemonic pressures on adversary actors simultaneously from the inter-state, inter-governmental and the transnational scales in seeking to ‘make another world possible’.

Regionalism is a political project[93], and participants in the ALBA-PTA—be they states or organized society actors—mobilize around a shared anti-imperialist geo-political vision and strategy of de-colonization. However, formal equality among the ALBA-PTA partners, established in the respective legal instruments, should not suggest that power asymmetries between members disappear. As Susan Robertson sums up with respect to regionalisms generally: ‘Political projects are advanced by those social forces with the discursive power and material capability to propose and mobilize, institutionalize and govern territorial, political and market-making claims that are able to secure new regional frontiers’.[94] And Doreen Massey adds: ‘Power will never be abolished. The aim of progressive politics is thus not to do away with power’.[95] Recognising the existence and significance of unequal and therefore undemocratic power-geometries, Massey continues, is a precondition for emancipatory political action. As has been shown, the ALBA-PTA principle of ‘reciprocity’ explicitly recognizes the power asymmetries between countries, and there is some evidence that suggests that participants are not straight-jacketed in the ALBA-PTA, such as: firstly, with respect to the common monetary zone SUCRE launched in 2010, the three smaller members Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and The Grenadines, have reserved their right to observer status with the option of joining the currency unit at a later moment[96]; secondly, the regionalization of the counter-hegemonic locale is not restricted to Venezuela, as in the case of the incorporation in the ALBA-PTA of the indigenous philosophy of Vivir Bien (Bolivia)/Buen Vivir (Ecuador) as the raison d’être of the trade regime based on solidarity, complementarity and cooperation[97]; and, thirdly, while the concept of the grand-national has been territorialized in Nicaragua via the National Human Development Plan 2008-2012, local curricular norms generated from a national consultancy in which over 17,000 Nicaraguans from within and without the education system in the entire territory participated, have been regionalized in the creation of an ALBA-PTA Education Space.[98]

The ALBA-PTA incorporates many of the key proposals brought forward by the alter-globalization movement. The initiative (a) displays key features that Sklair associates with a counter-hegemonic project: multi-dimensionality to challenge globalization in the inter-dependent realms of the political (state, inter-state fractions, TCC), economic (private profit accumulation), and culture-ideological (individualism; consumerism), with their implications for the environmental (sustainability) and the social (class polarization)[99]; it (b) expresses Jan Nederveen Pieterse’s suggestion of an ‘outward-looking localism’, a set of multi- and trans-scalar relations in which ‘local empowerment connects with efforts towards democratization and reform at wider levels of governance’[100]; the ALBA-PTA (c) also chimes with Evans’ movements-centred notion of counter-hegemonic globalization, fundamental to which is a ‘constant dialectic between strategies that speak to local roots and strategies that leverage global connections’[101], as well as (d) with Mittelman’s ‘transformative regionalism’, in which political cooperation and equity assume protagonistic roles and the state, as an ‘active agent’ of transformative integration, derives its strength from bottom-up self-organization emerging from new forms of cultural identity, through which ideas are transmitted and values universalized in the undermining of hegemony[102]; and, essentially, the ALBA-PTA (e) promises to overcome what Rose J. Spalding has identified as the weak institutionalization of transnational coalitions, as well as other financial and logistical obstacles to consistent and propositional transnational resistance[103].

It is early to hypothesize about the shape that the evolving power-geometries may take and how much real power the organized society will exercise in regional governance and decolonization. There is, for sure, the danger of co-optation of the base organizations by the ruling parties and/or political leaders, and contradictions may arise from the ‘dual pressures’ of global and international constraints and grassroots mobilization on the progressive governments[104]. What I would suggest with some certainty, however, is that the ALBA-PTA Council of Social Movements is likely to become the key mechanism of inter- and transnational counter-hegemonic organization in what may be termed ‘post-World Social Forum (WSF) resistance’. This is not to say that the WSF will or should disappear. Rather, as Eric Toussaint, president of the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM) Belgium and member of the International Council of the WSF, has stated, unless the WSF manages to transform itself from a discussion space to an instrument of strategic action and struggle, a different instrument will have to be created for that purpose.[105] While Toussaint envisages the Fifth International, as proposed by President Chávez in November 2009[106], to become a space for ‘reflection and dialogue between parties and social movements’ and ‘an instrument of convergence for action and for the creation of an alternative model’[107], the dynamics and capabilities of the ALBA-PTA rather suggest this counter-hegemonic initiative to assume that role.

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Appendix

Figure 1: ALBA-PTA Organigram[108]

Muhr-image-1.png

Table 1 ALBA-PTA Normative Principles[109]

Solidarity

The commitment to mutual support and joint efforts to achieve sustainable and integral human development, and the appropriate care of countries’ emergent needs, within the possibilities and in accordance with shared responsibilities.

Cooperation

The willingness of all Parties to deepen their human, political, commercial, economic and productive relations, oriented towards the development of joint projects and strategic alliances of mutual benefit.

Complementarity

The commitment to identify and develop joint projects that permit the integration and/or synergies of the capacities in accordance with their potentialities and interests.

Reciprocity

The obligation to establish relations based on fair compensation, taking into account the asymmetries between the Parties and the principles of equity and bona fide.

Sustainability

The commitment to identify and develop cooperation projects and programmes oriented towards achieving sustainable development, from the economic, social and environmental points of view.

Table 2 ALBA-PTA Dimensions and Institutionalization[110]

Dimension

Institutions

1

Politico-ideological

ALBA Houses. TELESUR. RADIOSUR. GNP ALBA-Cultural. GNE ALBA Cultural Fund.

2

Cultural

TELESUR. ALBA Houses. RADIOSUR. Bookshops of the South. Sports Tournaments.

3

Energy

PETROAMERICA (PETROANDINA, PETROSUR, PETROCARIBE). OPPEGASUR. GNE-Petroalba, GNE-Petrosuramerica, GNE-Energy.

4

Industry & Trade

Mixed Enterprises. GNE Aluminium. GNE Iron & Steel. GNE ALBATEL. GNE Export & Import (ALBAEXIM). Recuperated Factories.

5

Financial

ALBA Bank. SUCRE Common Monetary Unit (Unitary System of Regional Payment Compensation): Regional SUCRE Monetary Council; Central Chamber of Payment Compensation; Reserves and Trade Convergence Fund.

6

Military

Permanent Committee for Sovereignty and Defence.

7

Education & Knowledge

GNP ALBA-Education. GNP Literacy and Post-Literacy. GNI Geology, Mining and Metallurgy. UNIALBA and other HE institutions.

8

Environmental

Mission Energy Revolution International. GNE ALBA-Timber. Environment GNPs.

9

Social-Humanitarian

Health, food, and housing missions (e.g. Operación Milagro). GNE ALBA-Foods. GNE-Soya. GNE ALBA-Med. GNP ALBA-Health. PETROAMERICA (social and humanitarian funds, e.g. ALBA Caribe Fund).

10

Legal

An international juridical and regulatory framework (GNE jurisdiction, SUCRE, recognition of diplomas and titles, democratic norms).

[1]. Walter D. Mignolo, The Idea of Latin America, Oxford, Blackwell, 2005; José Martí, ‘Nuestra América’, 1891, in Pensamiento Bolivariano. Origen, Desarrollo, Vigencia, Bogotá, Ediciones Desde Abajo, 2005, pp. 83-93.

[2]. See: Alex Callinicos, Imperialism and Global Political Economy, Cambridge, Polity, 2009; David Harvey, The New Imperialism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003; Cox, Robert W., ‘Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, 1981, pp. 126-55; Leo Panitch, ‘The New Imperial State’, New Left Review, vol 2, Mar/Apr 2000, pp. 5-20; Richard Peet, Geography of Power: Making Global Economic Policy, London, Zed Books, 2007, pp. 184-86.

[3]. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, London, Lawrence & Wishart, 1971, pp. 12, 57-8.

[4]. Fiori cited in Michael Carnoy, The State and Political Theory, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1984, p. 68.

[5]. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, ‘Interview with Boaventura de Sousa Santos’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 2, no. 2, 2004, pp. 147-60.

[6]. Louise Amoore, Richard Dodgson, Barry Gills, Paul Langley, Don Marshall, Iain Watson, ‘Overturning “Globalization”: Resisting Teleology, Reclaiming Politics’, in Barry K. Gills (ed.), Globalization and the Politics of Resistance, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2000, pp. 12-28.

[7]. Susan George, ‘A Short History of Neoliberalism’, in Walden Bello, Nicola Bullard, Kamal Malhotra (eds.), Global Finance, London, Zed Books, 2000, pp. 27-35.

[8]. James H. Mittelman, Whither Globalization? The Vortex of Knowledge and Ideology, London, Routledge, 2004, pp. 16-17.

[9]. Barry K. Gills, ‘Introduction’, in Gills, Globalization, pp. 3-11. David Held and Anthony McGrew, Globalization/Anti-globalization, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2002, p. 113.

[10]. John Holloway, Change the World without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today, London, Pluto, 2002.

[11]. The ALBA-PTA was formalized between Cuba and Venezuela via the 2004 ALBA Integration Agreement, followed by the 2005 Implementation Accord. With Bolivia joining in 2006, President Morales’ proposal of Peoples’ Trade Agreements (PTAs), defined as a ‘fair trade’ alternative to the US-promoted bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), was integrated. ‘ALBA-PTA’ has become officially used especially since the 7th ALBA-PTA Summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 17 October 2009, when the Fundamental Principles of the Peoples’ Trade Agreements—PTA were presented. See: ALBA-PTA, Declaración de la VII Cumbre del ALBA-TCP, Cochabamba, 17 October 2009; ALBA-PTA, Principios fundamentales del Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos—TCP, 17 October 2009. A selection of landmark integration documents is available at http://www.alba-tcp.org./content/declaraciones-y-resoluciones-cumbres.

[12]. Stahler-Sholk, Richard, ‘Revolution’, in Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 20, New York, Elsevier, 2001, pp. 13299-302.

[13]. Thomas W. Walker, (ed.), Nicaragua. The First Five Years, New York, Praeger, 1985, p. 27.

[14]. The notion of ‘scale’ is used to exemplify how political and economic actors organize, construct, and mobilize their activities and political projects around a political geographic scale of governance, such as the local, national, regional, global. Neil Smith, ‘Scale’, in Ron J. Johnston, Derek Gregory, Geraldine Pratt, Michael Watts (eds), The Dictionary of Human Geography, Oxford, Blackwell, 2000, pp. 724-27.

[15]. Held, David, McGrew, Anthony, Goldblatt, David, Perraton, Jonathan, Global Transformations. Politics, Economics and Culture, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 1999.

[16]. Bob Jessop, State Power, Cambridge, Polity, 2008, 137.

[17]. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989; David Harvey, Spaces of Hope, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2000; Cerny, Philip G., ‘Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective Action’, International Organization, vol. 49, no. 4, 1995, pp. 595-625; Manuel Castells, 2000, The Rise of the Network Society, 2nd ed., Oxford, Blackwell; Mittelman, Whither Globalization?.

[18]. Held et al, Global Transformations, p. 8.

[19]. Castells, Manuel, End of Millennium, 2nd ed., Oxford, Blackwell, 2000, p. 161. In much of the contemporary literature, ‘global South’ is used in a merely inter-state-system sense, i.e. for irretrievably impoverished and completely de-/non-industrialized countries in the ‘developing world’, rather than in the globalist geographical sense as here.

[20]. David Harvey, Limits to Capital, London, Verso, 2006, p. xi.

[21]. Nicos Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, new edition with an introduction by Stuart Hall, London, Verso, 2000, p. 147.

[22]. For this paragraph see: Harvey, The New Imperialism; David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005. For a critical discussion of Harvey’s accumulation by dispossession, see the Symposium on David Harvey’s The New Imperialism, Historical Materialism, vol. 14, no. 4, 2006.

[23]. Held and McGrew, Globalization/Anti-globalization, p. 59.

[24]. Cox, ‘Social Forces’; Leslie Sklair The Transnational Capitalist Class, Oxford, Blackwell, 2001; Kees van der Pijl, ‘Holding the Middle Ground in the Transnationalization Process’, in James Anderson (ed), Transnational Democracy, London: Routledge, 2002, pp. 170-94; William I. Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, London, John Hopkins University Press, 2004; Boaventura de Sousa Santos ‘The Processes of Globalisation’, Eurozine, 2002, http://www.eurozine.com/authors/Santos.html; Stephen Gill, Power and Resistance in the New World Order, 2nd ed., New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 93-94; Jessop, State Power, p. 216.

[25]. Gill, Power and Resistance, pp. 60, 93, 126.

[26]. Cox, ‘Social Forces’, p. 135.

[27]. Warwick E. Murray, Geographies of Globalization, London, Routledge, 2006, pp. 205-215.

[28]. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh, Development Redefined. How the Market Met its Match, London, Paradigm, 2009, pp. 91, 99.

[29]. John Williamson, ‘Democracy and the “Washington consensus”’, World Development, vol. 21, no. 8, 1993, pp. 1329-36.

[30]. For details and sources see Thomas Muhr, Venezuela: Global Counter-Hegemony, Geographies of Regional Development, and Higher Education For All, unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Bristol, 2008, pp. 71-77, at: http://www.bris.ac.uk/education/research/centres/ges/post-doc-fellows/thomas-muhr/006.pdf.

[31]. Andrew Jones, Dictionary of Globalization, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2006.

[32]. Jones, Dictionary of Globalization; Peter Evans, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Globalization: Transnational Social Movements in the Contemporary Global Political Economy’, in J. Timmons Roberts and Amy Bellone Hite (eds.), The Globalization and Development Reader, Oxford, Blackwell, 2007, pp. 420-41.

[33]. Mittelman, Whither Globalization?; Broad and Cavanagh, Development Redefined.

[34]. Richard Falk, ‘Resisting ‘Globalization-from-Above’ through ‘Globalization-from-Below’, in Gills Globalization, pp. 46-56; Murray, Geographies of Globalization, p. 216.

[35]. Held et al, Global Transformations, p. 9.

[36]. Leslie Sklair, Globalization: Capitalism and its Alternatives, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 272.

[37]. Peter Waterman, Globalization, Social Movements and the New Internationalisms, London, Continuum, 2001.

[38]. Sklair, Globalization.

[39]. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, Toward a New Legal Common Sense, London, Butterworths, 2002.

[40]. Sassen, Saskia, ‘Global Cities and Diasporic Networks: Microsites in Global Civil Society’, in Marlies Glasius, Mary Kaldor, Helmut Anheier (eds.), Global Civil Society 2002, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.

[41]. Evans, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Globalization’, pp. 420-21.

[42]. For example: Cox, Robert W., ‘Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium: Prospects for an Alternative World Order’, Review of International Studies, No. 25, 1999, pp. 3-28; Alejandro Colás, International Civil Society, London, Polity, 2002; Avritzer, Leonardo, and Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, ‘Towards Widening the Democratic Canon’, Eurozine, 2003, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2003-11-03-santos-en.html; Robinson, William I., ‘Transformative Possibilities in Latin America’, in Leo Panitch and Colin Leys (eds.), Socialist Register 2008: Global Flashpoints: Reactions to Imperialism and Neoliberalism, London, Merlin Press, 2008.

[43]. Held et al, Global Transformations, p. 5.

[44]. See Cox, ‘Social Forces’, p. 134; Gill, Power and Resistance, p. 29, note 4.

[45]. Carnoy, The State, pp. 72-3; Gramsci, Selections, p. 239; Chantal Mouffe, ‘Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci’, in Chantal Mouffe (ed.), Gramsci and Marxist Theory, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979, p. 201; Joachim Hirsch, ‘The Democratic Potential of Non-Governmental Organisations’, in Anderson, Transnational Democracy, pp. 195-214.

[46]. For instance, Gibson-Graham, J.K., ‘Surplus Possibilities: Postdevelopment and Community Economies’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, vol. 26, no. 1, 2005, pp. 4-26; Sklair, Globalization, p. 285.

[47]. Ana C. Dinerstein, ‘A Call for Emancipatory Reflection: Introduction to the Forum’, in Ana C. Dinerstein, ‘Forum on John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power’, Capital & Class, No. 85, 2005, pp. 13-17.

[48]. See Dinerstein, ‘Forum’, pp. 13-42.

[49]. Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, p. 38-9.

[50]. Sklair, The Transnational Capitalist Class.

[51]. Harvey, The New Imperialism, pp. 145, 167, 183.

[52]. Robinson, William I., Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996.

[53]. Boaventura de Sousa Santos, ‘Beyond Neoliberal Governance: The World Social Forum as Subaltern Cosmopolitan Politics and Legality’, in César A. Rodríguez-Garavito and Boaventura de Sousa Santos (eds.), Law and Globalization from Below. Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005a, pp. 29-63; Evans, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Globalization’.

[54]. Mittelman, Whither Globalization?, pp. 9, 17-18, 89, 97.

[55]. For instance, Falk, ‘Resisting ‘Globalization-from-Above’; Evans, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Globalization’.

[56]. Hirsch, ‘The Democratic Potential of Non-Governmental Organisations’.

[57]. For instance, Mittelman, Whither Globalization?, pp. 77-79.

[58]. Andrew Sayer, ‘Seeking the Geographies of Power’, Economy and Society, vol. 33, no. 2, 2004, pp. 255-70.

[59]. Sayer, ‘Seeking’, p. 262.

[60]. Sayer, ‘Seeking’, p. 266.

[61]. ‘Popular Power’ is a Venezuelan concept, termed ‘citizen power’ in other ALBA-PTA member states (Nicaragua, Ecuador). It is an expansion of the territorial distribution of power (in addition to Municipal, Federal State, and National Power) in the construction of a direct democratic governance structure. See Muhr, Thomas, ‘Venezuela’s ‘revolutionary democracy’: local organization and the construction of a participatory regional governance structure’, paper delivered at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference, Bristol, UK, 1 April 2010. Available from author. Also see Hugo R. Chávez Frías (2008) El Poder Popular, p. 67, at http://www.minci.gob.ve/libros_folletos/6/439941/?desc=poder_popularweb.pdf. The Venezuelan government has defined organized society as ‘constituted by community councils, councils of workers, peasants, fisher(wo)men, communes, and any other base organization of Popular Power duly registered in the Ministry of Popular Power with competence in the matter of citizen participation’, RBV (2010) ‘Ley Orgánica del Consejo Federal de Gobierno’, Gaceta Oficial de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, no. 5.963 Extraordinario, 22 February 2010; RBV (2010) ‘Reglamento de la Ley Orgánica del Consejo Federal de Gobierno’, Gaceta Oficial de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, no. 39.382, 9 March 2010.

[62]. van der Pijl, ‘Holding the Middle Ground’.

[63]. Poulantzas viewed the capitalist state as the ‘material condensation’ of the relations of class forces. The state’s institutional materiality is grounded in the relations of production and the social division of labour, and the ‘bourgeois-dominated state’ is ‘the result and place of class struggle’. Thus viewed, the state is a dynamic ‘institutional ensemble rather than a unitary political subject’, a ‘strategic site traversed by class struggles’, where state power (political class domination) is inscribed in the state’s very materiality, its ‘institutional matrix’, which includes all the institutions of hegemony, including the legally private/civil societal ones: judiciary, army, police, administration, political parties, church, etc. Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, pp. 14, 36, 128-35; Jessop, State Power, pp. 120-25, italics in original.

[64]. Bonnet, Alberto R., ‘Hopeful voyage; uncertain of arrival?’, in Dinerstein, ‘Forum’, pp. 25-6.

[65]. Mathers, Andrew, and Taylor, Graham, ‘Contemporary struggle in Europe: ‘Anti-power’ or counter-power?, in Dinerstein, ‘Forum’, pp. 27-30.

[66]. Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, pp. 256-62.

[67]. Muhr, ‘Venezuela’s ‘revolutionary democracy’’.

[68]. Massey, Doreen, ‘Concepts of Space and Power in Theory and in Political Practice’, Doc. Anàl. Geogr. [Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica], 55, 2009, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, http://ddd.uab.cat/pub/dag/02121573n55p15.pdf.

[69]. Massey, ‘Concepts’, p. 19.

[70]. See: Sayer, ‘Seeking’, pp. 267-68. Chin, Christine B., and Mittelman, James H., ‘Conceptualizing Resistance to Globalization’, in Gills, Globalization, pp. 29-45.

[71]. Gramsci, Selections, pp. 229-39; Carnoy, The State, pp. 80-85.

[72]. Cox, ‘Social Forces’, p. 144.

[73]. Wendy Wolford, ‘From Confusion to Common Sense: Using Political Ethnography to Understand Social Mobilization in the Brazilian Northeast’, in Lauren Joseph, Matthew Mahler, Javier Auyero (eds.), New Perspectives in Political Ethnography, New York, Springer, 2007, pp. 14-36.

[74]. International Court of Justice, ‘Nicaragua Case (Merits). Nicaragua vs. United States’, in David J. Harris (ed.), Cases and Materials on International Law, 5th ed., London, Sweet and Maxwell, 1998, pp. 866-88.

[75]. Through meta-governance, regional and global capitalist institutions aim ‘‘to re-orient state agency’’ in pursuit of a politics of global competitiveness in a wide range of (social) policy areas. However, as previously stated, the institutions of global governance do not operate in isolation from states (i.e. ‘above’ states), but through the agency of the states, and the two cannot simply be counter-posed. Cammack, Paul, ‘Competitiveness and Convergence: the Open Method of Co-ordination in Latin America’, Papers in the Politics of Global Competitiveness, No. 7, March 2007, http://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/e-space/handle/2173/11064; also see Jessop, State Power, pp. 218-24.

[76]. Gill, Power and Resistance, pp. 47, 51.

[77]. Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, pp. 254, 258.

[78]. Massey, ‘Concepts’, p. 25, emphases original.

[79]. RBV [República Bolivariana de Venezuela], Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Caracas, 2000, Preamble, Articles 152-55; RBV, Líneas Generales del Plan de Desarrollo Económico y Social de la Nación 2001-2007, Caracas, 2001, pp. 155-62; RBV, Líneas Generales del Plan de Desarrollo Económico y Social de la Nación 2007-2013, Caracas, 2007.

[80]. On the NIEO, see Cox, Robert W., ‘Ideologies and the New International Economic Order: Reflections on Some Recent Literature’, International Organization, vol. 33, no. 2, 1979, pp. 257-302.

[81]. ALBA, Conceptualización de Proyecto y Empresa Grannacional en el Marco del ALBA, Caracas, 26 January 2008.

[82]. Osvaldo Sunkel (ed.), Development from Within, London, Lynne Rienner, 1993.

[83]. MINCI [Ministerio de Comunicación e Información], Desarrollo Endógeno. Desde Adentro, Desde la Venezuela Profunda, 2nd ed., Caracas, MINCI, 2008.

[84]. ALBA, I Consejo Ministerial de Complementación Económico ALBA-TCP, Caracas, 3 August 2009; ALBA-PTA, Estructura y Funcionamiento ALBA-TCP, La Habana, 14 December 2009.

[85]. MICE/BANCOEX, Qué es el ALBA?, Caracas, MRE, n.d.

[86]. Peter Waterman, ‘Social Movements, Local Places and Globalized Spaces: Implications for ‘Globalization from Below’, in Gills, Globalization, pp. 135-49, emphasis in original. For the application of these principles in ALBA-PTA trade relations, see Muhr, Thomas, ‘Nicaragua: Constructing the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)’, in U. Schuerkens (ed.), Globalization and Social Inequality, New York, Routledge, 2010, pp. 115-34.

[87]. These arguments are developed in more detail in: Muhr, Thomas, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Regionalism and Higher Education For All: Venezuela and the ALBA’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, no. 1, 2010, pp. 39-57, and Muhr, ‘Venezuela’s “revolutionary democracy”’.

[88]. cf. Higgott, Richard, ‘De facto and de jure regionalism: The double discourse of regionalism in the Asia Pacific’, Global Society, 11, no. 2, 1997, pp. 165-183.

[89]. Sklair, The Transnational Capitalist Class, p. 2.

[90]. ALBA, Conceptualización de Proyecto y Empresa Grannacional.

[91]. ALBA-PTA, Estructura y Funcionamiento.

[92]. ALBA-PTA, Manifesto General de la Primera Cumbre de Consejos de Movimientos Sociales del ALBA-TCP, 16 October 2009.

[93]. Jayasuriya, Kanishka, ‘Embedded Mercantilism and Open Regionalism: the Crisis of a Regional Political Project’, Third World Quarterly, 24, no. 2, 2003, pp. 339-55.

[94]. Robertson, Susan L., ‘The EU, ‘Regulatory State Regionalism’ and New Modes of Higher Education Governance’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, no. 1, 2010, pp. 23-37.

[95]. Massey, ‘Concepts’, p. 19.

[96]. ALBA-PTA, Tratado Constitutivo del Sistema Unitario de Compensación Regional de Pagos (SUCRE), Cochabamba, 16 October 2009.

[97]. ALBA-PTA, Declaración de la VII Cumbre.

[98]. Muhr, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Regionalism’.

[99]. Sklair, Globalization, pp. 277-78.

[100]. Nederveen Pieterse, Jan, ‘Globalization and Emancipation: From Local Empowerment to Global Reform’, in Barry K. Gills (ed.), Globalization and the Politics of Resistance, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2000, pp. 189-206.

[101]. Evans, ‘Counter-Hegemonic Globalization’, p. 422.

[102]. Mittelman, James H., ‘Rethinking the ‘New Regionalism’ in the Context of Globalization’, in Björn Hettne, András Inotai, Osvaldo Sunkel (eds.), Globalism and the New Regionalism, London, Macmillan, 1999, pp. 25-53.

[103]. Spalding, Rose J., ‘Neoliberal Regionalism and Resistance in Mesoamerica’, in Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden, and Glen David Kuecker (eds.) Latin American Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, pp. 323-336.

[104]. Stahler-Sholk, Richard, Vanden, Harry E., Kuecker, Glen D., ‘Introduction. Globalizing Resistance: The New Politics of Social Movements in Latin America’, Latin American Perspectives, vol. 34, no. 2, 2007, pp. 5-16.

[105]. ‘Beyond the World Social Forum… the Fifth International’, http://www.cadtm.org/Beyond-the-World-Social-Forum-the, accessed 28 March 2010.

[106]. ‘Presidente Chávez propone crear la Quinta Internacional Socialista’, Aporrea, 21 November 2009, http://www.aporrea.org/ideologia/n145832.html.

[107]. ‘Beyond the World Social Forum’

[108]. Based on: ALBA-PTA, Estructura y Funcionamiento; ALBA-PTA, Declaración de la VII Cumbre; ALBA-PTA, Declaración Final, on the Occasion of the 5th Anniversary of Signing the Joint Declaration of 14 December 2004, La Habana, 14 December 2009.

[109]. Synthesized from: MICE [Ministerio de Comercio Exterior], Memoria y Cuenta, Caracas, 2006, p. 32; MICE/BANCOEX, Qué es el ALBA?; ALBA, Memorando de Entendimiento entre la Corporación Venezolana de Guayana y Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Caracas, 14 February 2005; ALBA, Carta de Intención entre el Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela y el Gobierno de la República de Nicaragua, Managua, 11 January 2007; ALBA, Carta de Intención entre el Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela y el Gobierno de la República del Ecuador para el Financiamiento de Planes y Proyectos para el Desarrollo, Ciudad de Puyo, Ecuador, 28 October 2008; ALBA, Memorandum de Entendimiento para la Implementación de un Mécanismo Bilateral de Compensación de Pagos entre la República Bolivariana de Venezuela y la República del Ecuador, Quito, 23 May 2009.

[110]. Based on critical discourse analysis of approximately 400 ALBA-PTA related cooperation and integration documents. The listed institutions are exemplary rather than exhaustive. In previous publications, this table incorporated the institutionality of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) (the Bank of the South and the South American Security Council). According to my analysis (especially of PETROAMERICA) at the time, the ALBA-PTA and UNASUR emerged as overlapping and co-constitutive processes, see Muhr, Venezuela, Chapter 6. More recently, however, the increased institutionalization of the ALBA-PTA clearly shows that the two are rather distinct projects.