chapter  9
Globalization, Participation and Empowerment
Pages 37

How do individuals, organizations and social movements gain influence over their immediate living and working environments or places within the global economy and in what circumstances do those in power allow and indeed encourage decentralization of decision making and greater involvement? This chapter addresses these questions by examining how people have tried to influence the trajectory of development through social movements within nation states, regions and localities and as individuals through different kinds of association such as NGOs or protest movements. This differentiated analysis of how people influence and respond to processes affecting their environments illustrates that human beings are active agents who are capable of shaping developments, something that can be overlooked if globalization is understood as some kind of inalienable process. Some movements are more successful than others but the ways in which all individuals and groups exert and sometimes secure their demands are rarely harmonious.