chapter  36
11 Pages

The Alternative Globalization Movement, Social Justice, and Education

ByJENNIFER CHAN

There is the belief that the economy is untouchable because of the rule of the market, globalisation, the decline of nation states, etc. It is principally this which has led them to this consensus politics. The most important task for the left today is to fi nd alternatives to neoliberalism. (Interview with Chantal Mouffe in Castle, “Hearts, Minds, and Radical Democracy,” 1998)

It would not be an exaggeration to assert that much of the energy of the Left in the past decade has been spent on searching for alternatives against the existing global capitalist order. Inherited from the postwar international economic policy framework centered on the “unholy trinity” (Peet, 2003)—the International Monetary Fund avoiding balance of payment problems, the World Bank promoting economic development through international lending, and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs facilitating international trade through tariff reduction-the current model of corporate capitalism has been critiqued by many as undemocratic in its representation, inhuman in ignoring basic freedoms, and inequitable (Bello, 2002; Mertes, 2004; Yuen et al., 2004). A global resistance movement has emerged to demand not only redistributive justice, but also “a seat at the table” to reform the existing global governance structure. Although education is at the very center of the formation and expansion of this movement, it has received little theoretical and empirical attention.