ABSTRACT

Associated with the globalization-is-inevitable thesis, that economic expansion is the perception that macroeconomic policy has been taken out of the politics of nation-states. In this chapter, the author shows how the rhetoric of community is providing the political vocabulary in the search for a new consensus; one that might address the two main political concerns associated with these new economic conditions - increased inequality and political disillusionment. Economic divisions are deepening as the opportunities opened up through increased flexibility benefit some at the expense of others. Political disillusionment, in the form of backlash against globalization, is becoming more widespread as the perception grows that individual nation-states no longer appear in control of macroeconomic decisions. Governments of individual nation-states appear impotent in the face of growing inequality, but they are still responsible for governance - for maintaining social order in the face of this deepening inequality. Community discourses are providing a language to address this dilemma, redefining inequality as social exclusion.