Globalization and Alterglobalization: Global Dialectics and New Contours of Political Analysis?

Dominique Caouette


In the shadow of the nation-state, transnational dynamics and contacts operating from a non-national logic have been always present and are even increasingly so. Nation-state has never completely controlled all kinds of crossborder transactions, whether it be those directed by large international conglomerates, migrants, and refugee flows, or even the variety of illegal activities of transnational criminal organizations, be it pirating, maritime or other, be it slave trade, organ trafficking or even the lucrative drug trade, and others. Today, one cannot work from a single level of abstraction that revolves around nation-states and the “national.” Such focus would miss on a wide range of power relations above and beyond states that involve crossborder dynamics. The range of transnational interactions associated with the process of globalization and alterglobalization constitute genuine and important challenge to our understanding of global politics. In this article, I argue, that political analysts need to engage in multiscalar analysis (meaning the coexistence and co-constitution of various spaces—local, national, regional, and global) and that they must also recognize that it is heuristically fruitful to apprehend global processes in a dialectical fashion. In short, to grasp the enigma of globalization and of its antithesis alterglobalization requires exploring innovative conceptual and methodological approaches.


globalization; alterglobalizations; multiscalar analysis; identity; transnationalism

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