Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Suzanne Hindmarch (University of New Brunswick)
The Global Portemanteau: Why Globalization Should Be Analyzed as an Inherently Multidisciplinary Concept: Julie-Pier Nadeau (Université du Québec à Montréal) Abstract: Current issues like the migration crisis, climate change, trade and terrorism prove that globalization is still at the forefront of political debates and influence multiple aspects of international politics and our everyday lives. Although most researchers have a conceptualization of what globalization is and what its main effects are, few have been able to pinpoint and well define this key notion. Indeed, globalization is a multifaceted, evolving concept often used as a catch-all term to explain every issue that has a global scope but seldom analyzed as an independent phenomenon. Additionally, not only does each discipline has its own definition and chronology of globalization, but it often even changes between authors from the same field.
This paper compares how three disciplines – politics, economy and history – conceive globalization and which global issues they each focus on. We will also look at how their respective conceptualization influences the debates within each discipline. Following a problem-driven approach, this paper aims to demonstrate how a discipline’s conceptualization of globalization will influence how a researcher will look at a certain issue, and therefore reaffirm the necessity to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to global politics and global issues.
Private Governance and Public Policy in Global Governance: The Resurgence of States?: Burkard Eberlein (York University), Jose Carlos Marques (University of Ottawa) Abstract: The past two decades have seen a proliferation of non-state regulatory initiatives and organizations to govern business conduct in global production (Abbott & Snidal, 2009; Bartley, 2007; Vogel, 2010). While earlier scholarship looked to these non-state arrangements to fill governance gaps left by governments perceived as absent or failing (Cashore et al., 2004; Scherer & Palazzo, 2011), there is a consensus in the literature that public policy remains central to the success of private governance arrangements (Locke, 2013; Toffel et al., 2015).
However, the extant literature has tended to adopt a problem-solving, “collaboration narrative” (Coen & Pegram, 2015, p. 418) or a functional, “market-based” approach examining the demand and supply of private governance. Such a lens neglects the political interests and strategies of the parties involved, as well as political conflicts that often result.
This paper adopts a perspective of political contestation to investigate how states, particularly in the Global South, have responded to transnational private governance initiatives: adopt, support, or counter-act, i.e. reasserting control over Northern sustainability standards that may hamper their domestic industries (Giessen et al., 2016; Schleifer, 2015). The paper argues that government policies follow a political logic that reflects the influence of domestic industry and other organized interests. It draws on industry case studies (e.g. sustainable palm oil) from the Global South (e.g. Brazil, India, Indonesia) to illustrate the political dynamics of ‘state resurgence’, and to assess the relative weight of political interests and conflict versus state capacity or the country’s position in global value chains.