|Picture Credit: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Traditionally politics has been undertaken within national political systems. National governments have been ultimately responsible for maintaining the security and economic welfare of their citizens, as well as the protection of human rights and the environment within their borders. With global ecological changes, an ever more integrated global economy, and other global trends, political activity increasingly takes place at the global level.
Under globalization, politics can take place above the state through political integration schemes such as the European Union and through intergovernmental organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. Political activity can also transcend national borders through global movements and NGOs. Civil society organizations act globaly by forming alliances with organizations in other countries, using global communications systems, and lobbying international organizations and other actors directly, instead of working through their national governments.
These articles discuss the theory, function, and creation of global politics and political movements. The page pays special attention to political tools and methods.
The European Union stands out as the world's most ambitious attempt to integrate sovereign states into a united political body, but other regions are also experimenting with political integration. As the EU evolved from a free trade zone into a political union, member states have moved up parts of the decision making process to a supra-national level, eroding national sovereignty. This page looks at the phenomenon of political integration and its implications on national sovereignty.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization wield tremendous power and influence, but exclude the voices of developing countries most adversely affected by financial and trade policies. Money rules at the World Bank and the IMF, and "consensus" at the WTO is often the product of behind-the-scenes "greenroom" bargaining and pressure from trade heavyweights such as the United States.
Massive citizen protests and alternative summits accompany most gatherings of the G-8, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Universities, NGOs, trade unions, faith-based and peace groups come together to oppose business-driven globalization, war and undemocratic decision making, advocating for global peace, economic and social justice. New international institutions such as the World Social Forum are a step towards global justice and sustainability. Also look at GPF's pages on the World Social Forum
and the World Economic Forum