GLOBALIZATION, RELIGION AND CULTURE:
BEYOND CONFLICT, BEYOND SOVEREIGNTY
If states cannot solve pressing global problems alone, who can? Can Italian and Italian-American institutions, such as the Roman Catholic church in the United States, play a constructive role in helping to address global problems? Greater attention to the role and resources of adaptive religious and cultural institutions may help to create effective public-private partnerships for managing global problems. In ad hoc attempts to manage global problems and bridge globalization’s gaps, however, alternative ideas of authority and identity may evolve which over time challenge and change Westphalian sovereign norms. The state is not going away, but it is increasingly contracting out. As states downsize and decentralize in response to the pressures of globalization, and as states innovate in response to global problems, nonstate actors such as religious and cultural organizations perform functions previously performed by states and promote ideas with unintended consequences for sovereignty. Italian culture, as an ancient global culture, and the Italian-American experience, as an adaptive immigrant population reconciling old world and new world values, bring important contributions to bridging the gaps in globalization.
“Globalization Demands a New Culture, New Rules, and New Institutions at the World Level.” Pope John Paul II, May 1, 2000.
Italy, the Roman Catholic bishops of Sicily and a movement of civil society took
a courageous stand against corruption and the activities of international
organized crime, with great effect. They
are intent on curbing crime and corruption and creating a “Culture of
Lawfulness,” in Italy and beyond.[i]
“In recent decades, the movement has mobilized all levels of society
simultaneously and has attempted to reeducate citizens at the local level on the
need for alternatives to the mafia. The primary objective of nearly all the
antimafia associations is to educate children to know and respect the law and to
prevent them from acquiring a 'mafia mentality' of distrust and antagonism
towards public institutions which may lead to a life of crime."[ii]
Such programs were introduced in the early 1980s by the first anti-mafia groups
but obtained additional impetus in the early 1990s in response to the Anti-Mafia
Commission and the pressures of the mass anti-mafia organizations of civil
society. Libera, the umbrella of 800 nation-wide anti-mafia organizations works
with urban communities, the school and the church to implement anti-mafia
The Sicilian bishops travel
regularly, advising religious and civil society leaders in Georgia, Mexico, and
elsewhere in ways that religious organizations and civil society can mobilize to
create a “Culture of Lawfulness” to curb international organized crime and
the United States, the Roman Catholic church mobilized with civil society
organizations in the Jubilee Justice/ Drop the Debt campaign for international
debt relief. Their efforts were
pivotal in changing the U.S. government and international financial
institutions’ policies toward debt relief for the world’s poorest.
The U.S. government gave $434 million to the international financial
institutions for debt relief toward highly indebted poor countries (HIPC), and
credited Jubilee USA/ Drop the Debt for the policy switch. The IFIs initially forgave $34 billion in debt to 22
countries, and have pledged to raise that to $70 billion over time.[v]
cultural and religious organizations are considered at all in the study of
International Relations, they are generally viewed as a source of conflict,
parties to ethnic and nationalist conflict, violent partisans of tradition and
local particularity, opposed to globalization, change and modernity (Jihad vs.
McWorld, the Clash of Civlizations).[vi]
While theologians have considered the intersection of religion and
globalization,[vii] too few political scientists have examined the
nexus. Samuel Huntington predicts an inevitable clash of civilizations, of the
West vs. the rest. This view has
gained greater credibility since September 11th.
But this view does not explain the previous examples, in which Italian
and Italian-American religious and cultural institutions play constructive roles
in managing global problems.
are religious and cultural organizations imagined to play only a reactionary
role? Some religious and cultural
groups feel threatened by globalization, and thus retrench to a more reactive,
and sometimes violent fundamentalism as a way to preserve their culture, which
they perceive as under siege.[viii] Other
religious and cultural groups are able to adapt to globalization and modernity,
and may play constructive roles in taming globalization, addressing global
problems, and bridging globalization’s institutional gaps.
states cannot solve pressing global problems alone, who can?
Can Italian and Italian-American institutions, such as the Roman Catholic
church in the United States, play a constructive role in helping to address
global problems? Greater attention to the role and resources of adaptive
religious and cultural institutions may help to create effective public-private
partnerships for managing global problems.
In ad hoc attempts to manage global problems and bridge globalization’s
gaps, however, alternative ideas of authority and identity may evolve which over
time challenge and change Westphalian sovereign norms.
is the fast, interdependent spread of open society, open economy, and open
From the first movements of migratory peoples across the continents, to
colonization and the establishment of global trade routes, globalization is not
new. But the
speed, reach, intensity,[x]
cost, and impact of the current period of globalization are new. Colonization
and evangelization took decades during earlier periods of globalization.
Today people and products cross borders in hours; ideas and capital move
around the globe at the touch of a keystroke.
terrorism to human smuggling to international crime to environmental
degradation, globalization creates or exacerbates a host of problems which cross
state borders, and which even the most powerful states cannot solve
unilaterally. There are a number of
reasons for this.
by design, state power has not grown as rapidly as private sector power in the
modern period of globalization. Open
economies, open societies, and open technologies have increased the power,
reach, and resources of the private sector (both licit and illicit), while
constraining the size and reach of the public sector. Market liberalization, the spread of capitalism, and economic
privatization has expanded the resources and autonomy of the private sector,
while state control over markets has receded (as evidenced by the Asian economic
flu, for example). For the first time in history a majority of states are
democracies. As democratization
spreads globally, the power of civil society and the private sector grow, while
state power is placed under democratic constraints. The spread of cheap and readily available information
technologies also facilitate the growth of the private sector (both licit and
illicit). Public sector
organizations often lag behind the private sector in adoption and effective use
of information technologies. Also,
the governments of a host of failed or failing, weak or quasi states do not have
the ability to maintain law and order, to project public sector control over
their legally delimited sovereign territories.
These weak states are sovereign by international law, de jure, but in
practice lack capacity to effectively govern their territories.
Failing states or states in transition from authoritarian to liberal
forms experience declining state capacity.
But even in strong states, the size of the public sector has been trimmed
in recent decades, or has not grown as much as the private sector.
globalization creates a host of institutional gaps, as global problems move
faster than the state’s or multilateral institutions’ abilities to manage
these problems. Global economic and
technological change is fast, while government, legal, and intergovernmental
responses are slow. This creates
institutional gaps between the problems of globalization and attempts to manage
these problems. The problems
move faster than institutional responses, so governments cannot manage these
problems alone. For example,
terrorists and tourists alike use the same global infrastructure.
While the terrorist attacks of September
11th took an hour to conduct and news of the attacks spread
instantly, even the strongest state in the world, the U.S. government, cannot
combat the problem of global terrorism alone or instantly.
Prior to September 11 U.S. governmental institutions were poorly equipped
to respond to the problems of global terrorism.[xi]
Even the strongest state in the system faces institutional gaps.
There are several types of institutional gaps:
capacity gaps, jurisdiction gaps, participation gaps, legitimacy gaps,
and ethical gaps.
nonstate actors are on the rise. The
number, resources, reach, personnel, functions, and networks of multinational
corporations and nongovernmental organizations are increasing exponentially.
MNCs and NGOs have increasing standing, representation, and functions in
international law and organizations, and increasingly perform functions once
done by states. Not coincidentally,
illicit organizations such as terrorist groups, drug trafficking organizations,
international criminal cartels, and human smuggling networks are simultaneously
on the rise. Illicit networks
benefit from the same open economy, open society, and open technology dynamics
which facilitate the growth of the legal private sector.
speed, reach, intensity, and interconnectedness of the current period of
globalization create institutional crises, as existing institutions struggle to
catch up with changing circumstances. Institutions
range from “formal organizations, which have explicit rules and forms of
administration and enforcement, to any stabilized pattern of human relationships
Existing states and international regimes are having difficulties coping
with the challenges globalization brings, because globalization creates and
exacerbates institutional gaps. These
institutional gaps fall into several categories:
capacity gaps; jurisdictional gaps; participation gaps; legitimacy gaps;
and ethical/ values gaps. Capacity
gaps are shortfalls either in organizations or organizational strength,
resources, personnel, competence, or standard operating procedures, which hinder
the ability effectively to respond to problems of globalization.
Jurisdiction gaps are when the writ of the problem extends farther than
the authority of the institutions charged with responding to the problems.
Participation gaps are when people affected by globalization are excluded
from partaking in the decision processes of managing or guiding globalization.
Legitimacy gaps are when the institutions which manage or regulate
globalization are not perceived by society as rightfully representing them.
Ethical or values gaps are when globalization is perceived to have either
no ethical base or to promulgate values at odds with societal values or the
speaking, developed democracies are best placed to adapt to the challenges of
globalization, because they have adaptive and resourced political and economic
institutions capable of responding to the dislocations, disruptions, and
unintended consequences which globalization brings. States with adequate educational and public health systems,
and access to technology and stable governance allow people access, an on-ramp
to the globalization highway. But
for newly democratizing states, and for many developing states, rule of law,
political and economic institutions are weak and lack the capacity and resources
to respond to globalization’s challenges. Weak and strong states both have capacity gaps; these are
more severe for developing states, collapsing states or states undergoing
even strong states cannot manage global problems alone since the issues cross
jurisdictional and territorial boundaries.
The terrorists who perpetrated the September 11 attacks hailed from many
different countries. Bringing the
conspirators to justice is complicated by these jurisdictional gaps.
Additionally, the private sector often has better information and
technology for containing global problems, while public sector capabilities lag
behind, even in the strongest states. For example, the transportation and
financial infrastructures that the September 11 terrorists exploited were all
privately owned and operated, further complicating government’s jurisdictional
reach. Many of globalization’s
problems, such as drug trafficking or other illicit activities, take place in
the economic and social spheres, where the arm of liberal, capitalist states
reaches the least. As
democratization and “the Washington Consensus” spread liberal political and
economic systems globally, more states find themselves constitutionally limited
in what interventions they may undertake in the private sphere.
For example, regardless of U.S. power, terrorism crosses international
and public/private jurisdictions, making the U.S. government’s response to
these problems necessary but insufficient to successful management of these
intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are also increasing in number, resources,
functions, and power, IGOs and states alone cannot solve globalization problems,
since many of the factors that constrain individual states also constrain
collections of states. This again
creates gaps, between what institutions can do and what they are needed to do.
gaps also exist between rich and poor. Generally,
the wealthy have institutions capable of acting on their behalf, while the poor
often do not. States without
adequate educational, public health, and governance institutions (developing
countries) are least able to access the globalization highway.
The rural poor have less opportunity to access globalization’s
benefits. Poor countries and
peoples face institutional gaps which fuel the increasing backlash against
globalization. Lacking resources,
the institutions of poor countries are disadvantaged when bargaining with more
powerful countries’ institutions over the rules and regimes that govern
globalization. For example, while
most of the planet’s populations are poor people living in developing
countries, a minority of rich countries led by the United States have prevailed
in creating institutions (TRIPS and TRIMS) that protect the intellectual
property rights and profits of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the
poor who cannot afford the cure. Western
pharmaceutical companies use the populations of developing countries for human
testing of potential medicines in the research and development phases, but these
poor people and countries often do not share in the benefits of these medicines
creates a world of paradox. Global
transportation, communication, and economic interdependence make possible the
vision of a closer human family, as a million people cross an international
border every day. However,
terrorists, tourists, and dangerous microbes use the same global infrastructure.
While capital flows of 2 trillion dollars crosses borders each day, most
poor people and poor countries see little of that.
infrastructure of open economies, technologies, and societies creates great
benefits, but globalization also carries significant costs that are often not
Some argue[xv] globalization is a means to bring peoples and
cultures together, to route tyrannical governments, to easily and cheaply spread
information, ideas, capital and commerce, and to transfer more power than ever
before to civil society and networked individuals.[xvi]
Others see globalization as merely neo-imperialism wearing Bill Gates’
face and Mickey Mouse ears, extending the web of global capitalism’s
exploitation of women, minorities, the poor, and developing regions, fouling
ecosystems, displacing local cultures and traditions, mandating worship at the
altar of rampant consumer capitalism, and deepening the “digital divide”
between global haves and have nots.[xvii]
costs and benefits of globalization are not shared equally, but are
asymmetrically distributed. Capitalism
is criticized for disparities between rich and poor in terms of income,
political power and participation, and opportunities.
In parallel, the worldwide spread and intensification of capitalism that
globalization represents is criticized for exacerbating the excesses of
capitalism, and exporting these problems worldwide.
For example, before the latest phase of globalization, the disparity
between the richest and poorest quintiles of the earth’s population was 30 to
1. In 1997, at the height of
globalization, the richest 20% were
74 times richer than the world’s poorest.
The wealth of the world’s three richest individuals surpasses the
combined GDP of all the world’s underdeveloped countries (with their 600
While certainly global population growth plays a part, 100 million more
people now live in poverty than 10 years ago.[xix]
Of the now 6 billion people on the planet, 3 billion live on less than $2 a day
and 1.3 billion live on less than $1 per day.[xx] 60
countries are poorer than they were 20 years ago, and 80 countries are poorer
than they were 10 years ago.[xxi]
is only one indicator of globalization’s asymmetries.
Decisions concerning globalization are made in corporate boardrooms and
state capitals located generally in Western and economically developed states.
Environmental degradation from global production facilities fall
disproportionately on the world’s poorest communities, as some corporations
exploit regions where environmental legislation or enforcement is weakest.
Yet most foreign direct investment and collaborative corporate alliances
go to developed states. “Controlling
for the opening of both China and the former Soviet bloc, which attracted almost
no investment before 1985, the share of foreign direct investment going to the
developing world actually dropped” from 1985-95.[xxii] Globalization’s
costs and benefits are unequally distributed, with poor people and poor
countries too often not participating in the full benefits globalization may
bring. Generally, the benefits of globalization accrue disproportionately to the
world’s rich, while the challenges of globalization (environmental damage,
labor abuses, etc.) have a greater impact on the poor.
Maximizing the benefits of globalization while minimizing or managing the
challenges is difficult, because the institution we generally task with managing
global problems, the sovereign state, cannot do the job alone.
Poor peoples and countries do not have adequate participation in the
decision making processes which channel globalization, from corporate board
rooms to the Davos economic summits to the G8 meetings.
The participation gaps, capacity gaps, and the asymmetric distribution of
costs and benefits intensifies dissatisfaction and backlash against
from the violence and death in the protests at the WTO meetings in Genoa last
summer, to the September 11 attacks.
Institutions which do not adequately protect developing countries, or
which exclude them from participating in decision making processes, are
increasingly seen as illegitimate. These
various institutional gaps are reinforcing.
Institutions must be perceived as legitimate to be effective;
participation gaps exacerbate legitimacy gaps, which intensify capacity
participation and legitimacy gaps also further the ethical and values gap.
Many observers believe that corporations rule the world, and that
globalization is thus driven by market values that put profits ahead of people.
While powerful multinational corporations seek profits, states seek
wealth and development in globalization. Many
decry the degree to which rich states, particularly the United States, drive
globalization, also putting the values of profits ahead of people (especially
since many of the citizens exploited by globalization are not citizens in
developed states, thus rich states have no jurisdictional or perceived ethical
obligations to the world’s dispossessed).
Thus whether driven by powerful companies or powerful states, many
observers decry the ethical basis of globalization, believing globalization is
driven by an ethic of crass materialism and consumption, or western (especially
U.S.) cultural imperialism.[xxiv]
To the extent that these ethos pervade globalization, many suggest that
violence and backlash against
globalization will mount, producing a world in which the benefits of
globalization reach too few people and countries, making the dynamics of
globalization politically unsustainable.[xxv]
ethical gaps are large and growing. Today
over half of the world’s population are not receiving the benefits of
globalization, either because they are not plugged into the global economy, or
because they do not have institutions which can advance or protect their
interests as participants in the global economy.
Human life is lost, human
development unfulfilled, and sacred creation destroyed.
This disparity between those benefiting from globalization and those left
behind or vulnerable to the challenges of globalization is increasing.
The world’s poorest populations are growing, while the populations of
developed countries are stable or slightly declining with the graying of the
baby boomers. For example, world
population is expected to grow from its current 6 billion to 7.2 billion in the
next 15 years; 95% of that population growth will occur in developing countries
and in already stressed urban areas (megacities)[xxvi] –think Lagos and Mexico City.
So globalization’s moral
and ethical problems will only get larger.
The values gap is exacerbated by the legitimacy, jurisdictional, and
participation gaps. As Archbishop
Diarmuid Martin, Former Secretary of the Vatican’s Justice and Peace Council,
put it, “What is needed is a network of structures, institutions, principles
and elements of law to help manage in the best possible way the world’s common
good, which cannot be protected only by individual governments.”
religious institutions help to bridge these institutional gaps, helping to forge
a more just and more peaceful globalization which is not driven by market values
alone? Too often religious and
cultural organizations are primarily seen as a source of conflict in
are alternative views. Corporations
and states are not the only engines of globalization, or its only beneficiaries.
Millennia before the current period of rapid, modern globalization (or
religious organizations have long been globalizing forces, spreading ideas,
institutions, flows of people and capital across international borders.
Today religious organizations continue to play an active role in
globalization, both as global actors themselves, and as mediating institutions,
responding to the challenges of globalization, and offering alternative ethical
visions of globalization (beyond market or consumer dynamics). Corporations see
the world as market; in this vision people are all consumers, wealth creators or
wealth spenders. States see
globalization as a world to be governed; people are either governed or
ungovernable, potential taxpayers or soldiers or those beyond government posing
problems for government (illegal immigrants, refugees, terrorists, or
criminals). Religious organizations, however, present alternative visions
of globalization, seeing a world in which we are all people of God.
In such visions, people are not merely soldiers or salesmen, but souls
and spirits, evidence of and participants in the spirit of creation.
Rather than mere opposition to globalization, as the clash of
civilizations, Jihad vs. McWorld
formulations suggest, religious organizations present more varied and
constructive reactions to globalization. They
may represent one of the best ways forward, for globalization to proceed “with
a human face,”[xxviii]
unleashing greater human potential than mere materialism, for more of the planet
than presently participate in the benefits of globalization.
many believe the dynamics of globalization are antithetical to religion, or make
religious institutions obsolete, the opposite may be true.
Some worry that with globalization people will tune into BayWatch, MTV
and other cultural messages and tune out traditional religious institutions. But
the information explosion brings information overload, which increases the need
for mediating institutions like the Catholic Church to help people find meaning
and value amidst the avalanche of data. How
many Americans flocked to churches in the aftermath of 911, looking not only for
comfort and pastoral counseling, but also for a way to make sense out of trying
and bewildering circumstances.
organizations, as non governmental organizations, may have some advantages in
responding to these institutional gaps, to help manage the problems of
globalization. The academic
literature on globalization suggests that non governmental groups are
increasingly important actors in world politics.
Globalization makes it easier for NGOs to form and operate.
Globalization also creates challenges which sovereign states cannot solve
or manage alone, so NGOs increasingly step into the breach to help manage global
NGOs also help represent poor peoples and countries whose voices may
otherwise be marginalized in international relations.
In 1909 there were 176 international NGOs.
Today there are over 47, 098 international NGOs.”[xxx]
NGOs have been growing as more states than ever before in history are
transitioning to democracy, allowing grass roots activism in parts of the world
(such as the former Soviet states) where civil society groups have never been
able to effectively organize before. The
advent of cheap information technologies now makes it easy for NGOs to mobilize.
For example, if the price of an automobile had fallen in the last two
decades as sharply as the price of a microchip, a car would cost us $5 dollars.
NGOs are armed with information technologies which help them connect with
members, with world wide needs, with other civil society groups across borders,
and with the international media. With
increased reach and effectiveness, NGOs are helping to manage global problems.
Certainly the meeting of world religious leaders simultaneous with the
Davos economic summit is one high profile means by which religious groups are
trying to mediate the excesses of globalization.
organizations trade in the currency of ideas, especially ideas of good and evil,
right and wrong. The ideas compel,
even when the organizations cannot. Religious organizations attract support more
than they can enforce compliance. These
groups aspire to be transnational moral entrepreneurs, agents who act as
reformers or crusaders to change rules, out of an ethical concern to curtail a
governments have legal authority, religious organizations rely on moral
authority. Generally, while states
have greater military power, and MNCs have greater economic power, religious
organizations’ strength lies in their idea power.
They seek to occupy the only high ground available to them, the moral
high ground. If they can succeed in
redefining a problem as a moral issue, they will have a greater chance of
prevailing, because states and MNCs may not be able to speak credibly as
bastions or brokers of morality. The
Roman Catholic Church has well-developed ethics and rich institutions, resources
which are useful to transnational advocacy networks.
Morally, religious organizations have legitimacy speaking on moral issues
and a treasure chest of well-developed ideas available for use by transnational
advocacy networks. Tactically,
religious organizations can pool their power with other religious and civil
society groups, and use their direct pulpit access to citizens (who may be
business or government decision makers) as well as their ability to attract
media. While secular NGOs may not command as extensive institutional networks
(schools, hospitals, etc.), they also develop and trade in moral ideas, as
environmental transnational advocacy networks construct and promote
organizations and secular NGOs have information power.
Especially when networked transnationally, these groups have access to
grassroots information about how particular policies affect particular people,
information that governments or IGOs overlook or do not have.
As people gain greater and cheaper access to information technologies,
this can force greater transparency. Transparency
or sunshine politics are an important tool of NGOs.
By expanding the information base of the public or elite discussion
especially around previously closed matters, they often impose the “Dracula”
test– will a particular policy or practice be able to survive in the daylight?
Transparency alone can do much to shrink both government and corporate
abuses. And discussions alone about opening the decision making process to
greater transparency help to reframe issues as moral issues, again moving the
issue to where NGOs have some home court advantage.
religious organizations and NGOs can use reputational power as a force
multiplier to enhance their values, ideas, and information power. Reputational power may derive from important, well-known or
respected figures who are members of the group. Or it may come from the NGO’s own strong advocacy track
record. Or, like MNCs, NGOs may
build a “brand name” around the quality and reliability of their
organization’s information products.
use media and communications power as a force multiplier for their values,
ideas, and information power. While NGOs vary in their skill and access to the
global media, they do have some media advantages.
Global media simplify issues to attract wider audiences, compete against
ever-shorter sound bites, in order to sell their products.
If NGOs often emphasize how policies or practices affect particular
individuals or groups, or how global issues present clear moral choices, they
may be able to attract media attention. NGOs
can use the media as a megaphone for their message if they understand the care
and feeding of the press, and deliver compelling stories with good pictures, and
clear good guys and bad guys, in arenas where government, IGO, or corporate
responses may either be slow or lack credibility.
Since MNCs may have huge marketing investments in their brand names, and
do not want these brands to be sullied or their reputations trashed, even the
threat of negative media coverage can bring greater attention to NGO ideas. It is more difficult to wield this media power against naked,
anonymous commodities and unknown,
unbranded companies, however. Media
and communications power are important to groups that trade in ideas.
NGOs, like others who can persuade but not compel,[xxxiii]
must be good salespeople as well as good preachers in order to mobilize their
institutional deficits and benefits, do U.S. Catholic institutions have in
trying to bridge the capacity, jurisdiction, participation, legitimacy, and
ethical gaps which globalization
are some deficits in terms of capacity. The
leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church is relatively small, and often already
overwhelmed. Vocations have been
steadily declining since the 1960’s, leaving an older, smaller leadership
cadre to deal with the emerging issues of globalization. The leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church are the 289 U.S.
Bishops and their canonical organization, the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops (USCCB). Additionally, the
United States Catholic Conference (USCC) is a civil organization which
collaborates with the Bishops on matters of concern to the Church, including
education, outreach, and advocacy.[xxxiv]
The Bishops meet annually as a whole, but also have standing committees
on specific issues, including the International Policy Committee (the outgoing
chairman is Cardinal Law of Boston; the incoming chair is Bishop Ricard of
Florida), the Domestic Policy Committee (chaired by Cardinal Mahoney of Los
Angeles), the Committee on Migration (chaired by Bishop DiMarzio of Camden, NJ),
etc. The USCC is located in
Washington, D.C.. Its staff of 250
serve the Bishops as well as the ongoing USCC program activities (Diocesan
outreach, creating educational materials for Parishes and Dioceses, running
workshops for Diocesan and Parish ministers --both lay and clergy, communication
of Catholic activities, etc.). Within
the USCC, the Department of Social Development and World Peace is the national
public policy agency of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
This department has two permanent offices:
The International Justice and Peace and the Domestic Social Development
offices. These staff members assemble research and background
information for the Bishops’ use in developing policy and advocacy positions.
Staff also lobby Congress, the Administration, and intergovernmental bodies at
the Bishops’ request. Beyond
advocacy, the (lay and clerical) staff of the international and domestic offices
also work with other Bishops’ conferences around the world, coordinate
outreach and education to Catholic Dioceses and parishes in the U.S., create and
print educational and advocacy materials, host workshops on Catholic Social
Teaching and current issues, maintain a website, serve as a resource to visiting
Bishops from around the world, and help to coordinate fact finding travels of
U.S. Bishops abroad. Globalization
is on the docket of both the Bishops’ International Policy and the Domestic
Policy Committees, who meet twice a year to discuss advocacy positions, action
items, etc. for the U.S. Bishops. Can
U.S. Catholic Bishops and their limited staff, already spread very thin, do much
to help bridge the capacity gaps of globalization?
in part to their size, the demands on their time, tradition, and the
conservative nature of the institutions, the USCCB can be very slow to act.
For example, the USCCB issued a statement on June 15, 2001,[xxxv]
decrying global warming and calling for more responsible stewardship of
creation. The statement, while
useful, had been in the works for several years, during which time ozone
depletion worsened. Similarly, the Vatican, the Bishops Conferences of South
Africa and Latin America have issued pastoral statements on globalization,
issuing a call to solidarity with the world’s poor to ensure that
globalization does not proceed on the back’s of the world’s most vulnerable. As Pope John Paul II put it, “The globalization of
finances, the economy, trade and work must never violate the centrality of the
human person nor the freedom and democracy of peoples. . . . Globalization is a
reality present in every area of human life, but it is a reality which must be
managed wisely. Solidarity too must
U.S. Catholic bishops, however, have as yet issued no formal statements directly
on globalization. They have been
studying the issue. The Bishops’
International and Domestic Policy Committees, in coordination with the
International and Domestic Policy Committees of the USCC, are currently studying
the moral and ethical challenges of global economic integration, in the Global
Economies Project. While the
Project has not adopted a specific definition of globalization, attention has
focused on moral and ethical dimensions of economic globalization. USCC staff from the Domestic and International offices, as
well as a working group of the Bishops’ International and Domestic Policy
Committees, undertook a series of “listening sessions” in 1999 and 2000, in
between the twice a year meetings of the International and Domestic Policy
Committees. These panel
consultations with experts focused on the benefits and problems of economic
globalization, the moral and ethical dimensions of the global economy, and the
relevance of Catholic social teaching to these problems.
At the joint sessions of the International and Domestic Policy
Committees, committee members heard additional speakers on the topic, and
continued to discuss and discern the issue.
After some work on a preliminary draft statement on economic
globalization, the committees decided to suspend work on the statement for now,
since any possible public statement should flow from and after the listening
process, rather than coming before the listening process was complete.
Bishops and USCC, in coordination with the Bishops of Latin America and the
Canadian Bishops Conference, held a conference on the moral dimensions of the
global economy, January 28-30, 2002, at the Catholic University of America.
The conference was envisioned as a follow-on to the successful conference
on debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries, held at Seton Hall
University in 1998 and also co-sponsored by the US, Latin American, and Canadian
Bishops Conferences. The two day conference was a relatively small meeting
of about 75 bishops selected from the three North American Bishops Conferences.
The objectives were to provide an opportunity for church leaders in the
Americas and elsewhere to dialogue with each other, with policy makers and
leaders of governments and the multilateral organizations, with business and
labor leaders, with academics, theologians, and leaders of civil society, from
both developed and developing countries’ perspectives.
After the conference, the U.S. Bishops will determine what follow-on
activities are called for (a formal statement, specific policy initiatives,
etc.). The U.S. Catholic Bishops
are not built for speed. Thus they
may not be well equipped to bridge the gaps created by global problems moving
more quickly than established institutions.
the hierarchy of the U.S. Catholic Church is all male, predominantly Caucasian,
and currently under intense public scrutiny regarding its handling of sexual
misconduct cases. Women and
minorities have few opportunities to participate in decision making processes,
making the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference an unlikely candidate institutions
to bridge the participation and legitimacy gaps of globalization.
The recent sexual scandals and the improper handling of these cases of
pedophilia and improper sexual behavior by priests has injured the Church’s
legitimacy and position as a moral leader.
Reviewing and reforming policy, responding to legal charges, making
amends to victims, and dialoguing with the community to increase transparency
and accountability and decrease hostility has consumed the time and energy of
many in developing countries believe that globalization benefits the U.S. at
their expense. The history of the
Catholic church in many regions (the Crusades, complicity with colonialism) may
undermine the Church’s legitimacy as a mediating institution.
Further, the Catholic Church benefits from globalization in many ways.
Catholic theology, particularly the gospel message to
“Go and teach all nations,” and a theology of the universal church as
the body of Christ, has driven the Catholic Church as a global institution from
its inception. However, cheap and
rapid global transportation, communication, and economic flows now make it
easier to be a universal church. In
Held’s terms, relations among US Catholics and Catholics abroad are now more
extensive, intensive, have greater speed and impact than in earlier periods of
Bishops abroad more easily and frequently communicate their needs and concerns
to US Bishops, and US Catholics more easily and frequently travel to visit and
stand in solidarity with Catholics around the world. Sister parishes and lay mission exchanges have blossomed.
While there is a clergy shortage in the United States, the US Catholic
Church is “contracting out,”
relying on the Religious Worker Visa Program to import priests and religious
from abroad to minister to US parishes.[xxxvii]
As perceived beneficiaries of globalization with a mixed history in many
developing countries, can U.S. bishops speak credibly regarding the needs of the
dispossessed in developing countries?
benefits do Roman Catholic institutions bring toward bridging globlazation’s
gaps? The Roman Catholic
Church has over 2000 years’ experience as a global institution. Unlike many
NGOs, the Church has a rich, coherent, unifying theology and principles of
Catholic Social Teaching that motivate and underlie its institutions.
Globalization brings institutional gaps, but the Roman Catholic Church has rich,
extensive networks and institutions, from schools and hospitals to parishes and
social development agencies, which are not only service oriented but in it for
the long haul. Coordination and
conflicting missions are obstacles to many NGOs, but the gospel message and
Catholic Social Teaching provide a unifying ethos that pervades Catholic
institutions the world over. While outside observers notice the Roman Catholic
Church’s centralized, hierarchical organizational system for matters of church
doctrine, outsiders often fail to notice the huge organizational pluralism in
the Church as well. There are
over 62 million American Catholics in nearly 200 dioceses, over 19,000 parishes,
240 Catholic colleges and universities, over 7,000 elementary schools and over
1,300 high schools, over 600 Catholic hospitals and over 400 other health care
centers, and over 700 Missionary groups.[xxxviii]
Dioceses, parishes, schools, religious orders, etc. have social justice
committees, sister parishes abroad, etc. These rich networks of institutions,
unified by common norms, have capacity to help respond to the problems of
globalization. Since many of these
institutions operate transnationally, they may be less constrained by the
jurisdiction gaps that limit state responses to global problems.
example, Catholic Relief Services is active in over 85 countries.
CRS has some 4,000 employees abroad and 300 employees in their Baltimore
headquarters. Most of these
employees are laypersons, non-US citizens, and a large number of CRS employees
abroad are non-Catholics. CRS was founded by the US Catholic Bishops in 1943 to
“assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country.”[xxxix] CRS
still retains close ties with the bishops; 12 bishops serve on the CRS Board of
Directors. While the Bishops
set overall policy directives, CRS is an operational arm doing fieldwork abroad.
CRS also brings issues to the attention of the Bishops as they arise in
CRS is well known for its relief and development work, CRS is also increasingly
active on issues concerning globalization.
After the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, CRS did a great deal of
organizational soul-searching. CRS
had been active in relief and development work in Rwanda for years, yet somehow
had not anticipated the destruction and violence.
CRS re-organized, placing greater emphasis on strategic planning,
interconnections and interdependencies between issue areas, and reviewing all
CRS activities through the “Justice Lens.”
The idea is that relief activities without adequate attention to
structural injustices led to the problem of
“the well fed dead” in Rwanda. The
Office of Policy and Strategic Issues was created at CRS’ Baltimore
headquarters, with staff tasked to
specific issue areas, including Globalization, Corporate Responsibility, Debt
Relief, Foreign Aid, Refugees/Migration, Food Security, and Complex Humanitarian
Emergencies. CRS’ staff in the
Office of Policy and Strategic Issues does advocacy and lobbying work, as well
as public outreach. They represent
CRS at UN, World Bank, and other international meetings on debt, WTO, TRIPS,
reforming the international financial infrastructure, etc.
has a number of interesting globalization projects.
In India, CRS is working with other NGOs and USAID to alleviate child
labor and prostitution. In the
Philippines, CRS is working on a pilot project with the ILO on social
re-insurance. Globalization allows
capital and jobs to be mobile, but government social safety nets for
unemployment are often weak, under funded, or non-existent as state revenues
shrink relative to need. This pilot
project looks to civil society to provide unemployment insurance, similar to
civil society banking and micro finance initiatives.
Religious Working Group on the World Bank and IMF is a coalition of over 40
organizations pushing for reforms in the international financial
architecture. While non-Catholic
groups are part of the coalition, most of the members are Catholic
organizations, such as the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, the Africa Faith
and Justice Network, Bread for the World, Franciscan Mission Service, Catholic
Social Network, Pax Christi, the Center for Concern, U.S. Jesuit Conference,
etc. The coalition has been very
active on debt relief, and on reforming the IMF, World Bank, and emerging
international economic organizations (such as the WTO) to put poverty reduction
and the needs of poor countries first in international financial regulations and
Catholic missionary groups, relief and development groups, labor groups,
academics, and the Catholic leadership have been actively working on
globalization issues, one sector stands out in their absence: Catholic business
organizations. While Catholic
businessmen have been part of the Catholic Bishops’ listening sessions,
Catholic business organizations have been notably low profile on Catholic
efforts on debt reduction, environment, and reform of the international
financial architecture. Catholic
business organizations have come together in the past on health care issues, for
example, writing an ethical code for Catholic health care.
A similar effort is needed now.
U.S. Catholic Church has some special capacities relative to the world
wide Catholic Church on globalization issues.
The U.S. government and U.S. corporations are primary drivers of
globalization. Most of the primary
multilateral institutions, the UN, IMF, World Bank, etc., are all headquartered
in the United States. Thus the U.S.
Catholic Church has proximity and access to important engines and agents of
globalization. The jobs of
lobbying, advocacy, consciousness raising, coalition building, and reform of
these institutions may fall disproportionately to U.S. Catholic institutions
that have better access and proximity to these levers of power.
This creates another irony of globalization for the U.S. Catholic Church.
Catholics abroad see more of the challenges of globalization, while Catholics in
the U.S. see more of globalization’s benefits (relative to their cohorts
abroad). Yet it is US Catholics who
have greater capacity and clearer jurisdiction to speak to the U.S. government,
U.S. corporations, U.S. consumers, and multilateral organizations located in the
U.S. regarding global problems and the needs of the worldwide church.
The Catholic Church abroad frequently asks the U.S. Catholic Church for
help in accessing and making their case to these agents of power regarding
globalization. While the impacts of
globalization are widely dispersed, many of the important agents of
globalization are geographically concentrated in the United States, putting a
special onus on the U.S. Catholic institutions.
example, the U.S. Catholic Bishops, in concert with many other Catholic groups
and other NGOs, intensively lobbied the U.S. government and multilateral
organizations throughout 1998, 1999 and 2000 to forgive the debts of heavily
indebted poor countries. Legislators
and government officials predicted the effort dead-on-arrival at first.
They did not expect legislative priorities to change despite the efforts
of the Bishops, Jubilee 2000, the Catholic Campaign on Debt, and other
organizations. Intense lobbying
included visits and letters from the Bishops personally as well as from staff of
the Catholic Conference, editorials in major newspapers (including a Washington
Post editorial by Cardinal Law),[xl]
public marches and a well-attended rally on the Mall, letter writing campaigns,
etc. On November 29, 2000,
President Clinton signed legislation that forgave most bilateral debt to the
United States, contributed $435 million dollars in funding for debt relief, and
authorized the IMF to spend $800 million in gold investment earnings for debt
relief. Treasury Secretary Summers
wrote a letter to Cardinal Law of the Bishops’ International Policy Committee,
thanking him for the efforts of the Catholic Conference, which he characterized
as “instrumental” in winning Congressional support.
Bishops’ program on Environmental Justice dates back to 1993. While many of the program’s efforts are domestic, focusing
on Brownfields clean up and children’s health issues stemming from
environmental harm, the Environmental Justice Program has also devoted
considerable time and energy to global environmental issues.
In 1994 the Bishops released a pastoral statement “Renewing the
Earth,” on Catholic social teaching regarding responsible environmental
stewardship. They stated,
“In moving toward an environmentally sustainable economy, we are obligated to
work of a just economic system which equitably shares the bounty of the earth
and of human enterprise with all peoples.”
The statement also noted that many of the gravest environmental problems
are global, and these problems are disproportionately borne by the poor.[xli]
The Bishops issued “Global Climate Change:
A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good,” on June 15, 2001,
which continued in that vein to urge for greater attention to global climate
change, to the common good and to the needs of the poor.
These statements are used by the USCC staff in their advocacy efforts
with government and multilateral officials, and in the public outreach and
education functions for dioceses and parishes.
The Project maintains a database of 4,000 Catholic leaders and
organizations involved in environmental justice activities.
Nearly 30,000 environmental justice resource kits have been distributed
to educators, Catholic parishes, and social action directors.
The program also produces books and videos for educational outreach.
the USCCB and USCC respond to requests for help from other Bishops conferences
around the world, on a host of international issues including the Chad-Cameroon
pipeline, trafficking in persons, migration (including migration and VISA status
for religious workers), and other topics related to globalization.
For example, USCC lobbying intensified last year as Congress passed
legislation to ensure more effective prosecution of traffickers in humans,
supplemented by Bishop Di Marzio’s public statements on the issue.[xlii]
of the USCCB and USCC, individual bishops have also taken the lead in speaking
out about the ethical problems presented by globalization.
Cardinal George of the Chicago Archdiocese gave a major address to the
American Mission Congress on “Globalization: Challenges to the Church’s
Mission.” Others, such as Bishop
Murphy of Long Island (formerly of Boston), have published articles in Catholic
newspapers on the pros and cons of globalization.
previously discussed downsides of U.S. Catholic institutions in bridging global
capacity gaps included the shrinking size and slowness of the church hierarchy.
However, the U.S. Bishops can move more quickly on global issues when
crises mount. During their November
12-15, 2001 meetings, the U.S. bishops released a statement on the September 11
attacks. For all the problems
associated with hierarchy, at least the Catholic Church has a leadership
structure capable of speaking on behalf of church members.
Contrast that with the lack of any such
leadership structure in Islam. Who
speaks for Islam? The silence of
Muslim clerics in speaking out against the September 11 attacks and bin
Laden’s jihad is deafening. While
the capacity of U.S. Catholic institutions may be overtaxed and flawed, there is
capacity that can help to bridge institutional gaps.
tradition provides many norms that help to bridge the ethical gaps of
globalization. Catholic Social
Teaching provides a clear ethical framework for addressing global problems and
promise. The Catholic belief in the
fundamental dignity of all human life, and the Church’s moral obligation to
speak truth to power, are key. The
fundamental dignity of all human life encompasses concern for human rights and
preferential option for the poor signals the Catholic Church’s obligation to
the world’s most vulnerable. The
Catholic principle of solidarity reminds the Church that it must not be divided
into haves and have nots, but the Church must stand together as a united force.
This is particularly important for the U.S. Catholic Church, as the
wealthiest population of the universal Catholic Church, and as the population of
the world church receiving most of globalization’s benefits.
As the parable of the talents instructs, more is expected from those to
whom more is given.
human development means that the Catholic Church’s aim is not merely material
gain, but encompasses health, education, spiritual and environmental concerns.
The Church has a responsibility for responsible stewardship of all
creation, including the environment. Working
toward the common good also unites these principles.
social teachings, as well as Catholic institutions, provide rich ethics and
institutions for addressing global problems.
Other NGOs, corporations, and states attempt to construct corporate and
NGO codes of conduct, and governmental standards for ethical behavior in a
global era, from scratch. But the
Catholic Church has ethical codes developed and tried over centuries, which are
applicable to these pressing moral concerns of our day.
The church has cadres of well-trained ethicists.
Additionally, the Catholic Church has size and reach in both developed
and developing states. Thus
Catholic ethics and institutions are well poised to serve as guides and bridges
across globalization’s gaps.
legitimacy and participation gaps, Catholic lay institutions represent one
sector of civil society. These
groups vary in their records regarding participation in and transparency of
decision making processes. Thus
Catholic institutions vary in their abilities to bridge globalization’s
legitimacy and participation gaps, although theoretically at least they all can
help to represent civil society and thus increase the legitimacy of global
institutions. However, since U.S.
citizens are well represented in international regimes weighing responses to
global issues, some will receive the participation of even more U.S.
institutions skeptically internationally.
needs mediating ethics and institutions to protect the world’s vulnerable, the
poor and future generations, so that the benefits of globalization may be shared
more widely, and the problems of globalization curtailed.
In the February 2001 meeting of the U.S. bishops with the Latin American
and Canadian bishops on increased cooperation on migration issues, they noted
the centrality of economic globalization to many of the problems they were
considering. They endorsed the
Pope’s call for a “globalization
of solidarity,” “globalization without marginalization,” to ensure that
human rights and responsibilities remain at the center of concerns for economic
development and global economic integration.[xliii]
Other Catholic organizations are also working together on issues ranging
from debt relief to reforming the international financial architecture to ensure
that the needs of the poor and marginalized are represented.
But since organizations and individuals learn by doing, it will take time
before the US Catholic Church fully recognizes and acts upon the value added
which Catholic ethics and institutions can provide, as guides and bridges across
globalization’s gaps. Catholic
institutions have great resources they can provide to bridging globalization’s
ethical gaps; they have some resources for bridging capacity and jurisdiction
gaps. Participation and legitimacy gaps may be the most challenging, for the US
Catholic Church to speak for those who have no voice.
often the debates over globalization are portrayed as a choice between a
globalization that puts profits over people, versus no globalization at all.
Religious organizations, when they are considered at all, are generally
depicted as reactionary forces opposed to globalization.
In reality there are more choices than that.
We do not have to choose between the present form of globalization, with
its mix of benefits along with its excesses and problems, or a return to a more
closed, isolated and less interdependent world.
Even the harshest critics of globalization use the tools of globalization
to broadcast their messages and solicit support for their anti-globalization
causes. Instead of debating over
false choices, we can build institutions which better represent important
values, better distribute the benefits of globalization and better mitigate the
problems of open economies, open societies, and open technologies, and better
protect and promote the common good. Religious
organizations, including the institutions of the U.S. Catholic Church, have
valuable competencies they can bring to the task of taming globalization, of
building global infrastructure that advance more authentic human development.
As states increasingly turn to the private sector for help in managing global problems, what effect does this have on sovereignty over time?
is instructive to remember Hendrik Spruyt’s story of how fundamental change
came ushering in the Westphalian sovereign state: the economy changed; new
elites were created who benefitted from the new economic system and needed a new
form of political organization to better accommodate them and their economic
practices. Ideas changed, new
organizational forms emerged and competed, and after centuries of flux the
sovereign state eventually won out.[xlv]
There are a number of parallels today. The economy has changed. The new
economic system is increasingly based on information, technology, and services,
which is less dependent on the control of territory. The means of production,
capital, and labor are mobile, not fixed. Players who make use of modern
information, communication, transportation, and financial technologies reap the
benefits of increasingly open borders and economies. Political systems that make
room for the new economic system reap profits in foreign direct investment, and
so regime types as distinct as the Chinese communist system, the Australian
parliamentary system, and the Iranian theocracy are all simultaneously
undertaking reforms to make themselves more attractive to investors’ capital
and technology flows.
New elites are emerging who profit from the new economic system. Typified
by George Soros, Bill Gates, and Ted Turner, these “new imperialists”
increasingly follow no flag. They are passionate about expanding technologies
and markets, and they are frustrated by what they see as anachronistic state
barriers to investment and trade flows. The international business classes
attend the same schools, fly the same airlines, vacation at the same resorts,
eat at the same restaurants, and watch the same movies and television shows.
Independent of national identities, these elites mobilize to try to make states
facilitate market dynamics. Some call it the “Davos culture,”[xlvi]
after the annual World Economic Summit that meets in that Swiss luxury resort.
Sociologist Peter Berger calls it the “yuppie internationale,” typified by
the scene in a Buddhist temple in Hong Kong of “a middle aged man wearing a
dark business suit over stocking feet. He was burning incense and at the same
time talking on his cellular phone.” He believes these cultural ties have made
peace talks in South Africa and Northern Ireland go more smoothly. “It may be
that commonalities in taste make it easier to find common ground politically.”
Can it be that leaders who all shop at the Gap and Bennetton and eat at
McDonald’s find political antagonisms quaint and unnecessary? Thomas Friedman
argues that no two countries with a McDonald’s have ever gone to war with one
Even though clearly there are many economically underprivileged around the world
who do not partake of this lifestyle, the values of this new elite percolate
into the rest of society as people mimic the behavior of the elites and as they
strive to better their economic situations one day to rise into the wealthier
Ideas are changing (including ideas of authority,
identity, and organization), facilitated by the new information technologies and
changes in the economy. Never before in human history have we been able to
spread ideas so quickly and widely. Modern communication technologies allow an
ever wider swath of the planet to be tuned in to the same advertisements, the
same television shows, and thereby, to some of the same ideas about consumerism
and personal freedoms. Identity is becoming less tied to territory. If identity
and authority do not stem from geography, what is our new church, our new
religion? In the Middle Ages identity came from Christendom, the church, while
authority stemmed from spiritual connections. In the modern era identity was
tied up with the nation-state; authority corresponded with geography.
Now authority and identity are increasingly contested. Susan strange
believes we now have Pinocchio’s problem: the strings of state control,
authority, and identity have been cut, but no new strings have been fastened.
States no longer are the supreme recipient of individual loyalties, especially
as states no longer fulfil basic services and functions, and other actors step
into the gap. Firms, professions, families, religions, social movements have all
significantly challenged the state’s territorial and security-based claim to
individual loyalty. We are left to choose among competing sources of allegiance,
authority and identity, with no strings to bind us like puppets to one source of
authority, and with more freedom to let our conscience be our guide. [xlviii]
Certainly the new economy would like identity to be formed around
consumer productsCyou are what you wear, what you consume. Advertisers spend
billions to imprint brand loyalty at an early age, and all the advertising of
Planet Reebok, I’d-like-to-buy-the-world-a-Coke, and Microsoft’s One World
Internet Explorer icon share a common theme, that identity stems not from
national borders but from consumer products. Identity is therefore just as
mobile as the economy; you are not born with it.
You can buy it. Alternatively, some see identity as increasingly flowing
from professions and firmsCyou are what you do, and your commitment is to your
profession rather than to a specific nation-state.
As Richard Rosecrance describes it, “Today and for the foreseeable
future, the only international civilization worthy of the name is the governing
economic culture of the world market.”[xlix]
Benjamin Barber refers to this popular, consumer market culture as “McWorld.”[l]
As market values permeate various cultures, certain ideas emerge as prized: the
value of change, mobility, flexibility, adaptability, speed, and information. As
capitalism becomes our creed, with technology as our guide, distinct national
and religious cultures are becoming permeated with common market values.
are alternatives to market values, however.
Religious organizations and some NGOs promulgate alternative ethics to
materialism, a globalization in which we are not merely consumers or a
governance problem, but human beings each with irreducible sacred dignity.
This vision of globalization prescribes putting people before profits,
ethical values before market values.
Religious organizations are increasingly using the tools of globalization
to promote their views. The
Internet has been a popular tool for organizing and proselytizing by many faith
Ideas of organization are also changing and are based on models from the
marketplace and technology: the computer, the Internet, and the market are
diffuse, decentralized, loosely connected networks with a few central organizing
parameters but strong ties to the activities of individual entrepreneurs.
Foreign policy organizations are in some instances going beyond bureaucracy,
creating flexible, innovative, coordinating networks.
Creative public-private partnerships are the wave of the future in
solving global problems. Rather than trying to become draconian, “big
brother” states (which would conflict with open society, open economy, open
technology goals) it makes sense for governments to look toward civil society
for help in managing global problems. But states must be aware of the costs of
contracting out. In privatizing, not only do governments lose some control over
policy, but additionally, private entities may present obstacles to the
government’s agenda as profit or other motives conflict with important public
policy goals. Although
privatization and moving beyond bureaucracy are popular buzzwords in today’s
budget-conscious political climate, changes in state architecture have
consequences for how we think about political authority, identity, and
Perhaps, as in Spruyt’s analysis of the late Middle Ages, ideas drawn
from the new economic system are helping to shape new ideas of political
organization. A resurgence of IGOs simultaneous with increased attention to
local governance may not seem at all strange to a civilization used to surfing
the Net, using a system that is simultaneously globally connected but only as
good as your local link.
James Rosenau believes that as individuals become more analytically
skillful, the nature of authority shifts. People no longer uncritically accept
traditional criteria of state authority based on historical, legal, or customary
claims of legitimacy. Instead, authority and legitimacy are increasingly based
upon how well government authorities perform.[li]
While scholars disagree about the sources of identity and authority in
the emerging era, they agree that these ideas are changing.
Spruyt acknowledges that new forms of political organization are beginning to
emerge, as evidenced by the European Union and the increasing roles and profile
of IGOs. Thus, even if, as Spruyt maintains, the sovereign state is still
supreme, three out of four of his indicators of fundamental change are already
here: change in economy, elites, and ideas are in evidence, and while no new
form of political organization has unseated the sovereign state, new forms are
beginning to emerge around the sovereign state that are chipping away at
functions previously performed by the state and changing the role of the state.
In attempting to solve global problems, states partner with a variety of
nonstate actors, including religious organizations such as the Roman Catholic
Church. Over time, these
public-private partnerships may have unintended consequences for Westphalian
sovereign norms, changing the way that people think about and relate to
sovereignty. As nonstate actors
bridge globalization’s gaps, people may identify more with nonsovereign
institutions that work beyond geographic borders.
Keck and Sikkink note, “If sovereignty is a shared set of
understandings and expectations about state authority that is reinforced by
practices, then changes in these practices and understandings should in turn
state is not going away. Rather the state is increasingly contracting out. As states
downsize and decentralize in response to the pressures of globalization, and as
states innovate in response to global problems, nonstate actors such as
religious and cultural organizations perform functions previously performed by
states and promote ideas, with unintended consequences for sovereignty.[liii]
Italian culture, as an ancient global culture, and the Italian-American
experience, as an adaptive immigrant population reconciling old world and new
world values, bring important contributions to bridging globalization’s gaps.
Louise Shelley, John Picarelli, and Chris Corpora, “Global Crime,
Inc.,” in Maryann Cusimano Love, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a
Global Agenda. Second Edition
(New York: Wadsworth, forthcoming July 2002); Umberto Santino, Storia del
Movimento Antimafia (Rome: Editori Riuniti), 2000.
Alison Jamieson, The Antimafia: Italy's Fight Against Organized Crime
(London: Macmillan), 2000, 148.
Louise Shelley, John Picarelli, and Chris Corpora, “Global Crime, Inc.,”
in Maryann Cusimano Love, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda.
Second Edition (New York: Wadsworth, forthcoming July 2002);
Rita Borsellino, “In Spite of Everything, The Popular Anti-Mafia
Commitment in Sicily,” Trends in Organized Crime (5, no. 3, Spring
2000), pp. 58-63.
Special Issue: Furthering a
Culture of Lawfulness. Trends
in Organized Crime. Spring
2000. Volume 5, Number 3.
Maryann Cusimano Love, “NGOs: Politics Beyond Sovereignty,” in Maryann
Cusimano Love, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda. Second
Edition (New York: Wadsworth, forthcoming July 2002).
Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996);
Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld (New York: Ballantine
Max L. Stackhouse (Ed.). God
and Globalization, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Harrisburg, PA:
Trinity Press International, 2001);
Peter Beyer. Religion
and Globalization (London: Sage Publications, 1994); Jeff Haynes (ed.)
Religion, Globalization and Political Culture in the Third World
(London: Macmillan Press LTD, 1999); “Religion and International
Relations,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies (London
School of Economics, 2000), (Vol. 29, No. 3).
Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God (Toronto: Ballantine Books,
2001); Karen Armstrong, “Was It Inevitable?
Islam Through History,” in How Did This Happen?
Terrorism and the New War (New
York: Public Affairs, 2001), 53-71.
Maryann K. Cusimano. Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000), 4.
David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. Global
Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 1999).
Maryann Cusimano Love, Unplugging the Cold War Machine: US Foreign Policy
and Globalization. Forthcoming,
An earlier version of the next four sections appeared in a conference paper,
Maryann Cusimano Love, “Bridging the Gap:
Globalization and Religion, and the Institutions of the U.S. Catholic
Church,” Panel on Contributions from the Social Sciences to the Study of
Religion: Globalization and Religion, American Academy of Religions
Conference, Denver, Colorado, November 20, 2001.
Jack Knight, Institutions and Social Conflict (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1996), 2.
Maryann K. Cusimano, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
The following remarks are taken from Maryann Cusimano Love,
“Globalization: A Virtue or a Vice,” Chapter Five in Globalization: A
Virtue or A Vice? Siamack
Shojai, Ed. (New York:
Praeger Publishers, Forthcoming 2001).
The White House, “The Engagement and Enlargement Strategy,” Washington,
DC: May 1995.
Dani Rodrik, Has Globalization Gone Too Far? (Washington, DC:
Institute for International Economics, 1997);
Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism
Are Reshaping the World (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995); Hans-Henrik
Holm and Georg Sorensen Whose World Order?
(Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995).
United Nations Development Program Report.
Globalization With A Human Face (United Nations, 1999).
James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, “Coalitions for Change:
Address to the Board of Governors,” Washington, DC: September 28, 1999, 3.
Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, “Coalitions for Change: Address
to the Board of Governors,” Washington, DC: September 28, 1999, 6.
Malloch Brown, “Forward,” United Nations Development Program Human
Development Report 1999.
Reinicke, “Global Public Policy,” Foreign Affairs,
November/December 1997, 128.
R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping
the World (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995); Samuel Huntington, Clash
of Civilizations, 1993;
James Mittelman, The
Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Mark Juergensmeyer.
“The Worldwide Rise of Religious Nationalism,” in Journal of
International Affairs, 1996, (Vol. 50, No. 1,).
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With A Human Face (United Nations, 1999).
K. Cusimano, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda (New
York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
of International Associations, ed., Yearbook of International
Organizations 2000/2001 (Brussels, Belgium:
K.G. Saur Verlag, Munchen, 2000), 1762-1763.
Howard S. Becker, Outsiders: Studies
in the Sociology of Deviance (New York:
The Free Press, 1963), 148; Ethan A. Nadelmann, "Global
Prohibition Regimes: the
Rvolution of Norms in International Society," International
Organization 44, 4, Autumn 1990, 482.
Paul Wapner, Environmental Activism and World Civil Politics (Albany:
State University of New York Press, 1996); Paul Wapner, "Politics
Beyond the State: Environmental
Activism and World Civic Politics," in Debating the Earth:
The Environmental Politics Reader.
John S. Dryzek and David Schlosberg, eds. (Oxford Univesity Press, 1999), 518-519.
Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The
Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan (New York: Free Press,
Information from the USCC and NCCB websites, as well as interviews.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Global Climate Change:A Plea for
Dialogue, Prudence,and the Common Good, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic
Bishops,” June 15, 2001. http://www.nccbuscc.org/sdwp/international/globalclimate.htm
David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton, Global
Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture (Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 1999).
National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Bishop Urges Quick Action on
Extension of Religious Worker Visa Legislation.”
Washington, DC: June 29,
Statistics from the Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J.
Kennedy & Sons, 1999).
Catholic Relief Services. “Mission
Statement” (Washington, DC:
Cardinal Law, “Statement on Insufficient Funding for Debt Relief.” September 2000.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action in
Light of Catholic Social Teaching (Washington,
DC: 1991). http://www.nccbuscc.org/sdwp/ejp/bishopsstatement.htm
Bishop Nicholas DeMarzo, “Statement on Trafficking in Persons.” May 16, 2000. http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/archives/00-124.htm
National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Bishops of America Call for
Increased Cooperation Addressing Migration Issue in Western Hemisphere,”
Washington, DC: Feb. 14, 2001.
This section is drawn from Maryann Cusimano Love, “Chapter 14,
Sovereignty’s Future: Changes Among Us,” in Beyond Sovereignty:
Issues for a Global Agenda. Second
Edition (New York: Wadsworth, forthcoming July 2002).
Hendrik Spruyt, The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press, 1994).
Peter L. Berger, “Four Faces of Global Culture,” The National
Interest (Fall 1997): 24.
Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, 1999.
Susan Strange, The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the
World Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Richard Rosecrance, “The Rise of the Virtual State,” Foreign Affairs
(July/@August 1996): 59B60.
Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996).
James N. Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press, 1990).
E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 1998), 37.
Maryann Cusimano Love, “NGOs: Politics Beyond Sovereignty,” in Maryann
Cusimano Love, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda. Second
Edition (New York: Wadsworth, forthcoming July 2002).