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.


In 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 curriculum.”[iii]  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 corruption.[iv]

In 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]   

When 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.

            Why 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. 

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. 




Globalization is the fast, interdependent spread of open society, open economy, and open technology infrastructures.[ix]   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. 

From 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. 

First, 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.

Second, 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.

            Third, 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.




The 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 and actions.”[xiii]  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 common good.

Comparatively 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 transitions.

Yet 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 problems.   While 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.

Institutional 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 once approved.  

Globalization 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.  Building  global infrastructure of open economies, technologies, and societies creates great benefits, but globalization also carries significant costs that are often not equitably dispersed.[xiv]   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]

The 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 million inhabitants).[xviii]   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]

Wealth 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 globalization, [xxiii] 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 gaps.

The 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] 

The 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.”




Can 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 international relations.

There 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 late globalization)[xxvii], 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.

While 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.

Religious 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 issues.[xxix]  Some 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.

Religious 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 great evil.[xxxi] 

While 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 environmental ethics.[xxxii]   

Religious 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.

Some 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.

NGOs 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 ideas.




What institutional deficits and benefits, do U.S. Catholic institutions have in trying to bridge the capacity, jurisdiction, participation, legitimacy, and ethical gaps  which globalization presents?

There 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?

Due 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 become globalized.”

The 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.

The 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. 

Additionally, 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 the clergy. 

Further, 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 globalization. [xxxvi] 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?




What 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. 

For 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 the field.

While 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.

CRS 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.

The 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 organizations.

While 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.

The 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.

For 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. 

The 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.

Additionally, 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]

Outside 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.

The 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.

Catholic 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 labor.

The 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.

Authentic 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.

Catholic 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.

Regarding 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.

Globalization 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.

Too 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?

It 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 another.[xlvii] 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 classes.

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.

            There 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 groups.

            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 organization.

            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.

            Finally, 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 transform sovereignty.”[lii]       

            The 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.





[i]  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.

[ii] Alison Jamieson, The Antimafia: Italy's Fight Against Organized Crime (London: Macmillan), 2000, 148.

[iii] 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.

[iv] Special Issue:  Furthering a Culture of Lawfulness.  Trends in Organized Crime.  Spring 2000. Volume 5, Number 3.

[v] 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). 

[vi] 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 Books, 1996).

[vii]  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).

[viii] 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.

[ix] Maryann K. Cusimano. Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000), 4.

[x] David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999).

[xi] Maryann Cusimano Love, Unplugging the Cold War Machine: US Foreign Policy and Globalization.  Forthcoming, Sage, 2002.

[xii] 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.

[xiii]  Jack Knight, Institutions and Social Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 2.

[xiv] Maryann K. Cusimano, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

[xv] 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).

[xvi] The White House, “The Engagement and Enlargement Strategy,” Washington, DC: May 1995.

[xvii] 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).

[xviii] United Nations Development Program Report.  Globalization With A Human Face (United Nations, 1999).

19 James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, “Coalitions for Change: Address to the Board of Governors,” Washington, DC: September 28, 1999, 3.

20 James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, “Coalitions for Change: Address to the Board of Governors,” Washington, DC: September 28, 1999, 6.

21 Mark Malloch Brown, “Forward,” United Nations Development Program Human Development Report 1999.

22 Wolfgang Reinicke, “Global Public Policy,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 1997, 128.

23 National Intelligence Council, “Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts.”  December 2000.

24  Benjamin 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,).




28 United Nations Development Program Report.  Globalization With A Human Face (United Nations, 1999). 

29 Maryann K. Cusimano, Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for A Global Agenda (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).









[xxx]Union of International Associations, ed., Yearbook of International Organizations 2000/2001 (Brussels, Belgium:  K.G. Saur Verlag, Munchen, 2000), 1762-1763.

[xxxi] 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.

[xxxii] 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.

[xxxiii] Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan (New York: Free Press, 1990).

[xxxiv] Information from the USCC and NCCB websites, as well as interviews.

[xxxv] 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.

[xxxvi] David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton, Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999).

[xxxvii] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Bishop Urges Quick Action on Extension of Religious Worker Visa Legislation.”  Washington, DC:  June 29, 2000.  Http://

[xxxviii] Statistics from the Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1999).

[xxxix] Catholic Relief Services.  “Mission Statement”  (Washington, DC: 2001).  Http://

[xl] Cardinal Law, “Statement on Insufficient Funding for Debt Relief.”  September 2000.

[xli] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action in Light of Catholic Social Teaching  (Washington, DC: 1991).

[xlii] Bishop Nicholas DeMarzo, “Statement on Trafficking in Persons.”  May 16, 2000.

[xliii] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Bishops of America Call for Increased Cooperation Addressing Migration Issue in Western Hemisphere,” Washington, DC:  Feb. 14, 2001.

[xliv] 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).

[xlv] Hendrik Spruyt, The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994).

[xlvi] Peter L. Berger, “Four Faces of Global Culture,” The National Interest (Fall 1997): 24.

[xlvii] Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, 1999.

[xlviii] Susan Strange, The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

[xlix] Richard Rosecrance, “The Rise of the Virtual State,” Foreign Affairs (July/@August 1996): 59B60.

[l] Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996).

[li] James N. Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990).

[lii]Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), 37.

[liii] 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).