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Transnational Communities Programme

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Protesting 'Globalisation': Possibilities For Transnational Solidarity?

10-11 December,1999

University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Globalisation rhetoric offers two options: either reject nationalism and embrace the global 'market', or defend the national state and reject global competition. The world is divided into globalising marketeers and nationalist xenophobes. 'Forward-looking' globalism is posed against 'backward-looking' nationalism, and alternatives are defined out of existence.

Many protest movements reject this global-versus-national divide. For movements founded on grassroots participation there can be no leap into the global realm, while retreat into local or national enclaves can be both disempowering and defensive. Instead, many movements attempt bring together national and international perspectives, to construct a politics of transnational solidarity.

Environmental, social, and financial crises - to name a few - have become transnational problems in search of transnational solutions. Protest movements exploit and widen the resulting legitimacy deficits, challenging the disempowering logic of neo-liberal globalisation. The Conference explores this emerging logic of protesting and politicising 'globalisation'.


Globalism, neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism; Contesting globalisation, conflicts and dilemmas; Anti-imperialism, old and new; Solidarity: between nationalism and globalism.


Challenging corporate power

What sort of alliances are formed when movements challenge TransNational Corporations? How can movements exploit the legitimacy-deficits of TNC's? Should movements engage with TNC's or confront them?

Contesting inter-governmentalism

Where do inter-state regimes respond to movement pressures, and where do they resist them? When are they a threat and when are they an opportunity? What dilemmas are faced when movements pursue international legitimacy?

All consumers now?

How do protest movements confront globalised consumerism, exposing 'mac-exploitation' or 'coca-colonialism'? How do they engage with it, offering alternative channels of 'conscientious' consumption? What is the potential for consumer-producer solidarity, what are the limitations of consumer campaigns?

Redefining democracy 

How can protest movements operate as channels for participatory democracy? How do they relate to national structures of representative democracy? What are the prospects for transnational or 'cosmopolitan' democracy, whether participatory or representative?

Crossing global divides

'Globalisation' can be seen as a form of neo-colonial domination, but to what extent is it overlaid with new transnational divides? What is the potential for alliances between protest movements, North and South? What are the implications for movement strategy?

Values of solidarity

What are the underlying foundations for solidarity? What are the relationships for instance, between identification, consciousness, commitment, aspiration, action and emancipation?

Principles of self-determination

How do movements draw on principles of collective self-determination? How do they act together in transnational campaigns, for instance for indigenous rights, development rights, or rights to national self-determination?

Defining transnational consciousness

How do movements construct transnational affiliations? How does the national-versus-international divide shape movement practices? How might conflicts between nationalism and internationalism be superseded?

If you would like to participate in the conference please contact James Goodman by 30 August 1999:

Abstracts (200 words max.), to be submitted by 1 August 1999 to:

Dr. James Goodman,
Department of Writing,
Social and Cultural Studies,
University of Technology Sydney,
PO Box 123,
Broadway, Sydney,
New South Wales,
2007, Australia
Tel: 612 9514 2714,
Fax: 612 9514 2332

For further information and details contact James Goodman or visit the conference web page, which will be updated for registrations, at:




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