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No Globalization Without Representation

No Globalization Without Representation
U.S. Activists and World Inequality

Paul Adler

344 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
Cloth 2021 | ISBN 9780812253177 | $45.00s | Outside the Americas £36.00
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Power, Politics, and the World
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"[A] remarkable book...Adler seamlessly weaves together the various forms of activism carried out by the fair globalizers. In doing so, he highlights the difficulties faced by public interest progressives, as evidenced by their growing reliance on grassroots activists in the 1990s and beyond in the face of the bipartisan consensus on neoliberalism. Simply put, the lesson of Adler’s book is that if progressives of the twenty-first century hope to fundamentally alter the status quo, whether in relation to the economy, climate change, or foreign policy, it will take more than just public interest groups. They need to confront powerbrokers in the halls of power and on the streets, in the United States and abroad."—Global Policy

"With razor-sharp clarity and a well-paced narrative, Paul Adler has written a riveting history of political conflicts over multinational corporations and economic liberalization. The book contains many memorable stories of political conflicts, from the halls of the World Health Organization in Geneva to street protests in Seattle. Deeply researched and eminently readable, the book enriches our understanding of globalization and some of its fiercest critics."—Stephen Macekura, Indiana University

Amid the mass protests of the 1960s, another, less heralded political force arose: public interest progressivism. Led by activists like Ralph Nader, organizations of lawyers and experts worked "inside the system." They confronted corporate power and helped win major consumer and environmental protections. By the late 1970s, some public interest groups moved beyond U.S. borders to challenge multinational corporations. This happened at the same time that neoliberalism, a politics of empowerment for big business, gained strength in the U.S. and around the world.

No Globalization Without Representation is the story of how consumer and environmental activists became significant players in U.S. and world politics at the twentieth century's close. NGOs like Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen helped forge a progressive coalition that lobbied against the emerging neoliberal world order and in favor of what they called "fair globalization." From boycotting Nestlé in the 1970s to lobbying against NAFTA to the "Battle of Seattle" protests against the World Trade Organization in the 1990s, these groups have made a profound mark.

This book tells their stories while showing how public interest groups helped ensure that a version of liberalism willing to challenge corporate power did not vanish from U.S. politics. Public interest groups believed that preserving liberalism at home meant confronting attempts to perpetuate conservative policies through global economic rules. No Globalization Without Representation also illuminates how professionalized organizations became such a critical part of liberal activism—and how that has affected the course of U.S. politics to the present day.

Paul Adler is Assistant Professor of History at Colorado College.

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