Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico

By Timothy A. Wise, Hilda Salazar, and Laura Carlsen (editors)
Kumarian Press, 2003; Spanish edition, Editorial Miguel Angel Porrua, 2003
264 pages; $25.95 Paper; $65.00 Cloth; Order from Amazon

“Many observers have pointed to the challenges introduced by the increased integration of U.S. and Mexican economies, but few books have documented so thoroughly the impact of these changes on Mexican civil society and the growing diversity of community-based responses. While such collections sometimes seem like disconnected vignettes, a combination of excellent editing and a shared intellectual framework lend this volume a remarkable coherence in analysis and tone. This is an important read for anyone interested in grassroots responses to globalization and will be especially useful to scholars, students, and others interested in social justice struggles in contemporary Mexico.”

– Manuel Pastor, Professor of Latin American & Latino Studies and Director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community, University of California, Santa Cruz

Is the current model for economic globalization good for the poor or the environment? Are there alternatives? Amid rising worldwide protests that corporate elites wield too much influence over global economic governance, this book on Mexico’s experience under the North American Free Trade Agreement offers insights into both questions.

With a focus on labor, agricultural, and environmental issues, Confronting Globalization tells globalization’s untold stories: its social and environmental costs and the grassroots search for alternative paths. Indigenous coffee farmers fight for a place in the global market. Sweatshop workers demand safe working conditions and basic labor rights. Corn farmers organize to prevent the flood of imported grain from driving them off the land. The editors carefully set the context and clearly draw the rich lessons from these compelling stories, which together offer a rare grounding in how trade policies affect vulnerable communities and the environment and what those communities are doing to defend themselves and promote their own homegrown alternatives.

Also published in Spanish as Enfrentando la Globalizacion: Respuestas Sociales a la Integracion Economica de Mexico, Laura Carlsen, Tim Wise, and Hilda Salazar, eds., (Mexico City: Editorial Miguel Angel Porrua, 2003).

Advance Praise for Confronting Globalization

“Here is a book that makes a unique contribution to enlightened thinking about ‘globalization.’ These closely-observed experiences in Mexico will be useful to people all over the world who are determined to create societies that put human needs before corporate profits.”

– Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus, Boston University, and author of A Peoples’ History of the United States

“Finally a book that concludes with a rich and detailed roadmap of paths toward just and sustainable alternatives. These alternatives emerge from powerful case studies of how integration managed in the interests of the Fortune 500 undermines workers, small farmers, and the environment.”

– John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and co-author of Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible

“An inspirational book which tells an untold story of the uprising against corporate led globalization and debunks the myth that there are no alternatives. It puts a human face to the struggle and shows that communities — everywhere, everyday– are creating viable alternatives.”

– Anuradha Mittal, Co Director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy and editor of “The Future in the Balance: Essays on Globalization and Resistance”

“These experiences attract with their variety and seduce with the originality of the conflicts and forms of resistance. The victims of structural adjustment, liberalization, and deregulation survive harshness and foolishness, they suffer and they resist, but they also give life to new hopes: social laboratories that foreshadow that another world is possible. They demonstrate, in the end, modest utopias in process.”

– Armando Bartra, Instituto Maya