from the French altermondialisme
) is the name of a social movement
whose political line is close to anti-globalization
but which prefers to present itself as supporting the international integration of globalization
while urging that values of democracy
, economic justice
, environmental protection
, and human rights
be put ahead of purely economic concerns.
Alter-globalization is considered distinct from the more widely-used word 'anti-globalization', which is thought to be pejorative by members of the movement. The name may be taken as coming from the popular slogan of this movement: 'Another world is possible', coming from the World Social Forum.
This movement objects to what it deems as neo-liberal globalization. The movement mainly opposes the way it believes that international institutions (such as the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank) work towards First World economic interests. This is not to be confused with proletarian internationalism as put forth by communists in that their criticism of First world economic interests is not necessarily a repugnance with the free market.
The term was coined against accusations of nationalism
proponents of globalization, meaning a support of both humanism
and universal values
but a rejection of the Washington consensus
and similar neoliberal policies. It is henceforth similar to the Global Justice Movement
expression. The "alter-globalization" French movement was thus opposed to the "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
" on the grounds that it only advanced neoliberalism and an Anglo-Saxon economic model.
Originally developed in French as altermondialisme, it has been borrowed into English in the form of altermondialism or altermondialization. It defines the stance of movements opposed to a neoliberal globalization, but favorable to a globalization respectful of human rights, the environment, national sovereignty, and cultural diversity.
Following the French usage of the word altermondialist, the English counterpart alter-globalist may be coined.
The term alter-globalization is derived from the term anti-globalization, which journalists and others used to describe the movement. Many French journalists, in particular, have since ceased using the term anti-globalization in favor of alter-globalization. It is supposed to distinguish proponents of alter-globalization from different "anti-globalization" activists (those who are against any kind of globalization: nationalists, protectionists, communitarians, etc.).
Critiquing the World Market
The alter-globalisationists consider globalisation by market forces as not synonymous with humanity’s progress as its profits are not shared equally among all. The altermondialists denounce in particular the inequality between the richest and the poorest on the planet that has been constantly on the rise since the 1960s. This can be attributed in part to globalisation, more so than internal forces within countries. According to a 2001 report from PNUD
, the top 1% of the world’s richest have accumulated a total wealth equal to that of the poorest 57%.
Also criticised is the liberalisation of international financial flow, which, according to the alter-globalisationists, has resulted in the destabilisation of local economies and disastrous humanitarian consequences, for example, the Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002) and the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.
Advocates of alter-globalization have set up an online global news network, the Independent Media Center
, to report on developments pertinent to the movement. Groups in favour of alter-globalization include ATTAC
, an international trade reform network headquartered in France.
World Social Forum
The largest forum for alter-globalization activity is the annual World Social Forum. The World Social Forum is intended as a democratic space organised in terms of the movement's values.
References and notes