Andre C. Drainville



Continental Integration and Civil Society in the Americas

Andre Drainville provides a sophisticated and well-grounded treatment of questions of great sociopolitical import for the Lefts and progressive forces of the Americas. Specifically, it addresses the relationship between regional economic integration, the “New World Order” projects, and the potential formation of regional and global antisystemic movements. A prevalent theme in the literature on global and hemispheric integration concerns a varied collection of ostensibly internationalist social forces (transnational capital, institutions of global governance, new social movements, and nongovernmental organizations), who imagine themselves to be at the center of a global history in the making. They take for granted that the world order of capital has already created a global civil society, ushering in the need to think of democracy in cosmopolitan terms. Drainville critically examines such claims as well as the effect of continentalization programs on these sociopolitical forces. Hemispheric integration in the Americas, it is argued, involves constructing a regional foothold for disciplining accumulation in the world economy and addressing its political organization, especially the changing needs of U.S. foreign policy in a post-hegemonic period.

civil society; economic integration; economy, global; internationalism; NAFTA; North-South relations; reformism; regionalism; social movements

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 24: 1 (1997): 120-147