Power, Powerlessness, and Globalization

Power, Powerlessness, and Globalization : Contemporary Politics in the Global South

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This book is about imperialism-driven globalization, its historic impact on Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and, over time, the varied responses of the national political units and regional entities in these continents to the challenges of building countervailing power and laying foundations for independent development. Where genuine recovery and empowerment have emerged, this has been the result not only of the pursuit of "dignitalist" political and economic values that emphasize robust and sustained productivity geared toward uplifting the living standards and dignity of all the members of the national society, but also of the creation of indigenous institutions whose relations with the external world are defined by equality rather than dependence and subordination. Opoku Agyeman argues that "dignification" is the fundamentally necessary response to imperialism's inevitable afflictions of national/racial humiliation. It is the most crucial ingredient in the complex of motivations that propel formerly weak nation-states and regional communities to rise up and defend the honor of their people. As Mao Zedong told the world in 1949: "Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation. We have stood up." This study argues emphatically that it is a country's or region's developed or developing capabilities, not its historic and continuing victimization or habitual dependence on "charitable aid" and other "altruistic" interventions from the "international community," that determines its success in escaping the scourge of powerlessness and underdevelopment. It further maintains that a people who have been brought low through brutal, dehumanizing imperialism cannot bypass the need for redemptive empowerment if they wish to regain honor and a proper place in the world. Finally, it takes issue with Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, and others like them whose moralistic critiques of the rapacity of imperialistic globalization carry the unfortunate implication that it is possible for a fair and just world social order to come out of incremental reforms of philanthropically-motivated developed, powerful countries, in the structure and operations of global capitalism.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 453.59g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739195212
  • 9780739195215

Review quote

Opoku Agyeman, one of the nation's foremost authorities on African affairs and pan-Africanism, tackles neocolonialism on a global scale, viewing how western nations have weakened, if not stunted, the political growth and economic development of the southern half of the world. In a sweeping panorama of the Global South, his meticulous research and methodology point out how Latin America and Africa have taken the brunt of western schemes. Power, Powerlessness, and Globalization is a fresh and refreshing approach to a bitterly painful subject. Reminiscent of Chinweizu's The West and the Rest of Us, this book is sure to be the first classic of the twenty-first century that fully analyzes the global politics of the twentieth century. Agyeman provides a compelling argument for comprehensive global change. Once again, he has proven to be a master at synthesizing global developments and giving his own unique perspective on the impact of the west on the Third World. -- Leslie Wilson, Montclair State University This book offers the reader a critical perspective on North and South relations in the global economic order that is different from the broader liberal consensus that characterizes values and policies about development in the South. -- Morris M. Mottale, Franklin University Switzerland Opoku Agyeman has written a book that nobody interested in imperialism-driven globalization, the defining issue since 1400 AD, can afford to ignore. -- Lawrence Mbogoni, William Paterson University, author of Aspects of Colonial Tanzania Historyshow more

About Opoku Agyeman

Opoku Agyeman is professor emeritus of political science at Montclair State University and director of the Pan-African Society and Foundation, Inc.show more

Table of contents

Introduction: Power versus Powerlessness Chapter One: Asia: A Bifurcated Empowerment Chapter Two: Latin America: From "Backwater" of the US to an Emerging Bolivarian Counterforce Chapter Three: Powerlessness and Slavocracy Chapter Four: Realism, Liberalism, and the Intractable Case of Western Farm Subsidies Chapter Five: The Improbable Banana Conflict of the 1990s Between the US and the EU, Its Repercussions for Weak Countries, and the WTO's Role in Itshow more