Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in a Global Field

14 October 2008
In the media
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The article was originally published by Studies in Social Justice, Volume 1, Issue 1, Winter 2007. It is reproduced here with the permission of the author and the journal.
The Mont Pèlerin Society and The Transnational Institute (quotation from pages 45 and 46):
“At a certain level of abstraction, and despite vast differences in scale, the MPS [Mont Pèlerin Society] and TNI are kindred organizations. Both engage proactively in knowledge production and dissemination to inform effective political practice; both have strategically built global networks and have collaborated with like-minded groups. But while the MPS’s hegemonic project places the market at the centre of human affairs, the TNI arises both as a critic of neoliberalism and an advocate for participatory democracy, social justice and ecology. The knowledge they create circulates, in the former case, among right-wing think tanks, academics, politicians and journalists mainly in the US and Europe, and in the latter case, among left-wing think tanks and NGOs, scholar-activists, social movements and alternative media, often in the global South. Concretely, the two projects are embedded in opposing historic blocs, as each group develops and deploys knowledge with the strategic intent to make its bloc more coherent and effective. This entails quite different practices: the MPS, firmly committed to hierarchy as a principle of social and political organization, fits easily into existing elite structures: its messages need carry no further than a relatively small circle. The TNI, on the other hand, as a collective intellectual of the left, faces the challenge of reaching a massive, diverse potential constituency and creating new political methodologies that go against the grain in giving shape to emergent oppositional practices.”