NETWORK POWER AND GLOBAL STANDARDIZATION: THE CONTROVERSY OVER THE MULTILATERAL AGREEMENT ON INVESTMENT
This essay examines the controversy over the attempt to establish rules governing global capital flows in the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which became a target of “antiglobalization” activism. Making sense of the activists' concerns about the MAI requires understanding how the emergence of transnational standards in contemporary globalization constitutes an exercise in power. I develop the concept of “network power” to explain the way in which the rise of a single coordinating standard for global activity can be experienced as coercive, as it eclipses alternative standards and abrogates the genuinely free choice among different conventions. Using a network-power analysis, I reinterpret the controversy over the MAI as a concern about the processes by which neoliberal globalization is being brought about.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2005-01-01