The Globalization Debate: A Public Justifications Analysis
Department of Sociology University of Helsinki Helsinki, Finland
How has economic globalization been criticized and defended in public debate during the past ten years? Which actors have justified their arguments referring to the market, who has referred to tradition and who has argued for ecology? How are these different justifications pitted one against the other, and how are compromises forged between them? How do international organizations (WTO, G8, EU) figure as claims makers and objects of claims in a debate on global issues in one national public sphere? I aim at answering these questions through Public Justifications Analysis of the globalization debate in the Finnish media. The method of Public Justifications Analysis combines Political Claims Analysis with the theory of justification put forward by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot. Justifications are classified in seven different worlds, based on seven different conceptions of the common good. These are the world of inspiration, the domestic world, the world of fame, the civic world, the market world, the industrial world and the world of ecology. It is shown, in line with other studies, that the public arena is mostly occupied by national elected representatives rather than international organizations or citizen's groups. Globalization is mostly justified in market terms, but interestingly, market justifications are often tied in compromise with civic arguments referring to distributive justice and democracy. Globalization is most often denounced by civic and ecological arguments, but here as well, compromises (civic-industrial; civic-fame; ecological-industrial) merit particular attention.
Preferred panel: Political Communication