Alter-globalisation stands for alternative globalisation. It is a social movement that seeks to retain and preserve the positive aspects of globalisation while simultaneously doing away with the negative effects of globalisation. Simply put, it aims to make popular a better and alternative version to globalisation. The movement is not anti-globalisation, but just lobbies and works towards correcting the ills of globalisation while actively supporting and encouraging its advantages.

Origin of the alter-globalisation movement

The concept of alter-globalisation emerged from the World Social Forum, which is an annual gathering of civil society organizations. Alter-globalisation is believed to have been inspired from the World Social Forum’s slogan of ‘Another world is possible.’ In fact, the World Social Forum is still the largest forum for alter-globalization activity.

Opposition to neo-liberal globalisation

The alter-globalisation movement mainly opposes the outcomes of neo-liberal globalisation. It postulates that new age globalisation gives free rein to international institutions such as the World Bank, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and others that favour developed nations and turn a blind eye towards other issues. This is especially true of the adverse effects of economic globalisation which are largely ignored by such international institutions.

While proponents of alter-globalisation are not opposed to free market economics, they are opposed to the culture wherein extensive importance is attached to business interests that often lead to violation of human rights and myriad human values. Though globalisation has increased co-operation and promoted exchanges between the people of different nations, it has also made many issues such as climate change, protection of labour interests, economic equality, civil rights, protection of local cultures etc.  secondary to business interest and economic gain.

Is alter-globalisation a viable alternative?

Alter-globalisation highlights the fallout from globalisation that the world is grappling with. Economic globalisation has resulted in a scenario where a seemingly inconsequential event in one country results in repercussions the world-over. This domino effect knits together the global economy and its people. What affects one person affects us all. Hence, correcting the adverse effects of globalisation is in all our interests. While bringing unprecedented growth and access, globalisation has also increased economic inequality, a nation’s vulnerability to external events, destruction of the environment etc. The development of international institutions which is more participatory and inclusive in nature will help set the process of globalisation on the right track. Hence, any movement calling for the same, however nascent, must be promoted and encourage. Therefore, an approach that promotes retaining the benefits of globalisation, while eliminating its disadvantages is highly desirable and must be at the least attempted to be implemented.

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