Download A History of the FTAA: From Hegemony to Fragmentation in the by Marcel Nelson PDF

By Marcel Nelson

Delivering a severe account of the cave in of the FTAA negotiations and adjustments to strength family members within the Americas, this booklet argues that the cave in was once rooted in a "crisis of authority" brought on by way of turning out to be competition within the Americas to US management and the neo-liberal reforms that were promoted via Washington because the Nineteen Eighties.

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In other words, the crises of authority in the hemisphere rendered the “noncontemporaneity of the present” more acute, and made the project of unifying the present into a hegemonic project through the FTAA more difficult. It is significant that the US negotiation of the FTAA was not conditioned by a crisis of authority within its domestic social formation per se, but was hampered by “trade fatigue” and growing opposition to trade liberalization engendered by the debate over NAFTA. Introduction 21 This culminated in an absence of fast-track authority until 2002 and an unwillingness within certain fractions of the US elite to consider reducing agricultural subsidies.

This motif of homogenizing, or perhaps coordinating, heterogeneity is essential to many of Gramsci’s different concepts, including, as we will see, his elaboration of the concepts of civil society and political society. Importantly, the consent through which unity is made reality is not obtained on an even playing field between actors with equal resources but is rather a means of domination within unequal power relations rooted in a particular social formation’s structure. A leading class does not become hegemonic exclusively by virtue of its ability to articulate a consensual, comprehensive, or perhaps even attractive ideological framework.

To complement the review of concepts such as hegemony, organic crisis, civil and political society, and crisis of authority, it examines the temporal and spatial aspects of those concepts. Notably, it emphasizes the importance of contingency in Gramsci’s theoretical framework. This is done by examining Gramsci’s notion of the “non-contemporaneity of the present,” which helps to explain why “presents” need to be understood as an ensemble of disjunctive dynamics that hegemonic projects attempt to unify into a whole.

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