In This Review

The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance
The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance
By James H. Mittelman
Princeton University Press, 2000, 272 pp

A view of globalization from the perspective of those most threatened by it. Mittelman is interested in how marginalized groups in the developing world encounter -- and sometimes resist -- globalized capitalism. Drawing on extensive field research, the book explores globalization's impact on countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Botswana, and Mozambique. Although globalization's champions see the integration of world markets as lifting up all countries, Middleman's picture is more mixed. In his view, global gains in productivity, living standards, education, and civic participation are offset by a growing loss of political control by the world's poorest citizens. The book's most interesting chapters address the ways threatened social groups resist the insecurities wrought by global markets. Farmers' associations, environmental groups, and other political movements across Southeast Asia and Africa provide glimmerings of what Mittelman considers a growing pattern of local resistance. But his book would be stronger if he made clear what these scattered movements mean for the larger world order.