Neoliberal Globalisation: Ramifications for Rights and Constitutional Legality
16 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2020 Last revised: 22 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 5, 2020
The article argues that it is not so much globalisation (or internationalism before it) that threatens constitutional legality, but the spread of neoliberal exclusionism through the means of globalisation which erodes the human rights connection, if this is seen as an essential legitimator of state-centred constitutions. While being generally circumspect about rights in the 'universalist' sense as a legitimating language of constitutionalism, the argument employs neo-liberal exceptionalism as the vehicle for that critique. The analysis builds on the literature regarding the North/South World suppression of alternative constitutional realities and suggests that the undermining of universal rights within neoliberal market economies, coinciding with the reduction of state governance models, are a profound challenge to constitutional legality.
Globalisation, as a process of international engagement should provide legitimate legal pathways for wider representation and democratic rights universalism. But its capture by neoliberal global economic priorities, protectionist at one level and imperially invasive on the other, has meant that globalisation is more an exclusive than an inclusive phenomenon, paradoxically further separating North from South. An example is the North world marketing of constitutional models and technologies, all too often a central component in the neo-colonial transposition of ‘rule of law discourse’, being motivated by needs for commercial certainty, rather that universal rights protections, particularly in exploited and vulnerable labour markets in the South world.
Keywords: Constitutional legality, neoliberalism, globalisation
JEL Classification: K10, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation