The Exportation of U.S. Justice Policy Under Globalization

Mona J.E. Danner, Old Dominion University

The term "globalization" captures the significant economic transformations that have characterized the past two decades. Scholars have argued that globalization refers to the development of a global capitalist econimic order, with implications for numerous aspects of political, social and cultural life (Young and Danner, forthcoming; Wonders and Danner, 2001). One of the most important features of globalization has been the exporation of capitalist cultural values and consumer goods worldwide. This paper explores a relatively new export associated with globalization: the exportation of U.S. criminal justice policies to other countries. Increasingly countries around the world are adopting U.S. justice policies as a strategy to further a climate conducive to global capitalism within their borders. Although the adoption of these strategies is at tiomes voluntary, more often it results from the indirect (and sometimes direct) coercion of the global market and global organizations. This paper explores why and how countries come to import U.S. justice policy. it also addresses several specific U.S. justice policies that are currently being exported to other countries: the war on drugs, incarceration policies, and the criminalization of survival strategies. in each of these cases, the importation of these policies is likely to have a prfound impact on those least able to defend themselves against the Goliath or globalization.

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Updated 05/20/2006