Offshoring Dissent

Offshoring Dissent: Spaces of Resistance at the 2006 IMF/World Bank Meetings

Author: Theresa Wong and Joel Wainwright


In September 2006, Singapore played host to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Annual Board of Governors' Meetings, one of the principal stages for elite consensus building and also a magnet for networks of transnational activists. Through an examination of the spatiality of resistance and its regulation at the IMF and World Bank meetings, the authors of this article argue that regulation of capitalism on a global scale, which requires meetings among elites in countries like Singapore, produces tensions that congeal in the regulation of resistance around these meetings. The global institutions that have helped to forge neoliberal policies must touch down and meet in concrete places. Such meetings require territorial power to clear definite spaces, spaces within which the "global" can be constituted. The imperative to include civil society in the staging of these meetings becomes circumscribed within the nature and scale of such spaces that are cleared for the constitution of global neoliberal governance. The authors contend that concrete practices of spatial regulation contribute to producing spaces of resistance and that these regulations are in turn shaped by the historical geographies of the host state's regulation of space and global norms governing multinational meetings. In this way, the making of the "global" as well as "anti-globalization" are local affairs.

Countries: Singapore
Topics: World Bank

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September 2009
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