• human rights;
  • global inequality;
  • poverty;
  • market economy;
  • motivational rationale;
  • cosmopolitanism


Globalization is being celebrated in many circles as a distinctive achievement of our age, drawing peoples and societies more closely together and creating far greater wealth than any previous generations ever knew. While the first of these assertions is correct in the sense that societies and cultures are colliding, hitherto relatively closed horizons are opening up, and spaces and time are compressing, the second deserves critical interrogations. Using Africa's experience with globalization as a case study, this article argues that globalization be understood as an emerging preference for certain institutional and policy practices that are creating and coercively imposing pervasive but avoidable conditions of material deprivations on many societies. The article defends a motivational rationale anchored in the normative vision of socio-economic and development rights as a way to mitigate the deleterious effects of unguarded globalization.