4 Introduction

globalizing market forces and the more rooted democratic forces of transnational and local resistance. In the course of these struggles, the charactet.and strategic modalities of democracy will themselves be a core issue (whether political parties and elections will remain the basic form of citizen participation or whether transnational affiliations and social movements will provide the main instruments for citizen participation).

There is no doubt that anew, more integrated world order will emerge in the next century. This outcome will be some form of geogovernance. But the normative status of geogovernance remains problematic and uncertain, and it is here that laments about the absence of progressive alternatives have their fullest impact. The notion of a type of humane governance to be explored in this report is an attempt to fill the normative vacuum with a positive and transformative politics, one animated by horizons that might seem utopian from the outlook of the present, yet are part of a coherent project to bring such results into being. As with the great religions, humane governance as a future for the peoples of the world is a statement of faith in human possibilities asmuch as it is an expression of hope.

This hope cannot be founded on any easy polarities of opposition.

From civil society flow destructive and nihilistic responses as well as compassionate and reconstructive initiatives. More profoundly, civil society itself embodies many of the social and economic deformations that are then encoded in geopolitics and globalizing patterns of control and abuse. Who is free and who is not free to act democratically at the grassroots is itself a dimension of the liberating concerns of adherents of humane governance. There is no intention in this report to romanticize the politics of civil society. Regressive tendencies are also present and must be neutralized if the positive prospects of humane governance are to be realized.

As the title of this report insists, some approximation of humane governance is a real human possibility. Its plausibility will depend on the degree to which the peoples of the world are drawn toward the pursuit of higher normative horizons. The possibility of humane governance outlined here offers a sense of direction, though not a program. It focuses attention on process as much as structure. The achievement of humane governance requires commitment to an open-ended dialogue with comrades and adversaries alike. It must repudiate all efforts to associate otherness with evil, and resist tendencies to demonize particular peoples, religions, approaches, and individuals. The aspiration for humane governance must be inherently self-critical as well as critical in outlook, seeking to be constructive and reconstructive in response to world order challenges.

Introduction 5

A decisive test of humane governance is the treatment accorded to those people who have suffered most in the past, as targets of genocide and ethnocide or objects of neglect and contempt. For this reason, in part, the fate of indigenous peoples is singled out here as a special concern. All major civilizations have in common the taint of severe abuse toward indigenous peoples.

Authority and well-being emerge from civil society as well as from the state and formal institutions. The persistence of untouchability and caste abuse in India, for example, is not primarily attributable to the failures of the state, but to deformations embodied in the culture itself, aggravated by local circumstance and traditions that make the pattern of abuse vary through time and from place to place. Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, has recently compared the liberation from Communism for the societies of Eastern Europe with a release from an extended prison term, a liberation that has had the paradoxical effect of heightening "manifestations of intolerance, xenophobia, racism and nationalism," social attitudes forbidden expression under Communism. In the spirit of humane governance, Havel calls "the gypsy problem . . . a litmus test not of democracy but of a civil society."4 That is, the government can enact laws protective of the rights of gypsies, but it can rarely fully protect a scapegoated minority against expressions of hatred, especially if it is democratic! Herein lies the irony. In the Czech Republic, the skinheads, having emerged in the p st-Communist era of recovered freedoms, have been responsible for the worst outbreaks of violence against gipsies. Nevertheless, the most sy tematic and dangerous forms of abuse directed at those scorned by s ciety have been associated with policies of the state, as was, of course, th case with the Nazi experience after 1933.5

It is not only the matter of ethnic passions that raises concerns about the quality of governance in post-Communist societies. The renewed influence of patriarchal institutions and values has produced a variety ( r pressures on women, especially in the domain of reproductive rights. As a consequence, despite the welcome liberating impact on political lie of the Communist collapse, there were and are normative costs that may lead to the deterioration of the life situation of a majority of the population.

The basic contention here is that abuse of those most vulnerable is a hi hly contextual matter, although its manifestations are very nearly universal. The political neglect of the homeless in many US cities 1'/1 ts the latest phase of capitalism as much as anything else, a phase in which the challenge has shifted from the appeal of a more eo mplIssi nat socialist alternative to an emphasis on the efficiencies needed