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Boaventura de Sousa Santos, one of the pioneers in the study, investigation and ..... enhance or recompose existing relationships” (Graham Murdock and Peter Golding, ..... as New York, Tokyo, London, Singapore and Hong-Kong (Sassen, 1991, ..... Octávio Ianni, on the other hand, recons that it's very difficult to detect and.

Acknowledgements This piece of work is dedicated to two very special people that, just until recently, were, all the way through, in the centre of my life – my beloved grandparents, Alvaro and Orides. Dear grandparents, take this work as a sweet dedication to you and all the love, wisdom and inspiration you gave me along all the years we passed together. I would like to thank my parents for believing in my instinct and being so patient and comprehensive on my persistence in doing the Master of Arts degree in Media and Cultural Analysis, in which this dissertation is inserted. I would also like to thank all the personnel involved in the organization, running and teaching of this inspiring M.A. degree – all my classmates, whose names I prefer not to mention, in the danger that I might forget someone (the discussions we had together during the sessions were certainly a stimulus for the confrontation of ideas, as well as the breakthrough of new streams of thinking); Peter Beaman, Peter Riley-Jordan and Morris Ward (three technicians in the Department of Social Sciences who provided technical support for computers and AV equipment); Ann Smith (the Departmental secretary); Lynn Dutton (the Departmental administrator) Deirdre Lombard (person in charge of general administration concerning postgraduate students); and last, but not least, all the teaching staff – Dennis Smith, Graham Murdock, Michael Pickering, David Deacon, Jim McGuigan, Dominic Wring, John Downey, Ruth Lister and Natalie Fenton. Among these, special thanks to Dennis Smith, my supervisor, for accompanying and helping me, since the very start, in finding the best structuring and elaboration for the dissertation.


My last thanks are directed to four entities that were particularly ready in providing me important information for the elaboration and success of my research – the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Portuguese National Statistical Institute, the Portuguese Foreign and Frontiers Service/General Inspection of Work and the European Commission/EUROSTAT.


Abstract Since I was very young, I’ve always been interested in questions concerning the world around me, and most particular the human condition. Questions dealing with what we are, where do we come from or where are we heading, have always been a part of my spirit. Thus, this work represents the culmination of several years of incubation and maturation, period where I came to the conclusion that if I intended to answer such intriguing questions, I needed to search, read and study a great deal. In doing so, I found an extremely contemporary phenomenon that gives answers to those interrogations and has direct implications in our daily lives – Globalisation. This dissertation was object of thought, study, investigation, research and subsequently presentation as an attempt to show and give a complete glance over a huge effort, investigation and theorization made in Portugal by a vast number of respected and accredited Portuguese researchers and authors over the issue of globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society. Thus, it comprises the international and global context in which Portugal is inserted, as well as, many aspects of the Portuguese society – its economy, poverty, welfare, social policies, employment/unemployment, colonial policy, labour market, migratory movements, European integration, local power, ethnical and national identities. As the elaboration of the dissertation will show, when broaching and analysing such accounts, the mentioning, analysis and criticism of other crucial accounts – namely, the main views and theories from foreign investigators and authors – was also not forgotten.


The structure, the chapters and content of this dissertation were carefully thought and chosen in order to give a consistent and complete sight and diagnostic of the Portuguese reality in relation to phenomena such as Europeanization, but, mainly, in relation to globalisation.

The work is divided into four distinct chapters, which, at the same time, are well interconnected to each other. In the first chapter, then, entitled “The Processes of Globalisation”, I will concentrate myself in presenting a sort of introduction on the notion of globalisation and its real contours. A special emphasis will be given to the repercussions and subsequent structural changes produced by the globalisation phenomenon.

In the second chapter, on the other hand, entitled, “The Dynamics of Migrations in Portugal”, my focus will be on the dynamics of the migratory phenomenon, either in Portugal, either at a global level.

The third chapter, entitled, “Social Illness/Risk in a Globalized World”, broaches the social risks produced by the globalisation process itself, with a special reference to the Portuguese conjuncture.

Finally, the last chapter – “Conclusion” – represents an attempt to summarize all the ideas and accounts brought up, analysed, discussed and criticized along the dissertation, giving a special highlight to the prospecting and foresighting of future tendencies.

List of Contents










1. The notion of globalisation 2. What’s driving the globalisation process? 3. Repercussions of globalisation



1. Introduction 2. Flows of Migrations 3. Conclusion





Portugal: semi-periphery, intermediation and risk






Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Introduction The world is currently experiencing new unprecedented processes and phenomena: people around the globe are more connected to each other than ever before; information and money flow more quickly than ever; goods and services produced in one part of the world are increasingly available in all parts of the world; international travel is more frequent; and international communication is commonplace.

The economical, social, political and cultural interactions had a huge boost over the last three decades causing the emergence of a powerful phenomenon known as globalisation.

The Era of Globalisation, as it has also been called, is fast becoming the preferred term for describing the current times. Just as the Depression, the Cold War Era, the Space Age and the Roaring 20's are used to describe particular periods of human history, globalisation describes the political, economic, and cultural atmosphere of today.

Such phenomenon, then, is characterized by a vast complex process that reaches a diversity of areas of the social life, from the globalisation of the productive and finance systems to the Information and Communication Technologies’ (ICTs) Revolution, from the erosion of the National State and rediscover of the civil society to the increasing of the social inequalities, from the huge migrations of people such as emigrants, tourists or refugees to the increasing power and monopoly of both the multinational enterprises and the multilateral finance institutions, from the new cultural

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and identity practices to the various options and choices of what many call the new globalized consumption.

This diversity originates a big contradictory and heterogeneous impact both in the national and local structures and practices, in the sense that, in each of the areas of social life, such diversity is the product of a quarrelsome negotiation and relatively undetermined results between what is conceived as local or endogenous and what is conceived as global or exogenous, between ruptures and continuities, new risks and old securities, known uneasiness and unknown uneasiness, emergencies and inertias.

Due to all these reasons, and contrarily to what the term globalisation superficially connotes, we are undoubtedly, then, witnessing a sight of processes of change that are highly contradictory and uneven, as well as variables in their intensity and in their direction.

This complexity, which is big in general, is most spotted and identifiable in semi-peripheral societies such as the Portuguese. One of the most salient features of what many call as hegemonic globalisation, is the fact that both the costs and opportunities that it produces are very much unevenly distributed in the interior of the global system, causing, then, the exponential rise of social inequalities between rich and poor countries, and among the rich and the poor within the same country over the last decades.

The Central Countries, which preside the hegemonic globalisation, are the ones who have been taking and gaining all the advantages from such process, maximising the

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


opportunities that it creates and transferring to other less developed nations the social costs as well as other costs that it also produces. Today, to be a central country, means precisely to have the capability and power to maximise the advantages and minimise all the inconvenient generated by the hegemonic globalisation. On the contrary, and generally speaking, over the last decades, together with their worrying low standards and patrons of life, the peripheral countries suffered a severe degradation of their position in the global system. Such events happened, precisely because, contrarily to what happened to the central countries, the peripheral ones were forced to bow and face the responsibility to sustain all the costs of the hegemonic globalisation loosing out the opportunities created by such process. Today, being a peripheral country signifies exactly that.

Between the central and peripheral countries are located the semi-peripheral countries. In these countries, the precise accountability and repercussions of the hegemonic globalisation is much more unclear and unpredictable. In a first perspective, such countries simultaneously show some capability to capitalise and take grantees from the advantages as well as a reasonably vulnerability when facing the risks and difficulties. These countries are condemned to face two ambiguities: either they can ride the hegemonic globalisation in order to obtain some promotion among the hierarchies of the global system, either they can be ridden by the hegemonic globalisation and, thus, conducted to relegation. Countries such as Ireland and Spain, for example, seem, undoubtedly, to suit the first possibility, while Greece and Portugal still seem to be undecided, even though, Portugal seems (more than ever) to be condemned to the second possibility.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


In semi-peripheral countries, then, the tensions and disjunctions roused by the hegemonic globalisation tend to be even more intense and to have uncertain and unpredictable effects. In the Portuguese case, the complexity of these processes tend to thicken due to distinct reasons:


On one hand, the Portuguese society suffered, almost simultaneously, the impact of two different types of hegemonic globalisation: the neo-liberal globalisation and the integration in the European Union. One can clearly say that the European Union, due to its specific politics, functioned as a kind of ‘pillow’ and ‘damper’ that attenuated the more drastic impacts of the neo-liberal globalisation.


On the other hand, one has to bear in mind that all of these events occurred very rapidly and in a very short period of time. The 1974 April 25th Revolution was the starting point for the creation and consolidation of modern structures and practices in the Portuguese Society. Such event, just like all the revolutionary crises, happened in a turbulent way and included, for a very short period (even though, for a significant time), a socialist moment and a reliable alternative for the capitalist modernity. Having in mind the international context at the time, many say, then, that the revolution inspired and moved by the socialist movement was inspiring, but out of time!

The Portuguese society reconstructed itself in a short period of time (25-30 years) as a modern national society and did it in a time where the logics of national

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


development were in crises and blocked or, at least, strongly conditioned by the hegemonic globalisation. The Portuguese society, then, modernised itself, as a national society, by contradictory logics, some of which (and probably the most decisive) with a strong non-national, european and global crease. In other words, the modernization of the Portuguese society wasn’t an earlier stage preceding the impact of globalisation and europeanization. Contrarily, the Portuguese society modernized itself thanks to the impact, effects and repercussions of those phenomena. Thus, there are two distinct realities concerning the Portuguese conjuncture that need to be frizzled and stressed – the national reality and the european or global reality.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


1. THE NOTION OF GLOBALISATION Over the last three decades, the transnational interactions – globalisation of the production systems, financial transferences, dissemination (at a global scale) of information and images through the mass media, massive migrations of people (tourists, migrating employees or refugees) suffered a dramatic intensification all over the world. The extraordinary amplitude and depth of these transnational interactions made some authors reflect and take them as a rupture in relation to the previous configuration of the trans-bordering interactions and, thus, as a new phenomenon designated as globalisation (Featherstone, 1990; Giddens, 1990; Albrow and King, 1990), global formation (ChaseDunn, 1991), global culture (Appadurai, 1990, 1997; Robertson, 1992), global system (Friedman, 1994), cultures of globalisation (Jameson and Miyoshi, 1998) or global cities (Sassen, 1991, 1994; Fortuna, 1997).

These writers and many others, as we will see, take globalisation as a multidimensional and multifaceted concept, and, thus, they attribute it many contours that are very complex and, sometimes, even hard to target, identify and define. Because it’s such a sensible issue to broach and discuss, there are various accounts from several authors. All of them come up with definitions, which they believe are the most appropriate ones.

But, despite such different accounts, we may build up a notion of globalisation that summarizes all of them into one single approach. In its most general and uncontroversial sense, one might, then, consider globalisation as a process of a rapid developing of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions and

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


individuals worldwide. Also, one might conceptualise four important and undisputable icons, dimensions, which characterise the process of globalisation:


A World Capitalist Economy


An Interconnected System of Nation-States


A World Military Order


An International Division of Labour

In other words, today’s reality of a globalized world is highly dominated by a world capitalist economy and, still, very much dominated by an interconnected and interdependent system of Nation-States. Today’s new world order is strongly organized in a military orderliness, while the status of worldwide labour is, currently, passing through a new period of an international division.

Apart from these undisputable contours of the globalisation process, other authors contribute to the discussion of ‘globalizing’, expressing particulars and extremes important opinions, which gives us a wider and much complete view, perspective of what globalisation might be, after all.

One of them is Harvey. In his assumption, then, the process of globalisation is “a process which involves a compression of time and space” (quoted in Tomlinson, 1997: 170), causing the effect of shrinking distances through a dramatic reduction in the time taken – either physically or representationally – to cross them, and, thus, making

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the world seem smaller and in a certain sense bringing human beings closer to one another.

John Tomlinson, on the other hand, defines the process of globalisation as “a process that ‘stretches’ social relations, removing the relationships which govern our everyday lives from local contexts to global ones” (Tomlinson, 1997: 171). In a much general and simplistic view, one could well define globalisation, like Anthony Giddens refers, as simply “action at distance” (quoted in Tomlinson, 1997: 171).

Anthony Giddens, in his book “The Consequences of Modernity”, broaches the role of the communication’s revolution in contemporary society. He argues that the rapid development of communication technologies represents a key influence in the whole process of globalizing. He emphasises the fundamental determinism of the emergence of the communication’s era, which produced a new reality of worldwide social relations. Thus, he conceptualises globalisation as “the intensification of world-wide social relations which link distant localities in a such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa”. Such intensification, in Giddens opinion, is, then, due to the development of communications.

Many writers, and most notoriously Manuel Castells, emphasise one of the most obvious and central features which characterises the global village that we tend to live in: a global economy. To quote Castells:

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


“The informational economy is global. A global economy is a historically new reality, distinct from a world economy. A world economy, that is an economy in which capital accumulation proceeds throughout the world, has existed in the West at least since the sixteenth century, as Fernand Braudel and Immanuel Wallerstein have taught us. A global economy is something different: it is an economy with the capacity to work as a unit in real time on a planetary scale. While the capitalist mode of production is characterized by its relentless expansion, always trying to overcome limits of time and space, it is in the late twentieth century that the world economy was able to become truly global on the basis of a new infrastructure provided by information and communication technologies. This globality concerns the core processes and elements of the economic system.” (Castells, 1996: 92-93)

Four other authors – David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt and Jonathan Perraton – contributed to the discussion of globalisation by sharing their accounts in the book Global Transformations. From all four of them, I selected and highlighted David Held’s attempt to define globalisation. In his words, then, “globalisation might be thought of initially as the widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the spiritual” (Held, 1999: 2).

In Global Transformations, one must, surely, emphasise the relevance of three general theses on globalisation brought up by all four authors. They identified, then, the following theses, tendencies:

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society

The Hyperglobalist Thesis

The Sceptical Thesis

The Transformationalist Thesis


Concerning the Hyperglobalist Thesis, basically, what it proposes is that we are entering a new period in History, going beyond the Nation-State towards the global age. In the hyperglobalists’ assumption, globalisation is, predominantly, an economic process.

The Sceptical Thesis tries to contradict the hyperglobalist perception by drawing in statistical evidence showing that globalisation is not a recent phenomenon. In fact, it goes back a long way. The sceptics demonstrate that international trade is, mostly, regionalist than global. Thus, globalisation cannot be conceived as ‘the spirit of the age’.

The third tendency – the Transformationalist – proposes that globalisation is transformative, but is not addressed as an economic phenomenon. It is, rather, a multi– faceted phenomenon. It embodies various forms: Culture, Politics, Economic, etc.

In Leslie Sklair’s perception, on the other hand, capitalism represents a central role in the way globalisation functions. He thinks that the study of globalisation revolves around two main phenomena, which he believes have been increasingly significant in the last few decades. Such phenomena are, “first, the emergence of a global economy based on new systems of production, finance and consumption driven by globalizing

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


transnational corporations (TNC)… The second is the idea of a global culture, focused on transformations in the global scope of particular types of TNC, those who own and control the mass media (Herman and McChesney 1997), notably television channels and the transnational advertising agencies” (Leslie Sklair, 2002: 36). This global culture, as Sklair calls it, is dominated by “particular patterns of consumption”, and very much characterized as a culture and ideology of consumerism at the global level.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, one of the pioneers in the study, investigation and analysis of the globalisation phenomenon in Portugal, takes it as being “a posterior stage to the internationalisation and multinationalization, because, contrarily to those processes, it claims and marks the end of the national system as a central nucleus of the organized human activities and strategies” (Santos, 2001: 32).

In Santos’ perception, if one revises and carefully analysis all the studies and researches about the processes of globalisation, we clearly can see that we are facing a multifaceted phenomenon with economic, social, political, cultural, religious and juridical dimensions that are interconnected in a complex way. Besides that, instead of fitting in the western modern patron of globalisation – globalisation as a homogenisation and standardization – sustained both by Leibniz and Marx, and both by the theories of modernization and theories of dependent development, the globalisation occurred over the last three decades seems to combine either the universalization and the elimination of the nationals frontiers, either the particularism, local diversity, ethnical identity and the return of the communitarism. At the same time, it interacts in a variety of ways with other transformations (which are concomitant to the process itself) located within the global system, such as the dramatic rise of the inequalities among rich and poor

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


countries and among the rich and poor within each country; the overpopulation; the environmental catastrophe; the ethnical conflicts; the massive international migration; the emergency of new States and the failure or implosion of other; the proliferation of civilian wars; the organized crime at a global scale; the formal democracy as a political condition for the international assistance; etc.

Santos emphasises the idea, and I strongly agree with him, that the globalisation phenomenon is far from being a linear and consensual process. In his assumption, it’s a false idea to stand up for the contrary! In his words, “globalisation, far from being consensual, is, on one hand, a vast and intense field of conflicts between social groups, States and hegemonic interests, and, on the other hand, between social groups, States and subaltern interests; and even in the interior of the hegemonic field there are some significant divisions” (quoted in Boaventura de Sousa Santos, 2001: 33).

Still analysing and criticizing Santos’ theorization on the globalisation phenomenon, I would like to stress what I believe to be a fundamental argument proposed by the author, and which, in my view, represents a key to a better understanding of the real contours of the globalisation phenomenon. In the writer’s perception, then, the processes of globalisation happen by a variety and distinction of ways. He says, and I agree with him, that, normally, when people talk about globalisation they pre-assume that it’s about a whole of very intense and rapid processes of de-territorialization and re-territorialization, and consequently, of dramatic expansive transformations as well as retractives. In reality, however, the processes of globalisation don’t always occur in this way. Contrarily, it happens that some times they are slower, more ambiguous and their causes seem to be much more undefined.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Thus, Santos proposes a distinction between what he calls globalisation of high intensity – concerning the rapid, intense and relatively mono-casual processes of globalisation – and globalisation of low intensity – concerning the processes that are slower, diffused and much more ambiguous in their casualty.

The distinction proposed by Santos has a great utility, in the sense that it helps to identify in clearer way the unequal relations of power that are subjacent to the different modes of production of the globalisation process. The globalisation of low intensity tends to dominate in situations where the exchanges are less unequal, in other words, where the differences of power (among countries, interests, actors or practices) are small. On the contrary, globalisation of high intensity tends to dominate in conjunctures where the exchanges have a high crease of inequality and the differences of power are high.

After having investigated, read, studied, analysed, and commentated on the authors that I believe put forward the main theories about the globalisation phenomenon, I come to one conclusion: globalisation is, certainly, a multi-complex process, involving many communication processes, raising, at the same time, many issues, questions, doubts and certainties. Thus, there will always be different perspectives about the globalisation discussion.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



Many say that we are entering in a new era. An epoch, increasingly, stigmatised by the existence of various ‘flows’, ‘scapes’ and processes of ‘coming together’. In this new time, also referred by many as a ‘postmodernist’ time, the spaces separating people from each other are, actually, shrinking and being compressed in such a way that it creates what Castells calls a “timeless time”. Because of the development and application of new technologies, long distance is no more an obstacle for the intercommunications and exchanges of experiences around the world.

This new age is highly characterised by the existence of several ‘networks’ that are interdependent and interact with one another. In Castells assumption, such interaction makes what he names the “Network Society”.

But, the central problem of today’s global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenisation and cultural heterogenisation. Most often, homogenisation advocates argue that we live under a cultural process of Americanisation very much identified as a ‘commodifying’ process. Many say that this cultural process leads into a ‘new global cultural economy’.

Some authors, most particularly Arjun Appadurai, conceptualise the new global cultural economy in a very complex way. Appadurai argues that it “has to be understood

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


as a complex, overlapping, disjunctive order, which cannot any longer be understood in terms of existing centre-periphery models” (Appadurai, 1990: 296).

Appadurai proposes a multidimensional understanding of the ‘global cultural flow’. Thus, he conceives five dimensions, fields whose interactiveness makes today’s global cultural economy:



By ‘ethnoscape’, Appadurai means the landscape, the realm of persons “who constitute the shifting world in which we live: tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guestworkers and other moving groups and persons which constitute an essential feature of the world, and appear to affect the politics of and between nations to a hitherto unprecedented degree”

(Appadurai, 1990: 297). Appadurai characterises this

ethnoscape as the ‘woof of human motion’. By that, he means the fact that more persons and groups, increasingly, have a necessity of having to move, or the fantasies of wanting to move.



By this second ‘scape’, it is understood that “the global configuration, also ever fluid, of technology, and of the fact that technology, both high and low, both mechanical and informational, now moves at high speeds across various kinds of previously impervious boundaries” (Appadurai, 1990: 297).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society




One has to consider and speak about ‘finanscapes’, because “the disposition of global capital is now a more mysterious, rapid and difficult landscape to follow than ever before, as currency markets, national stock exchanges, and commodity speculations move megamonies through national turnstiles at blinding speed, with vast absolute implications for small differences in percentage points and time units” (Appadurai; 1990: 298).



Appadurai relates this scape to “both the distribution of the electronic capabilities to produce and disseminate information (newspapers, magazines, television stations, film production studios, etc.), which are now available to a growing number of private and public interests throughout the world, and to the images of the world created by these media” (Appadurai, 1990: 299).



Finally, Appadurai proposes a fifth dimension denominated as the ‘ideoscape dimension’. ‘Ideoscapes’ have to do with the ideologies of states and the counterideologies of movements oriented to capturing state power or, at least, a part of it. In Appadurai’s words: “these ideoscapes are composed of elements of the Enlightenment world-view, which consists of a concatenation of ideas, terms and images, including ‘freedom’, ‘welfare’, ‘rights’, ‘sovereignty’, ‘representation’, and the master-term ‘democracy’” (Appadurai, 1990: 299).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


The whole of these phenomena, their specific and peculiar features, together with their interconnection, built a new complexity made of cultural and economic flows – a Global Cultural Economy.

The Consolidation of the Corporate Power

In the last years, largely due to an increasingly lax regulatory environment, major media companies have been buying and merging with other companies, creating even larger media conglomerates, whose activities have now a global reach. Such mergers have rapidly changed the organization structure and ownership pattern of the media industry.

This enlargement and consequent growth of power of media conglomerates has been a centre of much discussion and concern. Many say, and I strongly corroborate, that the growth of media outlets does not necessarily mean a better content that serves the public interest. In fact, even with new media outlets, it is still a handful of media giants who dominate and influence what we see, hear and read. The harsh reality is that the expansion of new media technologies has only strengthened the power and influence of new media conglomerates.

In the last decades, one observed an unprecedented expansion, growth of media companies, where media outlets became available to the public via cable, satellite, and the Internet.

Of course, larger size meant that media companies could have more available capital to support and finance expensive media projects. The importance of the notion of

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


synergy became an increasingly fundamental concept for the success of the media productivity, growth, enlargement and subsequent success. By ‘synergy’, is meant the potential of a particular company to sell a specific product across various and successive media, avenues. Quoting David Croteau and William Hoynes:

“’Synergy’ refers to the dynamic in which components of a company work together to produce benefits that would be impossible for a single, separately operated unit of the company. In the corporate dreams of media giants, synergy occurs when, for example, a magazine writes about an author, whose book is converted into a movie (the CD soundtrack of which is played on radio stations), which becomes the basis for a television series, which has its own Web site and computer games. Packaging a single idea across all these various media allows corporations to generate multiple revenue streams from a single concept. To do this, however, media conglomerates had to expand to unprecedented size.” (David Croteau and William Hoynes, 2001: 74)

This increasingly enlargement of media conglomerates’ power, was, fundamentally, due to a deregulation policy started back in the seventies. This policy intended to liberalize and increase the competitiveness among corporations, in an attempt to obstruct and, in fact, stop the concentration of monopolies.

By 1970, then, the FCC introduced new regulations requiring networks to purchase their programs from independent producers. According to the FCC, such measures had the deliberated intention to “limit network control over television

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


programming and thereby encourage the development of a diversity of programs through diverse sources of program services” (quoted in David Croteau and William Hoynes, The Business of Media, 2001: 80).

Now, my opinion is that western society, and most particularly the Portuguese, is currently dominated and manipulated by the power of media companies, conglomerates. Much of the time, quantity does not mean quality. In fact, like many others, I think that more channels do not necessarily mean more diversity. Also, more content does not necessarily mean different content. But, media corporations persist in arguing that many ownership regulations are no longer needed in this world of proliferating media outlets.

A New Era: The Age of Convergence / A New World of Technology

Another extremely important and determinant feature of the ‘globalized world’, which, definitely, influence our daily lives, is the development of new technologies and its inherent use by the media. Technology is in such a high level of development that media are, actually, mixing and converging together. We are entering, then, in a new era, a new epoch in the realm of telecommunications. Graham Murdock called this new period of Time as the Age of Convergence.

As Murdock refers, “the age of analogue of communications is now coming to an end. It is giving way to a new media landscape based on digital technologies” (Graham Murdock, 2000: 35). Analogue technologies expressed information in recognizable patterns – radio waves or fields of tone or colour, while digital

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


technologies create an abstract “world belonging exclusively to computers” (Feldman, 1997: 1).

Digitalisation is, then, the central feature of the current age and is transforming the face and functioning of the media – and, inevitably, the media from semi-peripheral1 countries as Portugal.

But, what are the contours of this convergence, after all? What fields of action does it reach? Murdock, in Television Across Europe, tries to give some answers to such questions. He concludes, then, that, although ‘convergence’ may be defined in a variety of ways, there are three undisputable features, processes:


The convergence of cultural forms


The convergence of communications systems


The convergence of corporate ownership

Regarding the convergence of cultural forms, many observers say that we are entering a new era of re-composition of cultural forms. New cultural forms, such as CDROMs and Internet websites, are bringing “the major forms of expressions together in one place for the first time and allow users to move through the materials on offer in a range of ways. They are no longer readers following a set sequence but navigators mapping out personal routes” (Graham Murdock, 2000: 36,37).


For a better understanding of the term, see chapter III, “2. Portugal: semi-periphery, intermediation and risk”.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Despite the present existence of considerable technical barriers to systems’ convergence, they are rapidly being overcome. By convergence of communications systems, it is meant the mixing of technologies among the various media – television, Mobile Phones, PC’s, etc. In other words, for instance, today, it’s already possible to send and receive E-Mail messages via mobile phones, or, one may see a television program in a PC screen.

The consequent effect of these changes and developments in the communications systems is that it instigates a considerable interest among the major broadcasting companies, who see the chance to sell services in a greatly expanded range of markets.

Thirdly, there’s a convergence of corporations, of corporate ownership. Innovations in digital technologies have led to a wave of new mergers, acquisitions and partnership agreements.

3. REPERCUSSIONS OF GLOBALISATION So far, then, it’s clear that the globalisation phenomenon involves multidimensional and multifaceted aspects, which have been suffering strong intensifications over the last decades.

The phenomenon comprises economic, social, political, cultural, technological and juridical dimensions that, at the same time, are interconnected and interrelated in complex ways.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


This interconnectedness is particularly consubstantiated by the increase of power, monopoly and protagonism of multinational enterprises and, most notoriously, media companies (Media Industry).

The expansion and dominance of Media Industry and subsequent marketization has been the centre of much concern and discussion. Many say that it generates pervasive effects in today’s global society – multifaceted social wounds and instabilities with inevitable consequences –, while others defend it and exalt its strengths and advantages.

Understanding the Market Approach

Over the last decades, then, there have been severe, significant changes in the media industry, as companies have grown, integrated, and become global players. From the market perspective, these structural changes are seen as normal and positive. Market advocates defend such changes, arguing that they embody a normal evolution of a growing and maturing industry. The structural changes of growth, integration, and globalisation are nothing more than signs of companies positioning themselves to manoeuvre and operate themselves in a new media world. From the perspective of the market model, the concentration of media ownership is seen as the natural by-product of a maturing industry.

Market Advocates argue that one shouldn’t be so nostalgic about the media era gone by. We live in a new age and we should approach it in a positive and enthusiastic way. Today, they say, consumers have many more options for news than ever before.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Also, there are less monopolies and a wider range of possibilities are available for citizens. In the market approach, this new dynamic media environment means more choices and better media for the consumer.

Vicissitudes and Concerns of the Marketization Process

Now, there has been a great concern, and I certainly include my self in such realm of discussion, about the structural changes of media industry – specially, in Portugal – for it raises serious and fundamental questions about what these structural changes mean for diversity and independence in content and for the power of newly emerging media corporations.

Cable television, for instance, broadcasts more raunchy, violent and sensational entertainment than before its appearance, lacking in appropriate entertainment and educational programs.

In my perspective, and surely in many others’, the majority of media outlets lack, fail in delivering content that is genuinely diverse and substantive.

Furthermore, as David Croteau and William Hoynes think, and I certainly agree with them, “the fragmentary nature of the cable television world might even be exacerbating cultural divisions in society, as segregated programming targets separate demographic groups based on age, gender, class, and race” (David Croteau and William Hoynes, 2001: 106). In reality, my personal sensibility tells me that this situation is currently happening in Portugal, where the Power television (cable TV) is huge in forming segments of spectators among society.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


The market approach promised less monopolies and more diversity from an unregulated market, but the reality appears to be quite different, as new media giants turn out to be a new form of monopoly themselves. They impose their rules and their own pace in society, leaving an active and vibrant public sphere powerless and, thus, less intervening.

The Contradictions of the Communication’s Convergence

Many say that the convergence of Media is causing serious and alarming consequences in the functioning of human relations, and, thus, creating a new kind of society. In this new information society, converged media, together with its innovations, “have made major impacts on the relations between human beings and their environments, and between differing groups and social sectors, but in ways that largely enhance or recompose existing relationships” (Graham Murdock and Peter Golding, 2002: 111).

Instead of bringing people together and reducing unit costs, the convergence of communications seems to divide even deeper societies that have access to all of the technological developments from those societies with rising inequalities of condition. On the other hand, as the widespread use and availability of new forms of political communication have set in place the possibility of radical transformations, changes of organization and mobilization, they also instigate the centralization of political control, as well as the migration of power from the civic political to the private corporate sector.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


I think the current situation introduces many intriguing questions and concerns. The power of communication companies, either in Portugal, either in other parts of the world, is currently challenging an important and crucial ‘body’, which, in my opinion, is a central feature of a real liberized democratic society – the public sphere.

An active public sphere of the people, and not the one created and manipulated by the mass media, is, in my perspective, what makes people have the exact notion of belonging to a community and, thus, the notion and sense of citizenship. As corporations’ power follows a marketization policy, strategy, my big concern is that it might thin the role of citizenship.

Thus, in the presence of such reality – marketization and convergence of main corporations –, there’s an increasingly and fundamental necessity of an arising of publicly funded communications organizations aiming to promote and restore the pedagogical role of citizenship. As Murdock and Peter Golding stress, “finding ways to develop this vision and construct an infrastructure to support it materially is the one of the greatest challenges facing democracy over the coming decades” (Graham Murdock and Peter Golding, 2002: 127).

Social Exclusion and Subsequent Emergence of a Migratory Necessity

One of the concerns of today’s reality is the fact that citizenship deprivation, together with other social deprivations such as livelihood, employment, earnings, property, housing, minimum consumption, education, the welfare state, personal contacts, respect, etc, might originate various social instabilities, namely social

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


exclusion, which, on the other hand, inevitably instigate people, who are victims of those situations, to search for better opportunities and life conditions, and, thus, migrate.

Therefore, it seems to me that the discussion around the migratory dynamics is also fundamental in the study, dissection and understanding of the processes of globalisation. The debate on this issue will take place, then, in the next chapter, which will broach the theme in a much profound and extensive way, giving special emphasis to the migratory dynamics in the Portuguese society.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


1. INTRODUCTION As A. Zolberg (1983; 1989) argues, the theoretical emergence and development of international migrations took place due to a ‘conceptual net’ that tried to deduct what ‘laws’ induced the re-localization of human beings, independently from the fact that such re-localization took place within the same juridical-institutional space or between different juridical-institutional spaces. Only much more recently, theorists began to realise and take under consideration, the fact that what, actually, defines the international migrations as being a specific social process is the exercise of the right of sovereignty to control who may enter, stay and belong to the National-State. In Zolberg’s perception, “[the international migrations process has an inherent] political character, since the process itself not only comprises a physical re-localization but also a jurisdiction and belonging change” (Zolberg, 1989: 405-406).

What has just been said doesn’t mean that international migrations (as well as internal migrations) are not determined by geo-political inequalities and formal or informal auto-sustained migratory nets that are generated and developed between the ones who leave and the ones who stay! On the contrary, it means that such determinants, in the specific case of the international migrations, are subject of a political sanctioning by the involved States that, on the other hand, significantly alters both the economical and social determinants, and, thus, conferring a specificness to the processes of migrations among States.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


As we can see, then, the phenomenon of migrations, and, subsequently, the theory itself, being one of the manifestations and outcomes of the globalisation process, is not as easy to spot, define and theorize about as it may first look, as it involves several determinants, factors, variables and conditionalisms. Because it’s such a complex phenomenon, it’s hard, even impossible, to draw a single theory about it!

Along the years, though, many researchers have been studying and analysing the forces and flows of migrations (both migrations within the States and inter-State migrations) at a global scale. One of them, Alejandro Portes, argues that “any general theory about international migrations have to be capable of generating a whole of explicative and forsight hypotheses about the following three questions: (1) what factors determine the differences of international migrations flows existent among NationStates? (2) What individual and regional factors determine the different emigration proportions existent in the varied emissary countries? (3) What factors determine the variable modes of incorporation of the immigrants in the varied countries of reception?” (Portes, 1997: 810).

Following the same scope of thinking, Maria Ioannis Baganha argues that there are a variety of different theories about the migratory phenomenon. But the theory, research and analysis that most interest in this work must surely be the one that answers the following question: what are the impacts of the processes of economical globalisation on the migratory flows both to and from Portugal?

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


In other words, the objective of this chapter is to present, analyse and eventually criticize the macro structural impacts of the processes of economical globalisation on the international migrations and, thus, on the Portuguese migrations. One must also bear in mind the following question: Do such processes wall and diminish the power of the State system over the regulation of international migration movements?

Portugal is clearly, then, a good option to be object of empirical study, since (together with the rest of Southern Europe) it became, during the 80’s, a pole of attraction for a rising number of immigrants and, thus, a sort of privileged ‘laboratory’ for the study and analysis of the impacts of the globalisation processes on the gestation of flows of international migrations, as well as on the power of the States who regulate such movements.

Over the last decades, then, there has been a profound evolution and mutation of the flows of international migrations. Such changes are due to a variety of determinants and conditionalisms. Factors such as political convulsions, social instability and serious ethnical conflicts took place in Eastern Europe, as well as bloody religious conflicts, poverty and war in Africa are definitively on the basis of the changes occurred in the world and, thus, had the effect of turning South of Europe on an area of imigrational attraction, either for economical immigrants, either for refugees.

In Baganha’s words though, “it wasn’t just the increment of geo-economical inequalities generated in both east and south of Europe [intensified by the mentioned factors] that altered the present tendency of migratory movements! The recent intensification of the economical globalisation processes is, indeed, promoting a

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


profound re-structuring on the Industry; a re-localization of the sources of workmanship supply; a re-directing of the capital flows; and new patterns of international competition” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 137).

All of these dynamics are currently changing the world and, in an unprecedented way, are undermining the labour and social policies, as well as altering the structure and functioning of the employment market in western and southern European countries.

The successive enlargement of the European Common Market, followed by the beginning of the construction of the European Union (EU), generated an innovating situation for the majority of the southern European countries. Along this process, the frontiers within the EU space were abolished, but no common policy on migrations was adopted in relation to ‘nationals of 3rd countries’.

Conjunctures as geo-economical and political interests together with a diversification of historical pasts (namely colonial) blocked the attainment of consensus among the countries involved in migratory policies.

The recent history of south of Europe as being an imigrational area is partially, then, determined by the history of the new world, which is dominated by the rise of geoeconomic inequalities, the intensification of the processes of economical globalisation and the construction of a political and economical block – the EU.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


On the other hand, as the processes of construction of the EU are still underway, the elaboration of a common migratory policy is still on the waiting desk, and, thus, the result is that both recent migratory movements and processes that have been occurring in the southern European countries still result from the way each of those countries have been positioned and inserted themselves in such processes.

One should have in mind, then, that the recent migrational history of southern Europe is clearly a sum of specific national cases, consensus and differences, which are related either to the respective historical pasts, either to the geo-economical and political interests of each of the countries that form and constitute this geographical area.

As it was mentioned before, the main objective of this chapter is to analyse the macro structural impacts of the processes of globalisation on the migratory flows generated both to and from Portugal. The nature of such macro structural impacts depend, then, on the positioning and insertion of Portugal in the processes also mentioned before. And, in this respect, it’s clear that, since the migratory flows to and from Portugal are essentially international flows of labour, such flows depend on the employment offer existent on the international market located within the geographical macro-system in which Portugal is inserted. On the other hand, one has to remind the fact that the positioning of Portugal in such geographical macro-system is highly defined both by its colonial past and present position as a member State of the EU.

The next paragraphs, then, will focus on the analysis of the present dynamics of the migratory processes both to and from Portugal.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


2. FLOWS OF MIGRATIONS What best characterizes the tendency of the present migratory processes in Portugal is the simultaneous existence of what is called flows of entrance and flows of exit of migrants that have similar economical profiles.

In the paragraphs ahead, I will centre my attention in analysing the main features of two huge movements of migratory flows – migratory flows of entrance and migratory flows of exit.

Migratory Flows Of Entrance

The investigation carried out by Portuguese researchers about immigration shows that the nature of the migratory flows that have been happening since mid80’s is mainly bipolar and the immigrant population tends to concentrate itself in a particular geographical area – the metropolitan area of Lisbon (MAL), which over the last decades has registered a notorious decrease of industrialization together with an accentuated increase of the tertiary sector (Baganha 1996, 1998a).

If one analyses the main features of the migratory tendencies in Portugal, the first remark to be made must be the fact that the stock of foreign population in Portugal increased uninterruptedly from 1980 until 1997, even though, this rise had some oscillations and different rhythms of increase along this period (Charts 1 and 2).2


In fact, after the intense rise in the 2nd half of the 70’s (the annual mean rate of growth was 11,9%, between 1975 and 1981), the rhythm of growth of foreign settlement slows down along the decade of the 80’s, and rises again during the 90’s.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Note: The statistics for 1994 include the special regularization process (1992/93). Source: Fonseca, M., M.J. Caldeira, and A. Esteves (2002), “New forms of migration into the European south: Challenges for citizenship and Governance – the Portuguese Case.” International Journal of Population Geography, 8(2): 135-152.

On the other hand, the nationalities of the countries of origin as well as the socio-demographic profile of the immigrants also show some crucial significant changes, which result in a progressively complexity of the composition of the foreign population existent in Portugal. Such complexity is exemplified by the increasing number of nationals that come from countries with which Portugal never had privileged economic neither historic bows (Ukrainians, for example), and asked for their regularization during the processes of extraordinary foreign regularization taken place along the 90’s (1992 and 1996, respectively).3


Concerning the features of the foreign population resident in Portugal, there are available several syntheses. The pioneer work on this field is Esteves et al., 1991. More recently, other works, like

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


From the socio-demographic perspective, the main features of the foreign population with legal residence in Portugal are as follows:

! High residential concentration in the MAL

! A man/woman ratio higher than 1 (a 1,4 figure, during the period from 1990 to 1995)

! A disproportionate percentage of population with the age between 25 and 45 years old.

! An insertion in the labour market dominated by a group of occupations that are socially less valorised, namely, the categories of workers of the production of the extractive and transforming industries, as well as conductors of both transport and fixed machines.

(Baganha, 1996, 1998a)

However, if one disaggregates these features by nationalities, some considerations become worthy of observation and analysis. The foreign population in Portugal, then, is clearly composed by two segments that are well differentiated and, in fact, bipolar. Nationals of European countries and Brazil essentially compose the first segment (Chart 2). This segment shows a dispersed residential patron in relation to the MAL; a high percentage of one’s own account workers in relation to the Portuguese population, and an occupational structure in which the importance of the scientific and Malheiros, 1991; Baganha, 1996, 1998a, 1998b; Pires, 1993; and Baganha, Ferrão e Malheiros, 1998

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


technical professions together with the superior administrative office and director professions definitively places this segment of foreign population at the top of the Portuguese socio-professional structure.

The second segment concerns the foreign population that is fundamentally constituted by nationals from the PALOP countries (see note in table 1) and a sub-group, although less significant, but still in constant rise composed by nationals who come from countries such as Zaire, Senegal, Pakistan, Romania, Moldova and, much more recently, Ukraine (Table 1). The population located in this segment is clearly situated at the basis of the Portuguese socio-professional structure4, and is, predominantly (and economically) incorporated in the informal labour market. In this respect, an inquiry made in 1997, interviewing the active immigrant population, revealed that 47% of men and 21% of women were working without any type of contract. More than that, the majority of the interviewees were from the PALOP countries and were working in the building construction, 74% of whose had no labouring tie (Baganha, Ferrão and Malheiros, 1998).

One should stress that the results, and most particularly, the high percentage of immigrants is in perfect congruity with all the data published over the 90’s decade (Luvumba, 1997; França, 1992; Costa et al., 1991).

were made. 4 It’s still possible to indicate a third segment whose numerical expression is still very low, but it is associated with certain nationalities and particular forms of economical insertions. Nationals who come from Mozambique, India and China, then, compose this segment.


Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society

Table 1: Distribution of foreigners with residence and "permanence" permits, by regions of origin: 2001 Residence permits (stock, 2001) Area of origin

"Permanence" permits (issued in 2001)










European Union





Eastern Europe

























PALOP countries





Cape Verde










Guinea Bissau

























Other countries





Note: - Value too low to be included in the data published by the National Statistical Institute (INE). NA Not applicable. PALOP is an acronym for "Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa," or "African Countries with Portuguese as the Official Language.", which are Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau, and Cape Verde. Source: National Statistical Institute (INE, 2001) Demographic Yearbook and ACIME/SEF/IGT (2002) Relatório sobre a Evolução do Fenómeno Migratório. Lisbon, ACIME/Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras/Inspecção Geral do Trabalho, Março de 2002.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


The bipolarity of the migratory flows towards Portugal doesn’t represent, however, any type of singularity. In fact, recent studies and researches about cities such as New York, Tokyo, London, Singapore and Hong-Kong (Sassen, 1991, 1994, 1996; Findlay et al., 1994, 1996; Li et al., 1998) have consistently demonstrated that the migrations to these cities are strongly featured by bipolar migratory streams. The first one is composed by highly qualified workmanship, which is linked to management, new technologies and knowledge. This migratory tendency is attracted by the central nodules of the economic system due to economical strategies and to both scientific and technological investigations.

The second stream is constituted by a workmanship that, independently from its qualification, is attracted to these cities due to economic opportunities (partially generated by the stream itself) aiming activities that essentially don’t require any type of specific qualification, such as catering, cleanliness, personnel and domestic services and a whole of small businesses, namely, ethnical restaurants, domestic repairing, and activities associated to leisure. In other words, there has been an increase of activities known as traditional, which show a particular feature: they are currently being generated by the most modern sectors of the economy, as well as, in the same urbane space.

The impacts of the globalisation processes on the gestation of bipolar flows have not only been object of study and analysis in the so-called global cities such as New York or Hong-Kong, but also in a rising number of European cities as Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Milan and, as it has been mentioned in the last paragraphs, Lisbon! This last group of cities of the EU show similar features both in terms of types of migratory flows and modes of economical insertion. Thus, some writers, and most

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


particularly, Body-Gendrot, have denominated this particular group of cities as “softglobal cities” (Body-Gendrot, 1996).

The investigation done over the last decades on the immigration phenomenon has also showed that, in all these cities, a significant and rising number of immigrants are involved in activities that don’t require any type of qualification, and, more than that, such peoples don’t show any kind of attraction nor interest. In this context, and if one takes a look at the present restrictions to the legal entrance of economical immigrants, the opportunities of work within this segment of the labour market are progressively and systematically being fulfilled by illegal immigrants (or, at least, working illegally). This situation may potentially generate other situations of economical exploitation and social exclusion for many of the new ‘unwanted’.

In short, adding to the present bipolarity of the migratory flows, it seems that there has been an aggravation of a trench, specially, concerning the levels of remuneration, the employment stability and working conditions between the primary labour market – essentially open to highly qualified nationals and immigrants – and the secondary market, where the overwhelming majority of the opportunities of work opened to newcomers immigrants is being generated. The rising of this segment of the labour market, highly characterized by its precariousness, flexibility and partial submersion in the informal economy, has frequently been considered as one of the most salient impacts of the currently undergoing economical globalisation.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


If one takes under consideration this line of reflection and thinking, one could clearly, then, tend to explain the actual imigrational flow towards Portugal by the following way: the end of the colonial empire, the entrance of Portugal in the Economic European Community (EEC)/European Union (EU) and subsequent re-structuring of its economy placed Portugal in a international structure that allows the country to take over a new role in Europe, either in relation to its European partners, either to the so-called third countries. This re-positioning allowed Lisbon (to where converge the majority of the benefits created as a result of this new position) to become a pole of migratory attraction, or, in Body-Gendrot’s words, a “soft-global city”.

All the studies, works and investigations about migrations in Portugal have showed that the migrational dynamics in Portugal are strongly influenced by the following:

a) Institutional parameters in which they occur (EU/Portugal; Portugal/PALOP)

b) Strategies adopted by the agents (take, for example, the options of market chosen by the Portuguese enterprises over the building construction) and by the actors involved, which are connected by formal and informal networks of both local and transnational nature.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Just as an illegal Cape Verde immigrant once said: “generally speaking, we may say that, people immigrated with the dream of Portugal as being an initial destiny. Portugal is like an entrance door from where you can dream of better destinies” (interview quoted in Baganha, 1998a).

All of the mentioned factors are, however, particularly, relevant in the present context, since the actual legal structure of migrations within the EU tends to promote internal flows of migration from the poorer countries towards the richer countries (Portugal/Germany), and from Africa and the East towards southern Europe (PALOP countries/Portugal).

On the other hand, as Baganha says, “the actual institutional structure of the EU is promoting the transference of responsibilities attributed to economic agents that come from more developed welfare-states – where both legal protection and social benefits are high – to less developed welfare-states – where both protection and labour benefits are low, contributing in that way to a re-distribution of labour within the EU” (Baganha, quoted in Santos, 2001: 147). In other words, the present existence of freedom in the circulation of capital, services, goods and peoples without an harmonization of the national fiscalization, systems, social costs of labour and social security systems is determining both a significant distribution of workmanship within the EU space and mining the so-denominated “European Model”.

Like Baganha’s perception, my believe is that, on one hand, Portugal, much more than being perceived as having an intermediary position in the global system, it must be considered as a ‘spinning plate’ that distributes (imports and exports)

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


workmanship depending on the institutional structure in which it operates. On the other hand, Lisbon (a ‘soft-global city’) and its metropolitan area represent the centre of such spinning plate.

Migratory Flows Of Exit

Until the 1973-74 oil crisis and subsequent economic recession, the policies of immigration of the principal European countries might be essentially characterized by “open door policies” (Baganha quoted in Santos, 102: 148). In other words, during the sustained phase of growth after the 2nd world war, the industrialised Europe incremented a policy of recruitment of workers from overseas. This measure instigated the migration of several millions of non-communitarian migrants and their familiars whose establishment was facilitated by the existence of workmanship necessities, as well as possibilities of economical and social mobility. A generalised conviction that such conjuncture was temporary and could easily be inverted once the instabilities of the labour market were resolved and the immigrants, when having bargained the necessary savings or confronted with situations of unemployment, could return to these countries of origin.

Portugal only became substantially involved in this intra-European migratory cycle from the 60’s decade onwards. Between 1960 and 1974, about a million and a half of Portuguese people abandoned the country, mainly, towards France and Germany. In the particular case of France – country where the overwhelming majority of emigrants established themselves during this period –, the economic insertion of the Portuguese people may be characterized, essentially, by its huge concentration in activities related to

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


two economical sectors: personal and domestic services, and building construction and public works.

In the beginning of the seventies, the traditional European countries that were receptors of the Portuguese workmanship closed their frontiers to the arrival of new immigrants and created several incentives aiming the return of immigrants to their countries of origin.

This particular change in the migratory policies from the main European countries affected, particularly, Portugal, since it generated a significant return of emigrants already established in both France and Germany. To aggravate this situation, such change occurred simultaneously with the 1974 Revolution and consequent independency of the Portuguese ex-colonies in Africa, which meant the promotion of the return to the country of about 500.000 civilians and 100.000 soldiers, generating, in that way, a sudden rise of the active population. In other words, while the end of the Empire stimulated an abrupt increase of the active population, the international economic crisis, which favoured the implementation of anti-migratory policies in the principal countries where the Portuguese emigration had a destiny of establishment, prevented emigration to preconize its traditional role as a demographical ‘escape valve’ and ‘social network of security’ in a time of accentuated economical deterioration.5


Information and data obtained in Barosa and Pereira, 1988; Baganha, 1991; Baganha and Peixoto, 1997; Stahl et al., 1982; Secombe and Lawless, 1985.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


After having analysed all of these conjunctures, I spot what I believe to be an intriguing and odd situation, which is as follows: Isn’t it paradoxal (at least, apparently) that in a such serious and austere economical situation, with which the country was involved from 1975 until 19856, the Portuguese emigration didn’t suffer a boost and, on the contrary, it remained with very low rates? I found so!

In order to satisfy my curiosity, I searched for possible explanations. I found, then, several theories, but the one which, in my opinion, best describes and explains such nonsense is the one proposed simultaneously by three authors – Baganha, Ferrão and Malheiros. In the book entitled, “The external migratory movements and their incidence over the labour market in Portugal” (title translated to English), the authors present the possible explanations for the situation. In their view, then, the 1975-1985 period well demonstrates that the geo-economical instabilities among receptor and emissory countries don’t generated international movements of work all by themselves! In fact, and as the Portuguese case shows, the existence of international migratory flows also depends on the political sanctioning of the involved countries, that is, on the existence or absence of a favourable institutional environment, and, finally, on the strength and consistency of the active migratory networks in both ends of the trajectory.

In the Portuguese case, they say then, the whole of these factors would only be available again from mid-eighties, period where the Portuguese emigration re-starts to grow due to several conditionalisms (Baganha, Ferrão and Malheiros, 1998: 49):


In reality, the number of unemployed people, which in 1974 had a figure of 86 thousand, raised, in the following year, to the 222 thousand figure and continued to increase, reaching 446 thousands of people in 1983 (in other words, 10.5% of the active population). In 1985, unemployment finally starts to descend (Barosa and Pereira, 1988).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



The creation and structuring of migratory movements directed to new destinies such as Switzerland.


The re-vitalization of networks already existent, like the emigration to Spain, Germany and transatlantic destinies.


New conditions of international mobility for workers, which were generated by the integration of Portugal in the European Community.


The legal framing established at the communitarian level in relation to the cession of workmanship services, as it is the case of the ‘detachment of workers’ in Germany.

If one closely analyses the main features of the Portuguese population present in three European countries – Spain, Switzerland and Germany – during the 1996-year, the singularity of the Portuguese migrations may be well exemplified by stressing two aspects: the numerical relevance of the Portuguese population and the economical insertion of the Portuguese emigrants in the labour markets of such countries.

If one starts to analyse the features within Spain, one may observe that, in 1996, there were about 37.716 immigrated Portuguese people, 58% of whose were illiterates or didn’t have any degree of scholarity, while 36% only had completed the primary school. In the region of Madrid, where the overwhelming majority of this population had a residence, 79% were involved in professions such as domestic services, restoration and hotel management, and building construction and public works.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


In the same year, on the other hand, there were 137.081 Portuguese immigrants with annual or permanent residence titles in Switzerland, 79.347 of which were economically actives; 19% of this active population were engaged in building construction, while 21% worked in the restoration and hotel management sector; the annual mean of the seasonal entrance occurred over the period from 1991 until 1996 was approximately about 38.000 workers; the estimative for the number of illegal immigrants were roughly between 20 and 50 thousand; the economic incorporation from both the illegal and seasonal immigrants essentially happened in the economical sectors mentioned before – restoration and hotel management, and building construction and public works.

Finally, if one takes a good look at the statistics of the population in Germany, one can clearly see that, in 1996, there were 130.842 of legal Portuguese living in that country, 27% (35.327) of which had arrived there over the previous four years. Adding to these numbers, one must not forget all the Portuguese working for Portuguese enterprises linked to the building construction and public works sector, and that were temporary sent to the country. In this field, the number of Portuguese registered in the Federal Labour Institute with a regime of rendering services was, at the end of November 1997, 21.481. This figure represented about 15% of the total 145.000 workers registered with such working regime. In this respect, the hierarchy by nationally was as follows: Polish, Portuguese, Irish, British and other nationalities. In the same year, the Portuguese embassy estimated that at least more than 15 thousand Portuguese were working irregularly for Portuguese employers in this sector of the economy. The German syndicates calculate that approximately 150 thousand Portuguese were and are

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


still working the construction sector, which means that more than 100 thousand Portuguese were working illegally.7

These data evidence about the Portuguese emigration in Europe indicate the revival of a traditional emigrational stream, in other words, the exit of individuals motivated by the demand of better economic conditions, technically referred as migrations “with well defined objectives and a determined time”. Countries such as Switzerland, Spain and Germany are, then, the targets of this migratory movement renewal.

But, what these data also shows is that the profile of the Portuguese emigration is, like in the past, classified as an economic emigration essentially constituted by manual workers who have low rates of qualification and that they insert themselves in what is called the dirty or less paid occupations, which means that they exercise professions that were exercised by Portuguese emigrants during the sixties and seventies.

The entrance of Portugal in the European Community (EC), occurred in 1986, was a crucial moment in its history, as it incremented two situations. Firstly, it allowed the Portuguese firms to subcontract its working strength in the EC, which meant, for example, a raise of the concentration of many thousands of Portuguese workers in Germany (especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent German reunification), reducing, in that way, the workmanship available in that country. Secondly, simultaneously with the rise of the abroad workmanship demand for the building 7

Information and data obtained in Baganha and Góis, 1999; Baganha and Peixoto, 1996, 1997.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


construction, the integration of Portugal in the EC canalised the country for a substantial volume of structural funds, which have been applied in railways and communications infrastructures, as well as in the construction of public buildings, temporally raising in that way the workmanship national necessities in this sector.

During the year 2000, an enquiry was undertaken in order to study and analyse the Portuguese emigrants who were working in the building construction sector of the EU.8 The results of the interviews allow one to conclude that the detected motivations for emigration are the same as the ones detected for the emigrants in the sixties decade, who, in its large majority, departed to France. In other words, as Baganha says, “when one emigrates, he/she is not voting with his/her feet, but rather accepting the fact that, if the country is not changing, then is necessary to depart for a while in order to continue living in Portugal” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 152).

From all what it has been said, one may conclude that the present migratory dynamics in Portugal are essentially being determined by four main factors:

1. The new parameters that regulate the circulation of people, goods and services in the EU space.

2. The network of information and contacts that the newly arrived PALOP immigrants detain in specific economic sectors, which are characterized as having high levels of informality, labouring flexibility and precarious working relations.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


3. The transference to other European countries of a substantial part of the domestic working force and the vacancies resulted from that transference.


The fact that the actual situation shows clear economical benefits for the short time and differed and diffused costs, either financially, either socially speaking.

In terms of the social impacts, it must be stressed that the actual migratory situation has some worrying aspects, namely, the ones generated by the fact that the replacement of the Portuguese national workmanship is taking place in an artificial environment of complementarity, that is, where, apparently, the immigrant workers in Portugal are fulfilling the not occupied or abandoned vacancies left by the Portuguese workers. There is, then, profound unsuitableness between the emigration from Portugal and the immigration to Portugal. Thus, the social costs for the medium/long term that result from this situation may well be high, either for the Portuguese society, either for the migrants involved in it, while the economical costs will depend, at least partially, on the evolution of the emigrational flows.

After having presented and analysed all the relevant accounts and data, allied to my personal feeling and sensibility, I must conclude that the present position of Portugal in today’s conjuncture – a spinning plate in terms of workmanship distribution – won’t


There were made 18 interviews to Portuguese workers working, or at least with a working experience, in Germany and in the building construction sector. These interviews were conducted by Luís Cavalheiro during the year 2000.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


suffer significant changes, or, in other words, Portugal will continue to be the South of Europe and the North of Africa for the coming years.

3. CONCLUSION In this highly internationalised world, one of the most consensual sovereign rights of the nation-State is to control who can enter and stay in its territory and subsequently belong to the entire national space. In the exercise of this right, the State promulgates and implements legislation aiming the regularization of the following aspects of the relation foreign citizen/national State: entrance, permanency, acquisition of nationality and expulsion from the national territory.

Thus, any migratory policy needs to try to solve two crucial questions, which are as follows: how many immigrants may the country receive? And what profile should such immigrants have?

In this respect, like G. Borjas argues, “the policy to be implemented depends on the welfare that one intends to promote – the nationals’, the immigrants, the rest of the world’s, or one of the possible combinations among these three” (Borjas, 1996: 72-80).

In the particular case of Portugal, until 1996 – year of the latest Extraordinary Regularization of Illegal Immigrants –, the policies implemented to regulate the migratory flows, unequivocally, show that the government essentially legislated with the presupposition that the country only attracted significant flows of immigrants coming from countries with Portuguese as an official language. But, what’s more significant is

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


the fact that the Portuguese government introduced several legal mechanisms of what is called positive discrimination in relation to nationals coming from countries with Portuguese as an official language and showed clear signs that the presence of immigrants, particularly from the PALOP, would be tolerated independently from the fact that such presence was legal or illegal. In other words, Portugal, despite having joined the Schengen space and consequently having accepted the voluntary share of the sovereign right to control the national frontiers, regulated immigration in accordance with its geo-strategic interests and circumstantial necessities of the economy (Baganha and Góis, 1999; Baganha et al., 2000).

The present conjuncture of migrations in Portugal, and particularly the immigration’s, may also be explained by the fact that, since March 1995, the Schengen Application Convention cessed the obligation of nationals from Russia, Ukraine, Romania and other East European countries to ask for a visa concession. This situation, allied to the free circulation within the Schengen space, potentially generated the immigration to Portugal of migrants deriving from those regions. Portugal, then, became an attractive country for the traffic of networks of workmanship.

Facing these changes, and under the pressure of accusations made by several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the mass media about the high volume of nationals coming from East of Europe in the labour market and various forms of exploitation, one has been observing a significant change in the policies in Portugal.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


In short, the analysis on the migratory flows and dynamics both to and from Portugal over the last quarter of the 20th century, makes me believe and conclude that, despite the current processes of economical globalisation and its various inherent disruptive impacts, a conceptualisation of the world as being an international system based on the sovereign rights of the nation-States is still the one that best allows one to understand the present international migratory processes.

On the other hand, and vastly speaking, countries that receive immigrants today confront a migration context that in many ways is different from that experienced in earlier decades. The frequency and speed with which people can move between countries and continents means that many can simultaneously maintain social, political, and even economic ties in two or more societies. Transportation and communication technologies have thrown into question the ‘permanence’ of leaving a society of birth behind, and have transformed the ways in which newcomers build new economic, social, and cultural lives in the societies where they choose to settle. Unlike earlier eras, migrants today come from every region of the world and represent an incredible array of linguistic and cultural heritages. Moreover, the places that receive them, which are overwhelmingly cities in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand, and the countries of East and Southeast Asia), quickly become kaleidoscopes of cultures, identities, and histories. These cities are the bedrock of integration – the places where the cultural diversity of today's newcomers, as well as the challenges of living together as a community, are brought together in neighbourhoods that are truly multiethnic rather than homogeneous urban villages.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


The diversity of today's migration flows, however, does not end with culture, language, or social class. While the vast majority arrive as legal migrants, some skirt around immigration laws and management systems, and experience a precarious life defined by an absence of legal status with respect to the economy and social institutions of the receiving society. The vast majority of newcomers make an active choice to build a life in a new country but others, due to political and military turmoil or persecution, are forced into migration and a state of ‘statelessness’ that may last for years. In the case of the refugees, for example, the experiences of persecution and long-term forced displacement pose particular challenges for reconciliation with the imposed status of being a migrant and successful settlement in a new society. As we can see, then, today’s globalisation processes – global flows of people, capital and labour – generate social ambiguities, complexities, profound transformations and disparities. These instabilities have been causing a great concern among writers, researchers, politics and a whole of ‘elite’ thinkers, which, on the other hand, have been theorizing on what they call the social illness/risk of today’s globalized world. The discussions around all these social instabilities, and particularly the ones existent in the Portuguese society, and their subsequent implications will be extended in a broader and much incisive way in the following chapter.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


1. INTRODUCTION Statistics, worldwide, have been showing that there has been an increase of the inequalities in the distribution of richness and, despite the intensification of global flows of capital, labour and migrants, the extension of the markets, the globalisation of the policies and progresses in communications, the fact is that the opportunities to improve life conditions are, more than ever, inaccessible to the majority of the world population.

In Ulrich Beck’s perception, this situation is reported both in southern and northern countries. In his view, in today’s global capitalism, there is a progressive tendency towards an approximation between the social structure of the industrialised countries and the polarized structure of the southern countries, which is highly characterised by diversity, indistinctness and insecurity (Beck, 2000).

The phenomenon of social polarization, or, as Beck calls, brazileanization, which is particular noticed in the configuration of employment (increasingly precarious, discontinuous and informal), is presently reaching even the countries that were known as having the highest rates of full employment. In his words, then,” countries belonging to the so-called pre-modernity and where the importance of informal and plural-active work is high may well reflect the future image of the also so-called countries of later modernity” (Beck, 1998: 219, 2000: 93).

Jock Young, on the other hand, spots what I also consider to be one of the perverse repercussions of today’s globalisation phenomenon. In his words, then, “ the transition from modernity to later modernity may well be seen as a passage from an

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


including society to an excluding society, that is, from a society, which the main feature was the assimilation and incorporation, towards a society that separates and excludes” (Young, 1999: 7). Young also relates exclusion with violence and crime. In his perception, chronicle deprivation may lead the poor to crime, in the same way as anxiety in the presence insecurity lead the rich to intolerance and persecution.

Taking even further the polarization and insecurity argument, two other writers – Martin and Schumann – stress the fact that the contemporary world is currently facing new dramatic changes. In their view, and I certainly agree with them, the increase of the distance among rich and poor, as well as, the uncontrollable ‘explosions’ of violence are giving place to a new strategic of “social apartheid”, that is, to the proliferation of closed condominiums, private militias and sophisticated systems of vigilance to protect the richer and powerful (Martin and Schumann, 1996).

In the next pages, then, I will broach and analyse the problematic of what many call the globalisation of the social risk, with a special look and emphasis to the particular case of Portugal. The analysis will focus on the globalisation and Europeanization of the Portuguese society and its effects on poverty and social inequalities.




AND RISK One of the main features of the globalisation phenomenon is the fact that it deals with processes of dialectic interaction among global dynamics and local forces, and, because of that, the final outcome of their impact in a particular region or place is

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


determined either by the intensity of the globalisation factors, either by the intensity of the local responses to it. On the other hand, it clearly seems that the impacts of globalisation and subsequent probability to determine corrosives effects over the different domains of social life are associated with the position of societies within a highly hierarchized global system.

The effects of the processes of globalisation and subsequent reactions generated in non-central societies – mainly those open to social interaction –, show, on one hand, a greater incapacity to seize opportunities, and, on the other hand, a greater exposition to constrains due to the debility and inexistence of endogenous factors. As Mingione and Pugliese say, “in locations, which the hyper-mobility of the global capital left behind, the negatives consequences are more evident in terms of unemployment and subemployment, environmental degradation and community decadence” (Bonanno et al., 1994: 23).

In Pedro Hespanha’s perception, the negatives impacts of globalisation (specially, economical) in periphery countries are very extensive and manifest themselves in a strong and visible way. The author argues that “such impacts evince themselves, almost all the time, in the instability of poor systems (although feasible) of basic security, radical changing in both the investment and employment opportunities, and resignation of the regulatory function of the State in the economic life” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 182).

Octávio Ianni, on the other hand, recons that it’s very difficult to detect and exactly determine the real source for the present global illness, due to the existence of a

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


vast number of causes that determine such situation. The author concludes that these difficulties make the process of globalisation (or Globalism, as he also calls it) itself invisible and insidious. In his words, then, “globalism does not born in a prompt and finished status nor is visible and evident. It slowly reveals itself either to the observation, either to the spirit. It appears and disappears, depending on the place, angle of vision, perspective or imagination. Some times, it seems to be inexistent and, other times, shows itself as being obvious and strident” (Ianni, 1997: 218).

Portugal is a good example of a society that is very vulnerable to the negative impacts generated by the economical globalisation. Due to its semi-peripheral condition within the global context, Portugal is a country that shows certain characteristics – such as a degree of debility in its mechanisms of economical, social or cultural regulation, and high social heterogeneity –, which favour a big opening to the penetration of hegemonic forms of globalisation.

This last feature – high social heterogeneity of the Portuguese society – is not only responsible for a particular vulnerability to the processes of globalisation but also for an unequal and contradictory impact of such processes over the different sectors of society. Due to the close relations that exist between the phenomena of globalisation and modernization in societies with intermediate development, such as the Portuguese, the differences between the various segments within the same society become particularly relevant. Thus, the segments of society that are less modernized detain a minor resistance or negotiation capacity to support and sustain the effects of globalisation, and, because of that, they suffer the greater destructive effects.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


However, and like Kenneth Gough argues, one needs to stress an important aspect, which is as follows: the people who belong to less modernized sectors of society have the capacity to invent ways of dealing with local manifestations of global phenomena, such as forms of cultural resistance generated by the necessity to survive, networks of primary solidarity supported by domestic unities and their communitarian aggregates, and vehicles of political survival as the mass media or voluntary organizations that generate international helping programs (Gough, 1968).

Thus, local societies do not only use their traditional institutions to sustain the pressures coming from both the macro-processes of industrialization and urbanization, but also try to manipulate and control the external agents, including public institutions and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) (Alger, 1992: 80).

Inequalities and Poverty

Social inequalities and, particularly, inequalities in the distribution of incomes are strongly associated to poverty and social exclusion. In Portugal, statistic data show that such inequalities are high, as well as, higher than the rest of the countries of the EU, even though there is a tendency for the configuration of distinctive groups of countries: the four Nordic countries with poverty rates around 5%, the central countries where the rates oscillate between 10% and 15% and the southern countries, including England, as a third group presenting rates around the 20% figure (EC – European Commission, 1999).9


Poverty rates are calculated in reference to families’ liquid incomes that are lower than 50% of the national mean rate.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Other tendency studies based on Family Budget Inquiries show that poverty rate, in Portugal, increased between 1987/88 and 1995 (Vogel, 1997: 87) and there was a deepening of the inequalities in the income distribution, mainly between 1990 and 1995: while, in 1990, 20% of poor people in the Portuguese society lived with 11,7% of the national income, in 1995, those people lived with 10,5% (Silva, 1999: 92).

In a recent and deeper study about the evolution of poverty in Portugal along the eighties’ decade – based in the Inquiries of 1980/81 and 1989/90 –, another researcher, Leonor Vasconcelos Ferreira, concluded that “the incidence of poverty, both in family and individual terms, present values that are systematically superior in 1989/90 in relation to 1980/81” (Ferreira, 2000: 259).

Another source destined to measure poverty in Portugal, using a distinctive methodology and based on felt necessities, spots a poverty rate in Portugal around the 18,3% figure (roughly 552 thousand families and 1.711.000 individuals), as well as, the 4,8% figure for the very poor population. On the other hand, if one analyses the statistics by districts, one can clearly observe the existence of huge internal disparities in the intensity of poverty in Portugal, with the higher values to be concentrated in Alentejo – region which is located in central/southern Portugal – [Ministério para a Qualificação e o Emprego – MQE – (translation to English: Ministry for the Qualification and Employment), 1996]10.


The concept of poverty used by this source is not based on the income, but rather in the privation of certain basic necessities (nourishment, clothing, lodgement, social protection and health cares, among others). The families that were under a certain threshold in more than three categories were, by that fact, considered to be poor and the ones that declared not to be able to satisfy none of the basic necessities were considered to be very poor.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


According to this source, the majority of the heads of the household are old people (55%), with very low scholar qualifications (59,8%), getting retiring pensions (64,8%) and living in very degraded houses (65,2%). However, there are many families with active heads of the household and whose poverty situation is due to low salaries (27%), unemployment (16,8%), economic crisis (15%) and inactivity (6,7%).

Still according to the same source, a reasonable percentage of poor families is covered, in one way or another, by the public system of social protection, but only Table 2 – Poverty rate: proportion of people under the «poverty line» before and after social transferences (excluding pensions) (%) - EU, 1995

41,5% beneficiate from the regular State help and a very short portion – 2,5% – do not need to sustain health expenditures.

Before transferences

After transferences


30 29 24 22 27 28 34 21 26 23 27

18 11 18 21 19 16 21 19 14 10 17




UK EU-13

34 26

20 18

Source: EC, European Community Household Panel (ECHP), 1999. EUROSTAT’s reproduction, 1999.

The insufficiency of social protection from the Portuguese State to debellate poverty may also be proved by data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) – see table 2. In 1995 – date immediately before the beginning of the application of the Rendimento Mínimo Garantido – RMG

– (translation to English: Minimum Income Guaranteed), then, the social transferences in Portugal (‘P’, in table 2) only lightened the high poverty rate (24%, according to this source) in 4%, which represents a value well under the European average.

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Many writers, most particularly Silva, emphasize the decisive role of the RMG in the reduction of poverty rates in Portugal (Silva, 1999: 95).11 According to official data reported to 1998 though, only 3,4% of the Portuguese population is getting benefit from this measure, which, in fact, represent a very small part of the poor population (CNRM, 1999: 16).

In Hespanha’s perception, “although the RMG represents an important measure for the reduction of the most dramatic cases of poverty in Portugal, it cannot dispense other complementary measures to fight poverty and exclusion from other strata of population which live just above the threshold of the RMG” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 186).12

Finally, another recent study on salary inequalities in Portugal shows that there was a continuous deepening of those instabilities between 1986 and 1997 – greater in the beginning of the 90’s decade and minor from 1995 onwards (Rodrigues and Albuquerque, 2000).

At the European level, statistics have been showing that, over the last two decades, together with the rise of inequalities, there has been a general tendency towards an increase in the levels of income. In an integrated economic space such as the EU, one is to expect that the effect of the forces of market will increasingly be stronger, strengthening both competitiveness and economic progress, but, on the other hand, 11

The author mentions a study, which would show that the effect of the RMG’s pecuniary instalment is responsible for the reduction of poverty, in Portugal, to half. 12 The Minister of Tutelage, who was in duty in the year 2001, corroborates this vision. In his words, then, “the RMG won’t end poverty, but only the more extreme and intolerable forms of poverty! It does not represent an alternative to the whole fight against exclusion, but rather a measure that complements the

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


raising social exclusion, unemployment and poverty. Thus, I definitely think that we are in the presence of a very serious and concerning situation. Just like Joachim Vogel’s account, my believe is that “at the long term, it seems that we’ll assist either to the decline of the traditional family, either to the rising difficulty for the member States of the EU to be able to finance social protection systems under the pressure of unemployment aggravation” (Vogel, 1997: 148).

The Portuguese Social Model and Europeanization

Only after the reestablishment of democracy in 1974, there were undertaken the first steps to create and develop the first systematic policies destined to construct a Welfare State in Portugal. From then on, then, there was a rapid rise of the social expenditures in the public expenditure. However, because such rise happened in a period of serious international economical crisis and political hesitation about the model of social regulation itself, the actual instauration and application of fundamental social policies became compromised, and, thus, the real protection system that was produced was a mere imitation of the advanced Welfare States belonging to industrialized countries. That’s why Santos well argues that “the Portuguese State confined itself to construct a quasi Welfare State” (Santos, 1990).

Consequently, following the expansionist period occurred after the dictatorship fall, emerged a new phase of budget restrictions, which prevented Portugal to approximate itself to the welfare model followed by the majority of the European countries. Adding to the low rate of public expenditure in the social sector, the adopted others, has to be articulated with them, and helps to detect new necessities of intervention” (Rodrigues,

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


measures had small reach and were relatively inefficient. In 1960, only 36% of the population truly beneficiated from the protection system existent at that time. This proportion rose to 78% in 1970 and 87% in 1990 (Carreira, 1996).

The progressive opening of the Portuguese economy to the exterior – both by the subordination to the rules of international organizations and institutional integration in the European space – positioned Portugal in a very vulnerable situation in relation to the dynamics of the forces of market and supranational policies.

In a world, where there have been profound changes in the global economy, each region and locality suffer different impacts and, thus, different consequences. But, there seems to happen common outcomes in all regions of the world, from which Portugal cannot escape. Socially speaking, as we all know, there are serious concerning problems in today’s reality (at a global scale). They are as follows: ! Youth unemployment ! Unemployment of long duration ! Atypical work and informal work ! Marginalized immigrants ! Mono-parental families

Many authors talk about the fact that Portugal doesn’t have a true Welfare State, not only due to its low patrons of social provision but also because there is a lack of other distinctive and truly Welfare State features, such as: the pre-existence of a social 1997: 198).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


pact founder, a consolidated relation between economical accumulation and social legitimacy, and an understanding of social citizenship as being a whole of citizen rights which the State is obliged to guarantee (Santos, 1993: 52).

Hespanha, on the other hand, argues that “the problem with the Portuguese Welfare State comes from its hybrid nature, which combines, at the same time, corporatism, universalism and liberalism in the same way as society combines corporative, solidarity and market interests” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 190).

If one compares the social policies of the Southern European countries, it becomes clear that there are flagrant similarities. Thus, many writers have called such similarities as the syndrome of the south. Leibfried, Ferrera and Rhodes, when describing them, talk about a lack of determination (softness) of the State, an assisting pluralism, some particularisms and institutional favouritism, and a public-private promiscuity (Leibfried, 1992; Ferrera, 1996; Rhodes, 1996). These writers also stress the crucial importance of other elements for the good functioning of the Welfare State in Southern European countries, which are as follows: the central role of the family, local communities and informal economy.

According to Ferrera’s argument, there are some political-institutional particularities about the southern countries (and, obviously, Portugal) that are surely on the basis for their distinctive Welfare States – a weakness of State institutions, an importance of the role of political parties and a high ideological polarization, with a divided, radical and maximalist left wing (Ferrera, 1996).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Leibfried, on the other hand, describes the Latin-Mediterranean model as being a regime of social protection inspired by social Catholicism.

His view is that, in

rudimental and residual Welfare States as the Portuguese, it remains the old traditions of social provision by religious organizations, familiar instalments (with a paternalist nature and by charity exercised by individuals), as well as, an important role carried out by the associative sector (Leibfried, 1992).

Two other authors, Rhodes and Palier, when broaching and analysing the systems of social protection in South of Europe, summarize the main distinctive elements already mentioned, but also proposed other important elements, as, the absence of a colligation of forces in a favour of a developed and re-distributive Welfare State; political, cultural and classes disparities; and the patron of poverty in the south of Europe – characterized by the lowest mean salary, greatest inequality in incomes, highest rate of poverty and greater family dependency relatively to social transferences (Rhodes and Palier, 1997: 607).

In another recent study on the future of the European social model, Ferrera, Hemerijck and Rhodes stress an interesting change. They assert, then, that those countries that deviated themselves from their initial cluster in order to adopt a combination of policies capable of capitalizing the better from the different welfare regimes are the ones that seem to be having more success in solving their problems (Ferrera et al., 2000: 52).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


In Portugal, on the other hand, the running of social policies and reforms seem to be influenced (to a great extent) by patrons of political decision from the European Union and by correspondent social programmes adopted by the various member states. The European condition of Portugal also influenced the social policies by other forms. Firstly, by the mode of structural funds (mainly from the FSE – Funds for European Security) and cohesion (Delors Programmes I and II), which become decisive for the implementation of programmes in areas such as employment, professional formation, education, habitation and poverty. Secondly, by the mode of the European monetary system, which turned the argument of convergence in an indisputable foundation for the retraction of social policies, traduced in public expenditure cuts, strangling of social security, freezing of salaries and social instalments, privatisation, reduction or closing of public services. All of these certainly have inevitable consequences in the increase of a vulnerability to exclusion and worsening for inequalities.

Today, the future of the Portuguese social model seems to be suspended and forgotten. There are a whole of social reforms that are waiting to be analysed and approved. Thus, there is, currently, a big debate in Portugal about this issue. Boaventura Santos makes an important contribution for this debate, arguing that in the basis of such impasse lies “a conflict between two global models of social protection reform: the neoliberal model, which defend a drastic reduction of social protection of the State, and the European social model, which is highly compromised with an ample and universalistic social protection, which, on the other hand, is based in citizenship rights” (Santos, 1999).

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society



Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


Overall Contextualization and Future Tendencies From about mid 20th century on-wards, the world has been witnessing a complex mutation in forms of also complex processes and phenomena. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which marked the symbolic end of the Cold War, was the fundamental and determining event that instigated the emergence of such global trends. From that point on, then, internationalism and the idea of one world or of a global village has suffered a great boost, especially due to the development of global capitalism. Over the last three decades, there has been an extreme intensification of transnational interactions – economically, politically and culturally speaking. Consequently, there has also been the natural emergence of a variety of questions, which seek to make some sense of all changes and transformations that are happening in our lives on a daily basis. One of the interrogations that have been coming to light is whether we are entering in a new era and new model of social development. Thus, there have been many discussions and debates around this issue, giving a special emphasis to the real nature of the ongoing transformations in capitalist societies and in global capitalist system as a whole.

Many say that the present time is a period of transition that combines proper characteristics of the modern global system with others that are related to other systemic or extra-systemic realities. In Santos’ perception, the whole of these characteristics interact and combine with each other in complex ways.

In his words, then, “the

transitory global system is very complex, because it is constituted by three big


Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society

constellations of practices – inter-state practices, global capitalist practices and transnational social and cultural practices –, which are profoundly interlaced in accordance with undetermined dynamics” (Santos, 2001: 94).

One may call the present time as the “Post-Modernist” time, the “Information Age”, the “Network Society”, the “Global Cultural Economy”, the “Neo-colonialist” time, the “Capitalist” time, the “Technological Convergence” time or even the “Netcitizenship” time, as, many have been calling it, but the reality is that new unprecedented phenomena are, currently, happening.

David Held’s argument is that “globalisation reflects a widespread perception that the world is rapidly being moulded into a shared social space by economic and technological forces and that developments in one region of the world can have profound consequences for the life chances of individuals or communities on the other side of the globe” (David Held, 1999: 1). Also for many, the concept of globalisation is seen and associated “with a sense of political fatalism and chronic insecurity in that the sheer scale of contemporary social and economic change appears to outstrip the capacity of national governments or citizens to control, contest or resist that change” (David Held, 1999: 1). In other words, it seems that the globalisation phenomenon, together with its inherent forces, is unavoidable and uncontrollable, where the limits to national politics are largely and forcefully defined and paced by globalisation itself.

It’s clear, then, that we are currently witnessing a period of high opening, impreciseness








unpredictable. The very nature of the global system itself is problematic and, as Santos

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


well argues, “the likely order is the order of disorder!” (Santos, 2001: 94). Under these circumstances, it’s understandable that the present time is object of several and contradictory accounts.

Some writers point out for two possible alternative readings about the present changes of the global system and subsequent future routes: the paradigmatic reading and sub-paradigmatic reading.

The first one, the paradigmatic reading, sustains that the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies marked a paradigmatic transitory period in the global system, from which it will emerge a new social paradigm. One of the most suggestive readings on this issue – the one proposed by Immanuel Wallerstein – says that the modern global system entered in a new period of systemic crisis, which began in 1967 and will continue to extend until the middle of the XXI century.

According to Wallerstein, the expansion of global economy is leading to an extreme marketization of social life and to an extreme polarization (not only quantitative, but also social) and, consequently, is reaching its maximum limit of adjustment and adaptation and will soon exhaust “its capacity to maintain the rhythmic cycles that constitute its cardiac beat” (Wallerstein, 1991a: 134).

The sub-paradigmatic reading, on the other hand, sees the present time as an important process of structural adjustment, in which capitalism doesn’t seem to be having any lack of resources and adequate imagination. As it has been sustained by the regulatory theories, the adjustment is quite significant, because it implicates a transition


Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society

from an accumulating regime to another.13 According to some writers, the emergence of the present transitory period questions the limitations of the regulatory theories and concepts, such as “regimes of accumulation” and “modes of regulations” (McMichael and Myhre, 1990; Boyer and Drache, 1996, 1998).

As one would expect, all of these theories are questionable and are, in fact, currently being questioned. The real dimension of the weakening of the Welfare State’s regulatory function is, today, one of the nuclear debates of both political sociology and political economy. From all of these, it only stands out an unquestionable observation: such Welfare State’s functions have changed (or, at least, are currently under transformation) dramatically and in a way that questions the traditional dualism between national regulation and international regulation.

The coexistence of different interpretations about the globalisation phenomenon is, probably, the most distinctive feature of our time. While, to some, globalisation is an inevitable and controllable turbulence, to others, it’s a presage of radical ruptures. Among this last group of people, on the other hand, there are some who see incontrollable










In short, today, there is the abundance of many uncertainties and contingencies, which, at the same time, allows us to analyse, criticize, put in perspective, and comment on possibilities and constructivism. In this respect, my great concern, rather then claiming the emergency of an ‘anti-globalisation’ movement, is to question in what 13

Aglietta (1979); Boyer (1986, 1990)

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


terms does the globalisation phenomenon, highly stigmatised by the Information Age, in fact, run. In other words, does it run by the logic of marketization and profit? Or does it run by the logic of defending equality, justice, citizenship and global Human Rights?

In my view, then, much of today’s tendencies (and, in which, Portugal is inherently inserted) are going towards a centralised, concentrated and manipulative environment, where the logic of marketing, capital and profit dominate the policy of corporate ownership, disregarding and despising a crucial and fundamental role in stimulating an active public sphere ‘owned’ by the people and not by the media, as well as a citizenship awareness.

The New Information Age, the development and application of new technologies has influenced, affected and accelerated the process of globalisation. People are coming together and, as Castells refers, this new age is very much characterized as a “timeless time”, where long-distance is no longer an obstacle and constraint for intercommunication and exchange between people. But, the danger in this Information Age is what it seems to be the inevitable formation and creation of new social divisions, discriminations or, in Castells’ words, the emergence of a Fourth World of Exclusion.

In this New Time, the new communication technologies are only available and can only be accessed by the rich, while the poor and the discriminated are forgotten and left apart. This situation is currently happening in the Portuguese society and, obviously, does not help the instigation, promotion, spreading and application of citizenship principles and awareness. Thus, such threat must be firmly watched, pursued and,

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


eventually, stopped from spreading. Quoting Castells, “the Information Age does not have to be the age of stepped-up inequality, polarization and social exclusion. But, for the moment it is!!” (Castells, 1996: 10).

Facing this scenario, I convincingly think that the stimulus and subsequent concretisation of future worldwide initiatives like the most recent Cancun Summit realised in the ambit of the WTO (World Trade Organization), between September 10th and 14th, will definitively help, or at least, keep alive the instigation and instauration of a better, much fair and humanitarian world, where the differences between the rich and the poor won’t be so extreme as they are today.

The Cancun Summit, which came up in sequence of a whole of ‘negotiation rounds’ – the Seattle and Doha meetings were the most recent ones – reflects the need for the disciplinalisation and ordering of today’s globalized world, where the impasse between poor and emergent countries (also called countries in a developing stage) – the G2114 – and rich countries – the G815 – seems to be at its highest peak.

Despite all the efforts, though, the Summit turned out to be a failure. In Kenneth Rogoff’s view (the economist chief of the IMF, International Monetary Fund), the multilateral commercial negotiations were a “tragedy”. To quote his words: “the recent failure of the commercial negotiations in Cancun is a tragedy. If there isn’t any increase in the exchanges, the global growth will slow down and poverty will rise world-


Group of emergent countries led by Brazil, China and India. Group of the eight most rich countries – United States of America, Russia, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan. 15

Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society


wide” (quoted in Boletim de Informacao Diplomatico – Ministério dos Negocios Estrangeiros/Gabinete de Informacao e Imprensa, 2003: 7)

Although initiatives as the Cancun Summit won’t always succeed in its purposes, the initiative itself is already a success and shows that there has been an increasingly awareness of the dangers of a world that is highly economically globalized. They reflect all the forces and pressures of different societies in reacting to the various vectors – economic, social and cultural – that command the globalisation phenomenon.

Parallelly to the WTO meetings, there has also been taking place other initiatives with huge impact worldwide – the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Porto Alegre Forums, where a panoply of highly reputed participants (the last 2003 Porto Alegre Forum had 60.000 participants), like NGOs, Private Institutions, Former Presidents and Ministers, Economic Agents and ‘Thinkers’ (one of the Gurus has been the so mention along this work Portuguese ‘thinker’ and researcher Boaventura de Sousa Santos) coming from a variety of countries all over the world meet and put under debate all the social and negatives consequences produced by the so called economic globalisation.

The main objective of these Forums is, thus, to exalt the need for the emergence of a globalisation movement contoured by humanitarian principles, where the poor (countries) may have equal rights and opportunities as the rich (countries).

The continuity of these meetings is, then, crucial for the tireless discussions and future instauration of wiser and much fair rules, which will provide a much stable and

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disciplined global order and subsequent instigation and development of what I would call ‘a globalized world with human face’.

Portugal: a Peculiar Case In the core of all the current turbulences, lies a small country, which, in distant times, proclaimed an important and decisive role in the shaping of global tendencies and systemic transformations – Portugal. Today, Portugal is classified by many as a peculiar society, which generates many perplexities – society with an intermediary degree of development, whose geoeconomical processes, in which it has been inserting itself, have a special nature (colonizer country, underdeveloped country, and country part of the European Integration…), and with a unique relation with the State (highly corporative society and highly dependent on the State). On the other hand, as José Reis argues, “the structural heterogeneity of the Portuguese society is not permanent and, certainly, tends to be much different in the moment when the exchanges of capital, work and knowledge accelerate and transform themselves” (quoted in Santos, 2001: 131). Portugal also represents an unique specificness. Despite being a small country, it is not isolated. On the contrary, it is well integrated in the progressive construction of the European Union and, thus, an active part (although limited to its reduced influence in the elaboration and shaping of global policies and tendencies) of today’s globalized

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world, and has special, strong and exclusive ties with a significant number of relevant countries – the CPLP16. Therefore, Portugal is inevitably vulnerable to external influences and, in that way, suffers all the consequences – both negatives and positives – generated by the globalisation processes. Phenomena such as Marketization, Migration Movements and Social Illness/Risk all reach Portugal. As it as been tried to demonstrate along this work, there is a clear connection between these three phenomena. On one hand, marketization and the increasingly monopolization of communication companies generate new gaps and social instabilities. Instead of bringing people together, the convergence of communications seems to divide even deeper societies that have access to all of the technological developments from those societies with rising inequalities of condition. This situation challenges a fundamental ‘body’ of a truly liberized democracy – the public sphere ‘owned’ by the people and not by the media. Such conjuncture is increasingly diminishing the sensation in people of having the exact notion of belonging to a community and, thus, the notion and sense of citizenship. On the other hand, the deprivation of citizenship, allied with other social instabilities generated by the present tendency – employment, earnings, property, housing, minimum consumption, education, the welfare state, respect, etc, make people to look for better opportunities and life conditions, and, thus, in many cases, migrate. This migratory necessity, causes, at the same time, complex social transformations in societies all around the world, creating, in that way, what has been called as social illnesses/risks – from which Portugal cannot escape from.


CPLP stands for “Community of Countries with the Portuguese Language”– PALOP countries (Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde), Brazil, East Timor and Portugal.


Globalisation and its impacts in the Portuguese society

In societies as the Portuguese, I clearly notice, both from empirical and personal observations, what I qualify as perverse phenomena and which are increasingly becoming a major feature of today’s globalized world. In my perception, then, I see a peculiar characteristic in today’s society, that is the power of media corporations and the power of capital seem to anaesthetize people. Inertia takes its place and dominates people, causing the effect of commodifying people’s lives in the sense that, instead of having the perfect notion of belonging to a community and, thus, the notion of citizenship, people increasingly think about their own commodity, their own private lives, their consumption and mass-mediated pleasures. Dramatically, then, people, without noticing it, allow corporations and the logic of capital power to control and influence their lives. To me, this is an alarming phenomenon, which must be strictly pursued, tackled and, surely, blocked from spreading its inherent tragic consequences in all societies. There is an emergency, then, for a global moral responsibility and awareness for these ambiguities and dangers. As James Halloran argues:

“As the information society develops it will not be possible to achieve the goals of citizenship in the absence of information and communication systems which provide the information base and the opportunities for access








responsibility demand that those who espouse development and globalisation take this into account. We must also realize that, if we wish to alleviate the conditions of the many ‘have nots’ – particularly in the Third World – then some form of self-sacrifice on the part of the ‘haves’ is essential. The acceptance of this form of moral responsibility, with all it implies, should figure prominently in any discussion on globalisation and nationalism, and must be taken into account in any meaningful research programme”

(James Halloran, 1997: 47).

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