Skip to content


Bárbara Sofía Eng Castellanos

The globalization of Neocolonialism: social justice, the vindication of the peoples and the questioning of capitalist democracy

- In addition to the above, the process of globalization and neocolonialism is accelerated with the introduction of democracy, human rights and the establishment of international institutions that allow the interconnection of countries.

The globalization of Neocolonialism: social justice, the vindication of the peoples and the questioning of capitalist democracy

The history of humanity has had endless power fluctuations due to the dominant civilizations that have exerted paradigmatic changes in the culture of the native populations of the regions that, in a certain way, generated fundamental pillars in the perception of power relations. modern today. This is why, at present, there is talk of neocolonialism, a concept that seems to resonate with all of us but that leaves a variety of questions without clear answers regarding the present reality.

At the time, it has been a cause of ridicule to investigate questions such as: What would our reality be if colonization had not happened? what languages would we speak? Or, what kind of technological innovations would we have had? In addition to the above, the emergence of civil movements in search of social justice or the mention of the need for the vindication of the peoples by political figures has generated the relevance of the study of neocolonialism. But for all this, what is neocolonialism? Or better yet, where does this term come from?

In order to delve into neocolonialism, it is pertinent that we begin to address the term colonialism, which is defined as "a situation in which a country dominates a foreign territory. Thus, it exercises political, economic and cultural power” (Westreicher, G., s.f). Based on the above, the colonization process was a historical period promoted by European countries during the Modern Age, bringing with it a kind of social Darwinism and a messianic discourse with evangelization objectives for the structure of a new reality.

The incentive for this colonization arises from the knowledge that in the New World there were varieties of precious metals, among which silver and gold stood out, thus generating more frequent trips to America and the excessive exploitation of resources. and abusive. Among the travelers who plundered the lands of the natives were people considered to be of a bad stock such as the unemployed, ambitious feudal lords, discredited soldiers, the sick and individuals in general who only sought to ascend in the social sphere through an abusive and excessive exploitation of the natives. and resources (Cabrera, L.A., 2009).

The foregoing motivated the extension of the stay in the continent, in such a way that it gave rise to the birth of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. The forced insertion of a new social, political, and economic organization in the American towns in order to establish a late feudal system brought with it a variety of consequences that would affect it to this day and that proved to be inefficient in creating a strong sociopolitical structure that served as a competition with the other powers of the moment (Cabrera, L.A., 2009).

Colonization eradicated pre-Hispanic sociopolitical structures, making the American continent a territory foreign to its own native customs and traditions that would cause a collective longing to be the replica of the countries that colonized it. But hope returned when the United States of America took control of its territory, opting to create and strengthen its self-determination outside of the Commonwealth of Great Britain; and establish itself as a new axis of regional power on the continent.

And then, if colonialism is a thing of the past: What is neocolonialism?

And then, if colonialism is a thing of the past: What is neocolonialism?

"Neocolonialism, unlike colonialism, seeks influence indirectly...neocolonialism takes advantage of cultural imperialism, mercantilism, as well as business globalization, to have control over certain territories (Morales, F.C., 2021)". In addition, within contemporary history, some key axes of neocolonialism can be highlighted, but there is no other clearer example than that of the United States in the 20th century.

As previously mentioned, the United States of America was cataloged as a cultural reference since its independence from the English monarchy, since it marked the beginning of the self-determination of the European colonies as independent and sovereign nations [although in the continents of Africa and Asia would not see this until the 20th century, especially with the rise of the Third Estate]. Subsequently, his influence would increase in the 20th century by becoming involved in the European wars and emerging victorious from them, thus implementing capitalism and democracy based on the American vision while ascending to world hegemony that would determine the conception of reality during that time. century and at the beginning of the 21st century.

The world wars positioned the United States under a messianic vision that makes terms such as hegemonic power begin to resonate in sociopolitical and economic studies in recent years. With the rise of the North American giant in the international system, the paradigms are changing and favor the current of liberal thought where capitalism is established as the economic system.

In addition to the above, the process of globalization and neocolonialism is accelerated with the introduction of democracy, human rights and the establishment of international institutions that allow the interconnection of countries. Globalization perpetuates the neocolonization of the sovereign countries of America, because they continue to be subjected to the interests of powers such as the US, France and England.

Based on the foregoing, it is argued that globalization generated pressure on the economic practices of the countries, being that it promoted the need to create commercial organizations, such as the GATT and later the World Trade Organization [WTO], as well as the implementation of free trade agreements in order to expedite commercial exchanges through the simplification or elimination of tariff barriers. In addition, foreign trade begins to be carried out with greater fervor by States and transnational companies, considering that this globalized sector "is made up of qualified individuals and organizations that compete productively on an international scale within this process" (Jiménez, R & Armando, M., 2012).

That is why economic liberalism puts into practice the importance of globalization in a matter of creating interdependent economic ties that generate competition due to comparative advantage on a global scale. It should be noted that the era of digitization and institutionalization has been a tool to indirectly influence other countries, thus accelerating the rise of neocolonialism in the International System.

Therefore, digitalization is considered as the basis that deployed the use of integrated networks since it allowed connectivity from one end to another, thus allowing the expansion of technological products and services. Economic competitiveness generally goes hand in hand with political and technological competitiveness, as has been seen in the Cold War period with the bipolar race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America; something that contrasted the attempts of both nations to be a hegemony through the neocolonization of their allies and those who made up the Third Estate.

Globalization today is the subject of debate due to the conspiracies surrounding powerful elite groups belonging to certain countries that allegedly digitally bombard telecommunications with an information overdose in order to manipulate our perception of reality. The populations of developing countries are seen as susceptible and malleable to the interests of those who exercise power in the global political sphere.

Literary works such as 1984 by George Orwell echo in the minds of users who have been victims of news or information devoid of logical or real support, known as fake news, since they call into question the legitimacy of our governments, the reliability of of the media as well as the prevailing cultural paradigms in the context in which we live. In turn, the scarcity of resources in a globalized world with capitalist bases jeopardizes the stability of the trade balances of the countries, based mainly on the idea that in a hierarchical system in categories of "north-south" or "periphery -center" inputs, as well as raw materials are essential for the manufacture of products that we consume in our day to day.

The trade balance is disadvantaged by our nations, which in large part end up located on the periphery of the international system. The attempt to reply to the models exercised by the powers disfavors Latin America and the Caribbean, once again subjecting them to a commercial and development dependency.

This is why regionalism attempts are born to facilitate the exchange of goods and services in the region but with contrary ideologies that fragment the Latin American union into blocks that favor socialist or communist ideas.

The way in which this globalization occurs, starting from colonialism and perpetrating with neocolonialism, seems to program the world's future generations in a dynamic that constantly exploits those at the bottom of the food chain. The peoples that were colonized and that are now victims of neocolonialism have not been able to fully understand their shared history; a story that tells how the pillars of today's society that celebrate democracy and the self-determination of peoples, as long as they are from liberal economies, continue to be cemented based on the injustices impregnated in their soils that continue to be hurt after centuries of oppression, exploitation and abuses.


    Cabrera, L.A. (2009). América Latina y la globalización. Universidad de Medellín.

    Westreicher, G. (2020, 25 septiembre). Colonialismo. Economipedia.

    Morales, F. C. (2021, 16 octubre). Neocolonialismo. Economipedia.

    Jiménez, R. & Armando, M. Desarrollo tecnológico y su impacto en el proceso de globalización económica: Retos y oportunidades para los países en desarrollo en el marco de la era del acceso. 2012. Pp. 123-150.

The best content in your inbox

Join our newsletter with the best of CEMERI

Related articles

Eng, Bárbara. “La globalización del Neocolonialismo: la justicia social, la reivindicación de los pueblos y el cuestionamiento de la democracia capitalista.” CEMERI, 9 sept. 2022,