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THE GOOD SIDE OF GLOBALISATION

Pascal Lamy

GENEVA, Nov 30 2010 (IPS) - Is globalisation, which is shaping our societies whether we like it or not, a threat to identity? If we were to believe all that we hear, the winds of globalisation are wreaking havoc everywhere, uprooting identities and cultures which for centuries have been shaping human relations, sweeping away all local values and customs, writes Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This globalisation, often seen as a pervasive homogenizing force that threatens the enormous diversity of identities that contributes so much to the world we live in, appears to be provoking a sudden reassertion of identity as a counter reaction to the perceived domination of one culture over another, depriving us of what makes each one of us unique. In a world where physical boundaries are disappearing, identification with a place or a group becomes the only refuge against the threat of uniformity.

Is the revival of nationalism, the emergence or resurgence of political movements defending national, ethnic or religious identity, not concrete proof of this trend?

But is there really a clash? When it comes to new information technologies, capital movements, the opening up of trade, and the increasingly globalised production chains that go hand in hand with economic globalisation, borders and proximity no longer count. Identity, on the other hand, has its roots in a location, in history, in culture, in values, in a language, or in a belief. Globalisation means movement, perpetual change, while identity means roots. Identity is sedentary while technological progress is nomadic.

(*) Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

//NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN CANADA, CZECH REPUBLIC, IRELAND, POLAND, THE UNITED STATES, AND THE UNITED KINGDOM// (END)

 
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THE GOOD SIDE OF GLOBALISATION

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GENEVA, Nov 23 2010 (IPS) - Is globalisation, which is shaping our societies whether we like it or not, a threat to identity? If we were to believe all that we hear, the winds of globalisation are wreaking havoc everywhere, uprooting identities and cultures which for centuries have been shaping human relations, sweeping away all local values and customs.
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