One major theme has been the i

One major theme has been the interaction betweenglobalizing/cosmopolitan forces on one hand, and isolationist,nationalist, or localizing forces in the world (e.g., Jihad andMcWorld). What are some examples of each of these forces? Can thesetwo forces be accommodated within a democratic framework? If so,how?


globalization has been defined as the “accelerationand intensification of economic interaction among the people,companies, and governments of different nations.”

The forces that have long claimed the world wasdivided into two areas of influence: commerce and government.Noworganizations representing the cultural sphere—the environment,species preservation, rural life, health, food and cuisine,religion, human rights, the family, women’s issues, ethnicheritage, the arts and other quality-of-life issues—are pounding onthe doors at world economic and political forums and demanding aplace at the table. They mark the birth of a modern “civil-societypolitics” and an alternative to globalization-pushingforces.

One of the key worries regarding the currentglobalization of society that is expected to take place is that itnot only contributes to a homogenization of world culture but alsoreflects the “Americanization” of world cultures in large part. Theexpansion of American corporations worldwide has variousconsequences for local communities, some very obvious and othersmore subtle.

Common example can be seen with the worldwideinfluence of McDonald’d and Starbucks.Principles of fastfoodrestaurant are beginning to influence more and more areas ofAmerican society as well as in the rest of theworld.  McDonalds has grown to more than 31,000restaurants worldwide over the last 50 years.

Starbucks coffee disrupting the traditional coffeeculture in Italy. This sometimes leads to negative reactions, suchas in the case of the Starbucks coffeehouse in the Forbidden Cityin central Beijing. This particular Starbucks branch, which openedin 2000, was shut down in 2007 due to heavy protests. Criticscalled it a stain on China’s historical legacy.

About every country in the world has had to dealwith multiculturalism due to the growing levels of diversity anddisplacement brought on by globalisation. Despite the issues ofrace and ethnicity, many people around the world look at the UnitedStates as an example of how to encourage unity and acceptanceamongst diverse communities within a commoncommunity.

International policy actions in the modern world areoften influenced by tv photos that are broadcast around the globeby satellites and show drought or war in other countries.Globalization makes it possible for a newscaster to humanize anincident abroad.

Seeing pictures on television of hungry children andother human suffering produces a far more strong emotional responsein an person than reading in a newspaper that 100,000 people havedied as a result of a natural disaster abroad.

Globalization leads to consequences beyond merelyincreasing people’s consciousness and compassion for other nationsand activities. There’s even a convergence of principles on topicslike civil rights, equality, and also on very common issues likeenvironmental issues.

In pledging loyalty to conventional “Asian ideals,”East Asian nations have boldly declared an antidote to the Westerncultural paradigm.Asian values are traditionally defined asembodying the Confucian principles of authority loyalty, hard work,thrift, and the belief that the society is more important than thecitizen. This is said to blend economic, social and cultural rightswith political rights.

Some analysts have cited Asian ideals as leading tothe impressive economic success of a number of East Asiancountries. This is also implied that in the face of utilitarianmodernity, loose values and globalisation, Asians have been able topreserve and cultivate their practices.

Globalization is pushing up the fears of certainpeople about the influx of Western ideals in Islamiccountries.The Shah of Iran aimed for accelerated reform in the 1960s and 70s— regardless of conservative Muslim opinion. His proposal calledfor land reform aimed at benefiting the vulnerable, broadeningwomen’s voting rights and promoting political party formation. Hisplan, along with other social and economic changes, led toincreased resentment and hostility toward the Shah. The reformefforts were rightly or wrongly representative of what was wrongwith Iranian culture.

On September 11, 2001, the aforementioned clashbetween Western ideals and Islamic society hit an all-time peakwith the terrorist attack on the New York City World Trade Centre.The incident broadened the divide between communities, exemplifiedby anti-American uprisings in many Islamic nations, or thepost-9-11 ‘anti-Muslim reaction’ in the US.

Efforts to defend local identity fromglobalization’s homogenizing consequences are also mixed withcertain motivations, often dubious, including commercialprotectionism and the political suppressing of ideas.As the scopeof culture can include virtually any human activity by itself, itis also difficult to draw boundaries about what are valid culturalpractices deserving of special protectivemeasures.

As a result, more elected officials and civicmembers are gradually feeling the need to establish a morecomprehensive approach to addressing these important issues. TheInternational Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) is an informalassociation of governments already formed to seek to findalternatives to cultural problems. Its goals include: to establishan strategic approach to cultural issues , protecting culturesendangered by globalization, and raising awareness of theimportance of culture

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