Projects Worldmix Views and Quotations

Worldmix: Views and Quotations

Well, just what does 'globalisation' mean?

Rather too often, it is polarised as either the growth-based and only model for generating global development or the sum-ills of corporate exploitation and cultural domination. There is evidence for these points of view but, naturally, globalisation has many dynamic and inter-related factors and this results in many different perspectives. Consider the alternatives shown here and create your own tentative framework for an understanding of the changing world.

"Globalization is often wrongly seen as bringing uniformity (usually American) to every country, a sort of McStandardization. In fact, successful companies do not operate in this way. Successful companies are those whose products and brands are appropriate and adaptable to the many diverse market conditions and desires of local consumers. The company may be multinational but its approach is multi-local."

David Logan and Mike Tuffrey of The Corporate Citizenship Company in Alliance Vol.5, no.2 published by the Charities Aid Foundation.

"It is a word coined to describe the increasing integration of today's world so that trends or changes to the way we live seem to happen simultaneously in many countries. It is a result of a revolution in communications technology and of the increasing links between national economies through trade and investment. The most striking aspect of it for many people is the way big companies now sent to be international rather than national and to have more than governments."

Charlotte Denny, The Guardian, 12 June 2000.

"It may be nothing new for consumer goods to be produced under oppressive conditions, but what clearly is new is the tremendously expanded role consumer-goods companies are playing in our culture. Anticorporate activism is on the rise because many of us feel the international brand-name connections that crisscross the globe more keenly than we ever have before - and we feel them precisely because we have never been as 'branded' as we are today."

Klein, Naomi (2000) No logo, Flamingo. p.334-5

"For the first two decades of their existence, export processing zones [EPZ] were indeed globalization's dirty little secret - secured 'labour warehouses' where the unsightly business of production was contained was contained behind high walls and barbed wire. But the 'brands, not products' mania has gripped the business world since the early nineties is coming back to haunt the free-floating, incorporeal corporation. And no wonder. Severing brands so decisively from their sites of production and shuttling factories away into the industrial hellholes of the EPZs has created a potentially explosive situation. It's as if the global production chain is based on the belief that workers in the South and consumers in the North will never figure out a way to communicate with each other - that despite the info-tech hype, only corporations are capable of genuine global mobility. It is this supreme arrogance that has made brands like Nike and Disney so vulnerable to the two principal tactics employed by anticorporate campaigners: exposing the riches of the branded world to the tucked-away sites of production and bringing back the squalor of production to doorstep of the blinkered consumer."

Klein, Naomi (2000) No logo, Flamingo. p.347

"Join the world wide movement against globalisation."

Banner allegedly displayed in Prague, September 2000.

Values aims and purposes

"education enables us to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of the rapidly changing world [ ... ] including the continued globalisation of the economy and society"

DfEE/QCA (2000) The National Curriculum Handbook for Secondary Teachers in England.

"The world is changing through the massive impact of information technologies, which are creating a global market place for goods and services. And international development is increasingly focused on ensuring that this process of globalisation is managed so as not to marginalize poor people and poor countries."

Sir John Vereker, Permanent Secretary, DFID, DEA-hosted seminar 12 July 2000.

"There are, I suspect, few in NGO policy teams who would disagree with the proposition that economic growth is a necessary, though not in itself sufficient, condition for poverty reduction; or that a rules-based world trade system, built around a stronger WTO, has at least the potential to offer developing countries better prospects than its GATT-type predecessors. But some of the recent public presentation of these issues, and the consequent impact on well-intentioned, though inevitable less well-informed supporters of NGOs and others, has encouraged a travelling street theatre of protest against institutions and policies which changed long ago."

Sir John Vereker, Permanent Secretary, DFID, DEA-hosted seminar 12 July 2000.

"Industrialised countries are using their control over the World Trade Organisation to create global intellectual property rules that reward monopolies, boost profits and seize the benefits of trade. The losers will be the world's poorest countries, where the WTO regime will raise the cost of technology and vital drugs and stifle technology."

Kevin Watkins (senior policy adviser, Oxfam), Patently the poor will lose, The Guardian 13 November 2000.