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News > Blogs: "Perspectives, Provocations & Initiatives" > Inclusive Globalisation

Inclusive Globalisation

For globalisation to survive and sustain this nationalism wave, it is time to look within and become more inclusive.

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash
Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash


In the sudden wave of nationalism across the world which was becoming more global, inclusiveness is the key component missing. For globalisation to survive and sustain this nationalism wave, it is time to look within and become more inclusive. Inclusive Globalisation!

As the Indian elections come close and a wave of nationalism sweeps across the Indian subcontinent, I got thinking on the nuances of nationalism. India’s Hindu nationalism parallels the UK’s Brexit conundrum and the anti-trade sentiments of the United States. The nationalism verve can also be seen in the mass deportation of undocumented migrants in the Italian government, the victory of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, and the nationalist policies of the Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe.
What does nationalism represent? Is it just part of the divided fault line between those who support globalisation and those who oppose it? Are trade and economics the only reason behind the Brexit voting? Or is there a deeper shift in the political winds across the world?
With the end of the cold war, the world was thought to be moving towards interconnectedness and cooperation in the name of globalisation. But what does the recent surge of nationalism mean to this growth of globalisation? This blog is my search for meaning in this complex situation of globalisation and nationalism existing together.

the rise of the nation-state gave humankind much needed legality in the search for identity

To start with, what do I mean by nationalism? Nationalism traces its roots to human beings identifying themselves in shared geographical locations, or shared language, or even a shared sense of security. In humankind’s search for identity we have created myriads of; languages, races, religions, forms of government, economic systems and cultures, and embraced each of them, says LaMonte M. Fowler. The rise of the nation-state gave humankind much needed legality in the search for identity.
Nationalism is the human being identifying himself with the nation-state within well-defined territories and a sovereign power structure.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Globalisation, by definition is the interaction and integration of the people from various countries (nation-states) primarily for business (trade and investment) but also for exchange of ideas. Hence, globalisation primarily meant better and easier contact between the various countries. The regulations for trade like embargoes, trade barriers, and licensing requirements were greatly reduced by many governments to enable countries to participate in business activities with them. By the 1980s, with the end of the Cold War and the Soviet split, the world became a much closer place. Francis Fukuyama famously called globalisation the end of history, where mankind would henceforth strive towards a more connected and hence a better world for everyone.
Yet, it is not even been 30 years since Fukuyama’s prediction about the ‘End of History’ in his essay, and the free trade movement, which marked the beginning of globalisation, looks fragile. While the many problems of globalisation can be read in ‘Mike Collin’s ‘The Pros and Cons of Globalisation’ and Gail Tverberg’s ‘Twelve Reasons Why Globalisation is a Big Problem’,  the political problems faced by Italy, and discontent among people fuelled by skyrocketing hyperinflation in Venezuela, have overtones of globalisation and its aftereffects.
Has globalisation created a deep rift among the politics of the modern world? The fault line of contemporary politics is no longer about the right and the left; it has driven a wedge between those who embrace globalisation and those who fear globalisation, fears Alexander Betts.

the purpose of inclusive globalisation does not lie only in the opening of the markets for easier trade, but also in expanding the opportunities to those who haven’t benefited from it and to promote cooperation among countries

Inclusive Globalisation
The former UN Chief, Kofi Annan, in his address to graduands at Yale University, used the term ‘Inclusive Globalisation’ while sharing his thoughts on the potential of globalisation to be truly integrating. I take solace in those words. ‘Inclusive Globalisation’! The purpose of inclusive globalisation does not lie only in the opening of the markets for easier trade, but also in expanding the opportunities to those who haven’t benefited from it and to promote cooperation among countries. By this, Kofi Annan means to ensure more and more people benefit from globalisation – economically, politically and socially.
Inclusive globalisation does not only require more integration, it also needs better redistributive mechanisms. With globalisation and liberalisation on one hand, and an effective regulatory role with well-defined regulatory mechanisms on the other; the question for nation-states is how to marry the two?

Image by: muffinn CC-BY-2.0 on Flickr

Where else have the fault lines of globalisation been clearer than in the Brexit vote? The Brexit vote was split along the lines of age, education, class and geography. While almost 73% of those aged between 18 and 24 voted to remain, nearly 60% of those aged above 60 years voted to leave. While London and Scotland were strongly committed to remaining a part of the European Union, other parts of the country showed strong ambivalence.
Maybe those who voted for Brexit were affected by the global politics of globalisation. It is imperative that going forward everybody is carried along together, and it is the responsibility of the state to include those who feel left out, by expanding opportunities to them and by promoting cooperation along the divide.
Globalisation’s glass house must be open to all if it is to remain secure” – Kofi Annan.

Main story image by: Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash


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