What are the modern challenges of globalization


Sascha Meinert, Michael Stollt

Sascha Meinert, Michael Stollt

Sascha Meinert is the head of the Institute for Prospective Analyzes e.V. (IPA) in Berlin, which promotes the use of scenario building as a participation instrument for socio-political questions about the future. In addition, he works as a political educator, author and speaker as well as a consultant for organizations and networks of civil society engagement.

Michael Stollt is a consultant at the Institute for Prospective Analyzes e.V. and a research fellow at the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels. Since 2004 he has designed and accompanied innovative educational projects, which include network, dialogue, simulation games and scenario projects on European and global topics.

Every person
changes this world
by its very existence.
His consciousness
determines the direction
this world changing.
It is up to you
to make this world better!
Every day!

From: Literaturküche Köthen, Europe from A-Z,
Contribution to the creative competition "Radio Europa 2020" (2005)

Globalization is ...

... networking across borders

Globalization is a process in which "events in one part of the world increasingly affect societies and problem areas in other parts of the world" (Wichard Woyke). The natural boundaries of time and space play an increasingly minor role in many areas. The cost of transporting information, people, goods and capital across the globe has fallen dramatically, and global communication opportunities are becoming cheaper and faster. By cross-border, international, global ... we mostly mean across national borders. Under the conditions of globalization, states are less and less able to act and have less of an impact. The modern nation state, its borders and its validity are the starting point for the perception of globalization processes. Because within states we have had more or less well-established multilevel systems of local, regional and national politics for a long time. However, global financial markets operate between national money markets. Transnational companies or “global players” are defined by the fact that they have branches, produce and sell in several countries. Global environmental problems are problems that cannot be confined to national territories. And there are practically no state borders on the Internet either.

... exchange (of goods, capital, knowledge and ideas, etc.)

Essential features of globalization are the liberalization and the drastic increase in international trade, the expansion of foreign direct investment, and the massive cross-border financial flows. Modular production processes, for example in the semiconductor or textile industry and increasingly also in the field of services, are organized in transnational corporate structures and financed from international capital flows. These phenomena led to increased competition in increasingly global markets. In addition to the economic dimension, the exchange of information, know-how and ideas also play a major role in globalization. For example, the isolation of markets and societies is hardly possible under the conditions of globalization.

... conflict and cooperation

Increasing networking, global challenges and economic competition lead to new conflicts and requirements for cooperation. The results of globalization are what we make of them and how the conflicts that arise from globalization are resolved. We speak of global governance, i.e. the way in which decisions are made and implemented on a global level. Regional and global challenges increasingly require that problems be addressed in an international context. One consequence of this is that national powers are increasingly affected and that one's own policy has to be coordinated, which can create uncertainty for those affected. And: "Although many of the evils of today's world - poverty, lack of decent work, denial of human rights - existed long before the current phase of globalization, exclusion and deprivation have increased in some regions of the world. For many, economic globalization has traditional ways of life and local communities are disrupting and threatening environmental sustainability and cultural diversity. As the current process of cross-border relationships and interdependencies accelerates, the discussion about inequalities between countries, but also about inequalities within countries, intensifies and its effects on people, families and communities. (...) The discussion about globalization is quickly turning into a discussion about democracy and social justice in a global economy "(ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, 2004).

... a change of perspective

A decisive dimension of globalization is the emergence of a global perception. Knowledge of events and problems around the world has increased dramatically. This also means that global inequalities in living standards and life opportunities are perceived much more strongly. Increased access to information has created better informed and more critical interest and voter groups. In this sense, the increasing density and scope of international norms and the rapid growth of internationally active non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are an essential expression of globalization.

... an open process

Globalization creates new development opportunities but also new challenges. There is still a lack of standards of orientation and fair rules. We can infer little from the past here, because today's networking and interaction of economic flows, cultures and knowledge across (former) borders is unprecedented. Globalization is an open process. This begins the search for ideas, new lifestyles and social order within and between states that can enable sustainable and fair development. If you compare globalization with the process of industrialization, it becomes clear that we are only at the beginning of a development that will affect many areas of life and the functioning of our societies. We are still very inexperienced in dealing with it. The distortions and inequalities that accompany globalization are as evident as the benefits we derive from it every day. The task now is to learn how a world in which things go smoothly but not always everything can be better designed.

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