After two decades of enthusiastic perspectives on the process of globalization and its effects on the world, recent years have seen the raise of what one could call a globophobic attitude towards the “global” in all its expressions. As stated by Colin Crouch (The Globalization Backlash), globalization has become a political punching bag around the world, attacked both from the far right and the far left. Yet, Philippe Moreau Defarges shows that this is not a new phenomenon (La tentation du repli: Mondialisation, démondialisation): throughout its history, the process of globalization has been accompanied with deglobalization: according to the author, today’s newness is the political radicalism of this backlash.
The discord between those who Ian Bremmer calls “losers” and “winners” is escalating social, political, economic and cultural divisions and hostilities (Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism). In Manuel Castells’ words, there seems to be a rupture in liberal democracies: a widespread crisis of legitimacy which causes a deep-seated crisis of the model of western democracy as we know it (Rupture: The Crisis of Liberal Democracy). If it is true that globalization per se is not the primary cause of raising inequality in the world (Globalization and Inequality), nevertheless most people would agree with Oliver Piacentini’s juxtaposition between globalization and totalitarianism (Le mondialisation totalitaire).
This backlash in globalization proves that such a process is not a teleological necessity. On the other hand, the “moving backwards” is not inevitable either: rather, it all depends on our choices. According to Luigi Paganetto, there still is the possibility to “get globalisation right” and lay the foundations for renewed trust (Getting Globalization Right). As stated by Roopinder Oberoi and Jamie Halsall (Revisiting Globalization), in order to assert the possibility for greater social equity and integration the concept of globalization has to be reshaped from an amorphous mass of objectives and initiatives to a forward-looking model of clarity and balance.
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