Title: A historical approach to globalization and its ethical and educational implications
Authors: De Vylder, Gerrit # ×
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Chia-Cundinamarca (Colombia): Universidad de la Sabana, Instituto de Humanidades
Series Title: Pensamiento y Cultura vol:11 issue:1 pages:63-94
Abstract: Introducing and teaching globalization increasingly becomes a very sensitive issue of which most inhabitants of industrialized countries are hardly aware of. Though the negative side effects of present-day global capitalism are critical issues, there is another effect -as dangerous- concerning the way globalization is presented and taught both by pro-globalists and anti-globalists. Both sides like to present globalization as a “Western" phenomenon. Anti-globalists include it in their argument that everything that originates (and originated) in the so-called “West" is bad, while pro-globalists maintain that Western values and products are universal and that there are no substitutes. In doing so they both assume that there is indeed a concept like the “West", which can be identified, defined and described. Hardly any specialist on globalization has ever tried to do so but that did not seem to bother them. A recurrent argument is that the recent uprise of Islamist movements against the “West" proves that the “West" actually exists. What is not considered is the possibility that many movements against globalization actually derive from the continuous claim that principles considered as universal, like scientific and rational thought, economic behaviour, democracy, equality, freedom, etc., were of European origin and had no relationship with so-called non-Western civilizations like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or native-American cultures. Once people identify certain values as foreign or alien, even worse, if they link them to what they historically and psychologically perceive as the oppressor, then these values also come to represent the oppressor. The oppressor, who by then is no longer an oppressor, is surprised by the reaction from certain foreigners to “his" principles, which are basically well-meant. That is the core of the problem of present-day globalization, which seems to invite almost automatically phenomena like international terrorism, fundamentalism and nationalism. Reacting to these new phenomena the so-called “Westerner" not surprisingly increasingly chooses a similar nationalist party to vote for. There are two questions here to be answered. First, is there indeed a “West" from which all universal values and institutions originate from? Second, if this is not the case, what caused this phenomenon, and how do we correct it? Of course this leads us to an alternative way of presenting teaching globalization.
ISSN: 0123-0999
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: AT
Appears in Collections:Department of International Business, Strategy and Economics (IBSE), Campus Carolus Antwerp
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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