What Lies Beyond Economic Globalization… Cosmo-Localization?

In late october I gave a public talk at the school I just finished teaching with, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. I wanted to bend some of my dissertation work toward a policy, or at least strategy, orientation. Often times, the policy implications for futures oriented knowledge, scenarios, emerging issues, and global responses, is not so apparent. Thus I’m in the process of ‘translating’ some of the more technical / academic aspects of the work for a policy audience. The talk discussed the following:

While economic globalization has been the most notable global process over the past few decades, this has been accompanied by dramatic trans-border ecological issues, wealth / income stratification, security issues over criminal and terrorist networks, and a litany of other global challenges. Far from reaching the ‘End of History’, recent issues such as the global financial crisis and the effects of climate change portend a quickening of the debate over what globalization should be and where ‘it’ should go.

The talk  discuss the policy implications of  emerging visions for globalization. I made the point that visions for alternative globalizations can provide policy makers an opportunity to widen the field of options and strategies. Plural and parallel process of globalization can allow a ‘harmonization’ process across new definitions and aspects of global change as an essential accompaniment (or counter-point) to the now dominant economic definition. Yet plural visions need to be accompanied by coherences, and a central argument was thus the need to create spaces and platforms whereby diverse state and non-state actors holding diverse perspectives can cooperate and collaborate to address the world’s great 21st century challenges.

During the talk, I  actually ran out of time to cover all 9 discourses for alternative globalizations in my dissertation. In fact I had only covered about 4 (post-colonial, relocalization, peer to peer and cosmopolitan). So I needed to improvise a bit to tie up the end. Over the past year I’ve been experimenting with a concept I like to call “Cosmo-localization”. I’ve also had some great discussions with Michel Bauwen’s and there are parallels to his vision for a transnational peer to peer economy. So to round off the talk I decided to ‘wing it’ it with Cosmo-localization. I think there is something in this, but of course it will take a bit of time to get the articulation right, after an article or two, but at least this is a start. Comments very much welcome.



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