Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is Globalization Dead?

Remember the joke in Citizen Kane about the failing global economy in the thirties? A reporter innocently asks Charles Foster Kane, just returned from abroad, "how did you find business conditions?"

Orson Welles, as Kane, mockingly repeats the question, and then answers, "with great difficulty!"

We may be hearing that sarcastic remark for some time to come. According to today's World Bank report, the global economy will shrink in 2009 for the first time since World War II.

If you've been teaching with Globalization 101, you'll be familiar with their definition of Globalization as a dramatic increase in connections between people of different nations, driven principally by finance and technology. So what happens when global finance starts to contract sharply? Is that the end of the global connections?

Not entirely. The effects of globalization are cultural, environmental, and political, as well as economic. The changes--good and bad--that have been set in motion by globalization will likely continue. As educators, we can continue to encourage the growth of the ties between our students and students all over the world. Global awareness and understanding is still possible, and is even more critical, as the situation stresses the economies of all nations, particularly the poorest.

Keep yourself informed, as always. A good source of information for educators is Globalization 101's news analyses on the situation as it develops.

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