Overcoming the Challenges Facing Globalization after September 11
Annual Conference on Competition in a Turbulent World, American Society for Competitiveness, Washington, DC, USA
October 10-12, 2002
Globalization, both as a concept and a process, has suffered since the events of September 11, 2001 and the consequent war against terrorism. The global revolution in information and communication has indeed empowered individuals and nations in unimaginable ways. It has brought them closer, and helped spread freedom and democracy in the world. In September 11, we saw the worst form of globalization—when terrorists took advantage of the freedom resulting from globalization and harnessed it to their cause. Before September 11, globalization was being criticized for either causing global economic inequalities or imposing Western values on traditional societies. However, in the post-September 11 period, the traditional criticism of globalization—which was well-grounded and progressive—has been replaced by hollow and regressive argumentation aimed at re-embracing state-centric policies at the expense of globalization’s largely positive contributions. Since international terrorism negates the very spirit of globalization, it can be fought better by maximally harnessing the constructive sides of globalization. The proposed paper will argue that the best antidote to the globalization of terror and fear is the globalization of freedom and democracy. As for the negative economic and cultural consequences of globalization, these can be minimized or prevented by making the process of globalization more equitable and just—one that gives greater access to the global market for the world’s poorer regions, one that combines the goal of economic growth with the virtue of social welfare, and one that preserves the world’s diversity of traditions in the global quest for modernity.