YES! Topics 2018

Rooted in the village – but at home in the world.
How local bonds can mitigate globalisation fear


This challenge was introduced by Rolf J. Langhammer, IfW Kiel Institute for the World Economy 


Fears over globalization have become a pertinent phenomenon in many rich countries. Benefits of globalisation such as consumer gains have been downgraded while challenges from globalisation regarding pressure on jobs have gained ever more room in the mindset of many people. With changes in the appearance of globalisation from trade in goods to migrant inflows, this imbalance between the view on chances and risks from globalisation has intensified.


Yet, there are some hopeful signs of successfully coping with the imbalance. Many of them are rooted in so-called “glocalisation”, that is strengthening ties of people to local communities and thereby helping them to be sufficiently “grounded”   to actively contributing to building networks with the global world. Examples of such contributions are twin city partnerships, relationships of schools, churches and other organizations of the civil society to partner institutions particularly in developing countries, links of the local economy to the foreign private sector, the cooperation of municipality administration with their local foreign counterparts etc.


While “glocalisation” is financially supported by governments or by the EU, many initiatives lack sustainability: after a promising start they fall into window dressing and become paper tigers. Reasons for the often observed decay of “glocalisation” initiatives are sole reliability on the engagement of individuals, informational weaknesses, and the so-called hub-and-spoke-problem. The latter describes isolated links between a single hub (say a municipality in a rich country and a single spoke (say a community in a poor country) which degenerate because they are no links between hubs and between spokes.

    Region North


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