A New Understanding of Globalization: The Case of the Romà

  • Victòria Miquel-Martí
  • Tere Sordé-Martí
Part of the Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research book series (GCEP, volume 1)

Globalization has been portrayed very often as a one-faced phenomenon that should be fought against. If globalization initially was exclusively characterized as the exportation of Western imperialism to the rest of the world, more recently, it has been interpreted through different lenses. While it is true that globalization has represented the spreading of neo-liberal policies around the world, it bears many other faces that often go ignored. From this perspective, we suggest not to oppose or to defend globalization but to face the inequalities that it generates and to find advantages in the possibilities it generates. The idea is to reorient globalization through this phenomenon, trying to extend social and democratic advancements instead of abandoning them. The debate now centres on shifting this phenomenon towards a more social direction.

Globalization not only serves to enlarge markets and impose neo-liberal policies, but it has also served to extend human rights and other democratic achievements. As Sen (2002) highlights:

Globalisation has contributed to the progress of the world, through travel, trade, migration, spread of cultural influences, and dissemination of knowledge, and understanding (including of science and technology). To have stopped globalisation would have done irreparable harm to the progress of humanity (p. 11).

Analyses that exclusively focus on the negative aspects of globalization have denied the dialogical opportunities opened up by this process that are already creating avenues of participation to globally socially excluded groups like the Romà. As a result of global mobilizations depicted by World Social Forum (WSF), the debate around globalization has moved beyond its exclusively oppositional nature. Instead of opposing it, the challenge now is to ensure that everybody, without exception, can fully participate in this process. Thus, it is necessary to develop a new understanding of globalization.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victòria Miquel-Martí
    • 1
  • Tere Sordé-Martí
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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