Four Paradoxes of Globalization

Although globalization is primarily an integration process, which brings more benefits compared to costs, it is, however, very often contradictory. That is precisely why it is necessary to define paradoxes of globalization. The mission of this post is to, in addition to the existing three, also draw attention to the fourth, urban paradox. Previous research (Kotler et.al: Marketing 3.0) is based on three paradoxes: economic, political and cultural.

The economic paradox of globalization is based on economic inequality. We are witnessing that the percentage of global wealth in the hands of a minority (millionaires) has increased significantly, while at the same time the middle class has “melted away” in many countries. The second paradox is political. Instead of globalization exclusively promoting democratic values, many countries have economically exploited globalization without paralleling their democratic capacities. China is the best example, but also many other countries in which nationalist and populist movements have been strengthening lately. The third paradox is of a cultural nature and is characterized, on the one hand, by strengthening the global culture (global consumers, global markets, global production), and on the other hand, strengthening local cultures and increasing their diversity.

Finally, the fourth, urban paradox of globalization, brings exclusively the strengthening of large cities and the reduction of the significance of small communities. The inhabitants of the global mega centers are by their lifestyles much closer to residents of similar foreign cities than to their own compatriots from the same country. The pressure on large cities and their infrastructure is increasing, while the smaller ones are largely diminishing, which makes long-term investments in their infrastructure economically unprofitable. New regional development policies must be based on this urban paradox. This is a major challenge for both developed and developing countries.

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