[ Home | Contents | Search | Post ]

Questions of globalization

From: Willem VAN VLIET, USA
Category: Category 2
Date: 10 Apr 2000
Time: 10:42:59
Remote Name:


Subject: Questions of globalization Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 22:26:38 -0600 (MDT) From: VANVLIET WILLEM <willem@spot.Colorado.EDU> To: FrhsList <>

My name is Willem van Vliet--. I am a professor at University of Colorado, currently working on the 3rd Global Report on Human Settlements for UNCHS. This Report is closely concerned with issues connected with the review and appraisal of the Habitat Agenda in preparation for the GA Special Session on Istanbul+5, next Summer.

A guiding theme of the Report concerns the implications of globalization, and the processes attendant to it (e.g., privatization and marketization, deregulation, the ascendancy of modern information and communication technologies) for poverty (= ability to maintain a minimum standard of living), inequity (= poverty amidst affluence and unequal access to rights and resources), and polarization (= inequities getting worse). An objective of the Report is to review current trends and to develop policy recommendations in support of vulnerable population groups.

In this regard, a number of questions arise. Among them are:

1. What is the role of modern information and communication technologies in alleviating or exacerbating poverty and inequities? What are successful examples of empowerment and enabling supported by ICTs? What patterns are emerging in regard to differential access to information premised on ability-to-pay? How are these roles and patterns embedded in human settlement contexts?

2. Globalization is typically conceived of as a top-down process, dominated by transnational corporations which are seen as increasingly usurping the roles of sovereign national governments. However, there are emerging signs of a countervailing globalization-from-below -- a more grassroots process, where local communities and CBOs join forces at transnational levels. What are successful examples of these new initiatives and what are their defining characteristics?

3. Globalization is often discussed in relation to newly emerging forms of governance -- more typically at the global level, but interesting developments are occurring at the metropolitan, cross-national boundary, and world-regional level. They tend to be organized around issues and ad hoc. What are some of the more successful examples of these emerging forms of governance at the local and supra-national level? Which ones appear to be evolving into more enduring arrangements?

4.Under conditions of decentralization, one important issue concerns the collection, analysis, dissemination, and utilization of information. What are some examples of effective formats?

5.In developing attempts to eliminate adverse consequences of globalization, it is important to recognize positive outcomes as well. What are some of these positive outcomes, how are they in evidence, and how can they be maintained while redressing at the same time the negative consequences of globalization?

Willem van Vliet--

Last changed: March 13, 2002