Globalisation and Social Policy


This is the report of Lishia Erza (http://www.trubytes.com) Barcamp leader of this session

Barcamp Leaders:

  • Sulisia Erza (Lishia), Nottingham
  • Mo Akhavi Pour, Manchester

At the start of the barcamp, the group was given a short introduction on the context and focus of discussion (1 minute). Bold words in this report mark keywords during the discussion. Contacts for further discussion are listed at the end of this document.

Context & Focus

1.  Governments admit that there are problems/challenges posed by globalisation and that globalisation is a tremendously broad concept. The context of this discussion is limited to aspects: education, social, culture, trade, security. Where globalisation creates problems or provide solutions.

2.  The multidimensional characteristic and evolution of globalisation call for collaboration between actors and connect different aspects to find solutions. With this in mind, this barcamp focuses on:

a.  How globalisation shapes social policy?

b.  What alternative solutions are available/can we come up with?

  1. How do we stabilise processes?

d.  What are our priorities?

Barcamp Discussion

The lively discussion in this barcamp started with a heated debate about whether international organizations (IO) such as the UN aggravate or mitigate globalisation’s impact on developing countries. On one hand, IO serve as a platform for dispute settlement and enhances welfare, but unstable and often unsuccessful due to flawed governance within the IO.

IOs today need significant reforms in their governance and practice. There seems to be a tendency for IO to keep extending timeframes in development projects. For example, programs that were originally targeted to reach goals in 5 years are extended to 10 or more years when mid-project evaluation is carried out. Targets are revised, but not existing practices that have hampered goal attainment. (Point of reference: The White Man’s Burden – Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good).

The group identifies 3 areas for collaboration in order to mitigate globalisation’s impact on the shaping on social policies:

1.  On efforts to challenge flawed aims and practices in IO

2.  On promoting education and exchange of ideas

3.  On developing sound security policies to manage conflict

Priorities for collaboration in social policy begin with identifying stakeholders and defining roles. Globalisation have created gaps not only within societies in a country but also between states at global level. This gap increases conflict risk as roles and interests diverge. The ultimate worst possible scenario is war when it comes to resource allocation.

Therefore, envisioning our roles as future leaders, this barcamp agreed on the following social policy priority list:

1. Poverty alleviation and promotion of equitable education

Poverty and education complements each other. Poverty alleviation cannot rely on charities. Economic development may have potential for poverty alleviation, but with a note that there has to be clear definition of boundaries in market leadership. Promoting education, especially increasing literacy will create human capital and social empowerment.

There are debates on definitions of economic development and social inclusion. But the general consensus is that inequalities must be solved in economic and social terms. Opportunities for life and education is a central point.

2. Freedom of speech and access to information

The barcampers acknowledged that not all countries subscribe to the idea of open media, freedom of speech and access to information, therefore it is important that freedom of information has to be a goal.

Globalisation enables exchange of information in volume and speed via internet. Freedom of speech and access has to work towards understanding and using information to tackle existing challenges and further develop.

3. Closing technological gap

Technology does not stop at information/digital technology (i.e. internet). Industrial technology, biotechnology, and other uses technology should also be accessible to developing countries. Closing this gap rely heavily on the effective of education policies.

4. Building new markets

Related to economic development, the current base of economic power in developing countries are seen as unfair. Developing countries have agriculture-based economies, making wealth creation more difficult when compared to advance industry-based economies.

Re-investment of economic growth must happen, not simply focusing on macro economic stability but also taking into account domestic tensions and solving these tensions. Market is a tool and it needs sound regulation. Creation of new markets require guidance, and effective states should be able to take on this role.

5. Reducing international anarchy & promoting freedom as security

Security is defined by this barcamp as freedom from and freedom to, as security does not only concern military security, but also in food and other goods.

The current geopolitical environment is prone to conflict as it is coloured with narrow national interests. Integration and management of interests should happen via effective international organisations. Power structure reforms must take place for IO to be fairer and more effective.

6. Empowering developing countries to become active participants

Developing countries are often rained by recommendations and a list of conditions attached to development aid. Capacity building is no doubt important although currently the concept of “development” is heavily defined by super-powers. Developing countries should aim to be active participants and equal partners in globalisation.

7. Promoting effective public-private partnership

Globalisation is filled with opportunities and dangers. Collaboration and partnership with other effective entities will make it easier for state governments to stabilize globalization processes and make the best use of it. Private enterprises are often more effective and efficient in tackling global problems. Building partnerships will help governments re-do processes.

Thinking Forward

Globalisation has been a blessing and a curse to both developed and developing countries. The common idea between the barcampers is for redistribution of power at global level. There is an unspoken commitment that the barcampers will strive for a fairer world development.

Looking into the future, there are a few things that this session’s barcamper list points to think about in the quest to re-balance power:

  1. Elimination os preferential treatments in international trade
  2. Reconfiguration of voting weights in international organizations
  3. Creation of stronger unity between developing and low income countries
  4. Campaign to stop treating poverty as a disease. Poverty is not a disease. Poverty is a call to fulfill moral obligations to fellow human beings.
  5. Collaborative and creative thinking to come up with innovative solutions, build effective models
  6. Empowering local economies through micro-financing and social entrepreneurship
  7. Introspecting own government and making governments more effective to answer to global challenges.
  8. Taxation and redistribution of wealth should happen not only within countries but also across
  9. Incentives to be involved in global agendas should be available for both developed and developing countries. It makes no sense for advanced countries to give up their power if there is no incentive.
  10. Generation of equilibrium in various aspects
  11. Generation of motivation for every body/society to contribute to well-being worldwide
  12. The barcampers agree to commit to keeping the spirit alive.
Sulisia Erza (Lishia) MA Social & Global Justice (Nottingham) lishia.erza@gmail.com
Mohamed Akhavi Pour International Business and Management (Manchester) mmmakhavipour@gmail.com
Maria Sokolova MSc International Strategy & Economics (St. Andrews) sokolova.mar@gmail.com
Julius Cheah Health System & Public Policy (Edinburgh) matrix_my@yahoo.com
Hovhannes Stepan h_stepanyan@yahoo.com
Dharendra Wardhana MSc Economic Development and Policy Analysis (Nottingham) dharendra@gmail.com
Priscilla Kosasih MPhil Perspective on Inclusion and Special Education (Cambridge) priscilla.kosasih@googlemail.com
Carlos Alexandre Nascimento MPA Public Policy and Management (LSE) calnascimento@hotmail.com
Ahmed Osama (Cambridge) aoa31@cam.ac.uk
Nadeyah Farasha (Nottingham)
Ekaterina Pirozhkova (LSE) e.pirozhkova@lse.ac.uk
Evelyn Ngalonsa MA Conflict, Security and Development (Bradford) engalonsa@yahoo.com

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