Hors commerce has just published a book entitled Les enjeux de la mondialisation culturelle with an introduction by La Francophonie secretary general Abdou Diouf. It looks at geocultural issues from a strategic perspective and suggests that they be included along with geopolitical and geoeconomic issues in the system of world governance that the current international system can no longer sustain.
For author Jean Tardif, an anthropologist and member of the steering committee of PlanetAgora, an international organization, and coauthor Joëlle Farchy, an economist and professor at Université de Paris 1, the biggest challenge posed by globalization is not how to increase trade, but rather how to live together as a planet despite our constantly evolving cultural differences. While acknowledging the exemplary value of the struggle for cultural diversity, they claim that the UNESCO Convention’s most praiseworthy merit lies in the seeming halt it has put to the trade liberalization process, which seemed set to become the overarching priority.
However, the authors do go on to say that national policies, which are essential to managing the impact of cultural globalization, can only work if steps are taken to ensure that geocultural areas—the Francophonie, IberoAmerica, the Europe of Cultures project, etc.—become useful zones of cultural interaction and exchange. For the authors, the options that remain open are debatable and certainly not a panacea, but they do at least allow us to move beyond the arguments repeated again and again over the past few months, which although they have merit, provide few answers and only a defensive response to the new challenges being created by cultural globalization.