Glocalization: moving from Local to Global

Globalization is a social process. It is also shorthand for the discourse that organizes and makes sense of what is happening. The phrase, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” has been used to describe the global trans-boundary nature of environmental issues and the need for concerted local action to address them. Any distinction between global and local sustainability is artificial. This is because; global processes are not disconnected from the local. According to Latour, they are local from within. Such convergence of global dynamics and local contexts is “Glocalization”. According to Swyngedouw, Glocalization expresses the way Globalization subtleties are always reinterpreted locally, which leads to an intermixing of the local and global scales that creates context-dependent outcomes. The concept of Glocalization basically complements the idea of Globalization.

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Internationalization, mundialization, delocalization, international competitiveness, cultural hybridization etc. are consequences of Globalization. It binds them together and defines the shape of modern society. But deep down the roots, the importance of their building blocks cannot be undermined. They would cease to exist if their relation to human-scale is ignored. This re-scaling of larger context aspects to make them comprehensible is due to Glocalization. For example, in the field of culture, it can be seen when rudiments of global are reinterpreted by local cultures. Also, when the elements of local culture are combined with the global phenomenon, the re-scaling and adjustments are reflected. In the field of economics, it occurs when global firms open branches in a region subject to specific labor skills. This way contributing firms, though having less importance individually, bring about significant outcomes. With Glocalization, they are thought to be a part of economies of scale. At an institutional level, processes of Glocalization are noticeable when local governments tend to establish themselves as actors on the global stage. The hierarchal structure of legislation and administration glorifies the idea of Glocalization.

It is important to note that Glocalization is not a physical entity, but an abstract sense that defines the significance of processes that take place on a larger scale. Moreover, unlike Globalization, it is not a process that defines development. Rather, the processes at local levels, which contribute towards development, define Glocalization. In its relation to a place, the obligatory body is an instrument for modernization; and on the other hand, it legitimates its own glocalizing effects by foregrounding its orientation toward progress that it facilitates.

There are many such implications of Glocalization; where on one hand it appears to simplify the circumstances, while simultaneously creating many complications. The ability to re-scale for such development is not equal for everyone due to the buoyant nature of social and physical boundaries. And sometimes there may be aspects that have their inclination towards the larger and smaller contexts at the same time, and hence cannot be further fragmented. Sustainability is such an example. According to Collins and Kearins, “Sustainability, as we conceive of it is a dynamic state that has the capacity to endure; it is a broad systems-level concept that transcends entity and national boundaries to embrace notions of equity, equality, and futurity in relation, but not limited to economic, social, and environmental conditions that support life for all. It is simultaneously global and local in orientation.”

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Different interests and groups within a given place are expected to differ in their ability to establish wider links. The approaches are comprehensive, yet cannot explain the wider narrative singlehandedly. Glocalization has brought in the explanations to all-inclusive and wide-ranging changes which are dynamic in nature. It exists in every amplified aspect, yet remains invisible superficially. Sometimes certain instances are justified by several synchronized re-scalings. Glocal knowledge is yet unknown to the majority of professions. However, they never cease to exist as foundation stones for processes that open up to the wider showground.

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