Labour, Globalisation & The New Economy
The dominant form of globalisation, i.e. financial globalisation, is the biggest challenge for employees and their representations of interest. If it remains largely unregulated, not only the natural resources will be destroyed, but also social sustainability will be prevented. The negative effects of this development are first of all to be felt on the local and regional level. It is here, therefore, where counter initiatives and strategies have to start. The quality of life and working-life has not necessarily increased through globalisation and the New Economy, though the possibilities of improved communication via email and Internet were positively acknowledged. The biggest challenge is the increasing inequality on a global scale, which is produced so far by the New Economy. As education contributes to enlarge this gap, it has to be adapted to the new social needs to overcome this polarisation. The ongoing development must be reversed: Real needs demand more spending for public than for private consumption. Intermediate organisations can play a positive role in this process.
The Editors: György Széll is professor of sociology at the University of Osnabrück, and now also at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He is co-chair of the international network Regional & Local Development of Work & Labour.
Carl-Heinrich Bösling is a social scientist and Deputy Director of the Volkshochschule Osnabrück.
Johannes Hartkemeyer is a social scientist as well and Director of the Volkshochschule Osnabrück.