Globalization, environmental policy and the ethics of place

Ethics, Place and Environment 9 (2):133 – 148 (2006)
Globalization is hailed by its advocates as a means of spreading cosmopolitan values, ideals of sustainability and better standards of living all around the world. Its critics, however, see globalization as a new form of colonialism imposed by rich countries and transnational corporations on the rest of the world, a process in which the rhetoric of sustainability and equality does not match the realities of exploitation and impoverishment of people and nature. This paper endorses neither view. Globalization is not new, but it continually produces new challenges for conceptions of 'home' and 'belonging'. While some enthusiasts regard the 'liberal' and 'environmental' values of the West as the best remedy for what is wrong with the world, others argue that a resource for resisting the destructive effects of globalization may be found in the sense of identity and importance of place found in the traditional scientific and medical traditions of both India and China. Instead of trying to merge these two views in some grand synthesis, this paper argues that traditional conservative and modern liberal values should continually interact with each other to produce novel ideas in debates about home, place and belonging.
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