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The benefits of globalisation

Denise Pumain
Traduction de Victoria Hobson
Cet article est une traduction de :
Les bienfaits de la mondialisation

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1From the country that imposes a system of trade based on an assumption of the efficiency of the markets has at last come a proposal for the regulation of the excesses of fiscal evasion to which specialised ‘dens’ have applied the euphemistic term ‘optimisation’. Will this measure be sufficient to discourage the tempting proposals of the fiscal paradises and restore the balance between the power of states and the forces of financial speculators? Will the violence of the crises brought about by these excesses for more than five years, for which so many people are paying an inordinate price, be kept in mind as a lesson of history? Will we be witnesses of a “night of August 4th ” in which the big capitalist operators would give up their exorbitant privileges translated into decision-making powers in the conduct of the politicians of so-called States?

2The construction of a world organised legally according to international agreements also proceeds, so much more rapidly, from all of these transnational tides made visible to all by the means of communication that have been developing for several decades. Geographers who study the effects of the dynamic of the networks know well that it tends to increase considerably the speed of accumulations and deepen the inequality between the principal hubs and the other nodes less favoured by trade. Could an effort to take account of these effects, by each of the “intelligent terminals” that we have become in the social networks,

3be enough to take back the control of them, in order to reverse these tendencies? More generally, is it conceivable that the dynamic of globalisation via mimetic rivalry, towards competitiveness, indeed competition, could be modified in the direction of cooperation, leading to the development of the common good, and to personal fulfillment?

4Initiatives are not lacking, initiatives which need to be better discussed and made known, of those who are aiming at correcting waste, avoiding polluting, shortening the circuits of distribution, sharing knowledge and awareness, promoting an economy that would no longer be merely “green” or “connected”, but truly interdependent, and a plural and open society. The debate about free access to scientific works that we have often mentioned is gathering strength again. Among the good news to disseminate, let us give the place of honour to Marseilles, which this year bears the name “European Capital of Culture”. We might have feared that the development activities of “Euroméditerranée” would involve a trivialisation (don’t all the urban projects of the large French cities have a name beginning in “euro”?) On the contrary, the stimulation of emulation also knows how to produce good surprises when it integrates local potentialities into the complexity of globalising references. And so it is that an English architect builds alongside the Vieux Port a canopy of mirrors carried by slender columns of polished steel. Those walking by discover themselves there, and photograph themselves in reversed images. Prudent or timid, the people of Marseilles call this magnificent object “the ombrière”. And yet, in seeing there the reflections of shimmering water and the boats, and the incomparable southern light, one finds oneself dreaming of moving towards the open sea, of maritime adventures and world-cities in geo-diversity.

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Denise Pumain, « The benefits of globalisation », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 14 mai 2013, consulté le 22 juin 2018. URL :

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Denise Pumain

Professeur  Université de Paris 1, France

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