″Every Single Person on Earth is a Global Citizen″ | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 12.05.2007
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"Every Single Person on Earth is a Global Citizen"

A journalist with a PhD in economics, Daniel Altman blogs about globalization and its effects on everyday people from plant closures to nuclear energy to international development.


Daniel Altman: We are all a part of the global marketplace

From the growing interconnectedness of global industry to the growth of the Internet, globalization is the concept which has been adopted to describe our modern society. Depending on whom you read, globalization is either praised for increasing global wealth or blamed for aggravating poverty. It is a concept that is evolving almost on a daily basis, effecting global commerce and culture.

As a globe-trotting journalist with a PhD in economics, Daniel Altman is very much caught between these two worlds. In his blog “Managing Globalization” published by the International Herald Tribune, Altman attempts to track, document and report on this ever-changing phenomenon all the while trying to enlighten his readers on how globalization affects them on a daily basis. His new book "Connected: 24 hours in the Global Economy" has just been published.

DW-WORLD.DE: Since blogs started out as diaries, can someone really write a diary about our globalized world? Where does one start?

Daniel Altman: I think every single person on earth is a global citizen. We can hardly get out of bed without participating in world markets. Every time you use a car, bus, plane or anything made of plastic, you're using oil. Every time you use a credit card, you're dipping into the world's lending market. The prices of the things you buy and sell are determined by competition from around the globe. So yes, you can write a diary about our globalized world; you need only write about your own life.

I am sure the looser format of a blog makes this task a little easier – or not?

Blogs have the flexibility needed to take on a wide variety of issues. The idea is often to get a discussion going without starting off at a very in-depth level. This way, we can find out which topics are most important to our readers.

Is the fact that you are "blogging" about globalization actually a product of globalization itself?

Well, our audience is very international. We've received comments from English speakers on every continent except Antarctica. I don't think blogging is a product of globalization, but the success of my blog definitely is.

Is there a direct connection between the greater interconnectivity of cultures/people and the rise of globalization in industry?

I'm not sure how direct it is. My book certainly makes the point that connectedness can create new opportunities for collaboration and productivity, though it can also create new risks. Cultural exchange is nothing new, though. For a much earlier example, you only have to think about the traders on the old Silk Road.

If yes, which leads the other? Where are the two heading?

I think the two processes are inevitably intertwined. But if you want to know what is driving globalization so rapidly now, I would point to innovation and technology.

Can we get even more connected?

We certainly can. We -- and especially Americans -- are fairly unaware of things happening around the world that affect us. The message of my book is that by paying more attention to our connections to people, businesses and markets in other countries, we can take more control of our own economic future.

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