Globalization is a relatively recent phenomenon that has an enormous influence on the future of our planet. It elicits contradictory reactions from economists, politicians, scientists and ordinary people. In addition to its benefits, globalization has dangers and risks. It is responsible for environmental problems, the population explosion, extreme poverty, mass unemployment, etc.
But what does globalization mean for different countries? Most commentators agree that two types of globalization are underway in today’s world. One of them (the only one, according to many) is Westernization or rather the imposition of Western norms, values and advances in science and technology as the only recipe for survival in the modern world.
However, there is a different type of globalization that is often overlooked – one centered in a local, indigenous civilization. Large countries such as Russia, China and India are the centers of powerful processes of integration. These countries maintain economic and cultural relations with at least twenty to thirty countries around them. In their cases, we are witnessing a discernible, but different, form of the globalization phenomenon.
Ukraine must choose which globalization path to take. As recently as 2004 it seemed to be stuck in a transition phase far behind the developed nations, and the prospect of ‘entering the global community’ seemed utopian. Ukraine’s profile in the international arena was very modest and few people beyond the former Soviet space were aware of its existence – a state of affairs at odds with its central position on the geopolitical map of Europe and the world.
The events of the Orange Revolution in December 2004 opened up new opportunities not only for Ukraine but for neighboring states as well. The Ukrainian people captured the world’s imagination with their struggle to find a decent place for their country in the ‘international community of...