Jüri Luik, Jean-Jacques Subrenat, Harri Tiido
their Effect on National Identity and Culture
Participants: Jüri Luik, Jean-Jacques Subrenat. Moderator of the debate: Harri Tiido.
Tiido:We live in the age of globalisation and humanity is now divided into supporters and opponents of globalisation as a process. The intensification of the process has led to increased activity on the part of anti-globalisation protest movements. One of their arguments refers to the danger posed by globalisation to the separate existence and identity of small nations. Does this mean that, as a result of processes not at all dependent on us, Estonia currently finds itself in a danger zone?
Luik: Globalisation is a multifaceted process and this has both its good and its bad aspects for small countries. The global exchange of information can unquestionably be considered a positive aspect, as can, with certain reservations, the creation of the global market. In these conditions, Estonian producers, businessmen and cultural figures have a disproportionately large chance of being successful, provided of course that their products meet the demands of the global market.
The global exchange of information has certainly also been beneficial to Estonia from the point of view of its security interests. It is easier for Estonia to make the world aware of its existence and its problems. If, for example, a country were to attack Estonia, it would be impossible for other countries to claim that [unfortunately we were not aware of what was going on.] In this respect, the global exchange of information is an absolutely essential component of our security.
However, global information flows and the global market also present the risk of excessive standardisation. And these standards begin to be established by powerful countries and corporations which have enough money and influence to do so. They can simply flood the global market with their products, whether it be McDonald's hamburgers or Hollywood films. It is difficult for small countries to stand up to this influx of products which are