The Dutch still in support of globalization
The Dutch feel positive about globalization, which means that they favor open borders and increased international trade and cooperation. Certainly, in comparison with other European countries. This was found by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) in a survey, which studied the mood towards globalization in The Netherlands. The survey included thoughts on the European Union, climate change, and trade agreements.
The publication “Dealing with the big world. Globalization in public opinion and at work” studies how the Dutch think of globalization and how it is perceived in the internationalized workplace. The SCP broadly defines the term “globalization” as “the increasing experience of the world as one social space.”
Positive, but different views
The study was striking, as it appears that the Dutch don’t reject globalization, nor do they wish to diminish it. In April this year, public opinion was even more optimistic than before the coronavirus crisis. While it might often seem that the Dutch are tired of globalization, this does not apply to the majority of the population.
The SCP did find significant differences in perception and appreciation of globalization depending on the level of education. People with a higher level of education tend to view open borders more favorably. This coincides with the common notion that the higher educated are “the winners of globalization.” The research also revealed significant differences in views depending on the respondent’s political leaning.
Globalization in the workplace
Contradicting sentiments were also expressed in the workplace, although on average, it also appears that people see more advantages than disadvantages in globalization. Common controversial topics such as refugee policy are part of the general conversations one has at work, but they don’t appear to be a divisive topic in social work relations. Open borders and international competition were also cited as major controversial topics.
Many practical problems concerning globalization in the workplace were mentioned, such as insecurity due to language differences. In addition, respondents said that globalization led to a lack of solidarity and autonomy in the workplace. These flaws, however, are not seen as inevitable consequences of globalization, but rather as a result of domestic choices and must therefore be remedied domestically.
What will the future hold?
As of December 2020, there is still a lot of uncertainty. Will the global coronavirus pandemic lead to a further slowdown in globalization, which has already been faltering for some time? Or will it be a stimulus for more mutual coordination and cooperation? Will it lead to lasting changes, or will it be an evanescent incident after which the world returns to normal? These are questions to which we will want answers. The SCP thus argues that further research about globalization will be necessary.