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Back | Programme Area: Overarching Concerns (2000 - 2009)

UNRISD Meeting on Globalization, Culture and Social Change

Date: 30 - 31 Jan 2003

  • Time:
  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on 30-31 January 2003. The main objective of this meeting was to assist the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization in its preparation for the final Report by the end of 2003.

The ILO established this Commission in February 2002 in order to respond to the needs of people as they cope with the unprecedented changes which globalization has brought to their lives, their families, and the societies in which they live. Its main tasks relate to the responsibility of investigating amongst other issues, the impact of globalization on employment, decent work, poverty reduction, economic growth and development. All these elements impinge on culture and identity, and globalization is sometimes perceived as a threat to culture, or as the outcome of a particular set of western values. The question that emerges, then, is how processes of globalization can respect the diversity of cultures around the globe, while facilitating a dialogue between them.

This meeting aimed to bring together small group of distinguished academics and intellectuals from all over the world with the purpose of assisting the Commission on the discussion and contribution of policy proposals for the impact of globalization on culture and identity.


Dan Chiribuca, Lecturer of Sociology, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Edmund Valpy FitzGerald, Reader in International Economics and Finance, University of Oxford, UK

Dharam Ghai, Consultant, former UNRISD Director, Geneva, Switzerland

Cees J. Hamelink, Professor of International Communication, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ulf Hannerz, Professor of Social Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, Sweden

Arna Hartmann, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland

Rolph van der Hoeven, Manager, Technical Secretariat, World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland

Elizabeth Jelin, Senior Researcher, IDES-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Zeljka Kozul-Wright, Economic Affairs Officer, Special programme for Less Developed Countries (OSC/LDCs),, UNCTAD, Geneva, Switzerland

Viktor Kuvaldin , Executive Director of Round Table “Expertise”, The International Non-Governmental Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (The Gorbachev Foundation), Moscow, Russia

Archie Mafeje, Senior Research, Professor, African Renaissance Centre,
University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria, South Africa

Ruth McCoy, Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary, World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland

Thandika Mkandawire, Director, UNRISD), Geneva, Switzerland

Salim Nasr, General Director, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Tayyar Center for Policy studies, Beirut, Lebanon

Gerry Rodgers, Technical Director of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland

Virginia Rodríguez, Conference Co-ordinator, UNRISD, Geneva, Switzerland

Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Meredith Woo-Cumings, Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Sciences, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA