Dr. Nikola Perovic is an international management consultant and coach, who specialized in cross-cultural relations challenges, and international marketing. He is the author of the book “The International Post-Acquisition Management” which includes 16 case studies on international management changes and integration in selected companies in various industries. He was a university professor of international business and marketing at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai from 2015 to 2021. Previously he was a lecturer at various universities in South Eastern Europe. He held international seminars/conference speeches on cross-cultural management, marketing management, international acquisitions, international trade, export management, and management in tourism.
Although globalization is primarily an integration process, which brings more benefits compared to costs, it is, however, very often contradictory. That is precisely why it is necessary to define the paradoxes of globalization. The mission of this article is to, in addition to the existing three, also draw attention to the fourth, urban paradox. Previous research (Kotler et.al: Marketing 3.0) is based on three paradoxes: economic, political, and cultural.
The economic paradox of globalization is based on economic inequality. We are witnessing that the percentage of global wealth in the hands of a minority (millionaires) has increased significantly, while at the same time, the middle class has “melted away” in many countries. The second paradox is political. Instead that globalization is exclusively promoting democratic values, many countries have economically exploited globalization without improving their democratic capacities. As a result, in many countries, nationalistic and populistic movements have been strengthening lately. The third paradox is of a cultural nature and is characterized, on the one hand, by strengthening the global culture (global consumers, global markets, global production), and on the other hand, by strengthening local cultures and increasing their diversity.
Finally, the fourth, urban paradox of globalization, brings exclusively enlarging capacity of large global cities, and, at the same time, reduction of the significance of small communities. The inhabitants of the global mega centers are by their lifestyles much closer to residents of similar foreign cities than to their own compatriots from the same country. The pressure on large cities and their infrastructure is increasing, while the smaller ones are largely diminishing, which makes long-term investments in their infrastructure economically unprofitable. New regional development policies must be based on this urban paradox. This is a major challenge for both developed and developing countries. It is necessary to modernize the spatial planning process to include all 17 goals of sustainable development. Future civil engineers should especially be well-trained in this area. One of the very interesting ongoing European projects is the Smart WB which includes many countries in South and Central Europe. The most important outcome of this project is to modernize university courses in urban development and make them more sustainable. Hopefully, our future development will in all new projects consider the above explained paradoxes of globalization.