The Power of Globalization: Concepts and Practices of Diversity and Inclusion in North America

  • Grace John Rwiza


In contemporary North American society, “cultural diversity,” “cultural pluralism,” and “diversity and inclusion” are catch words in social, political, and economic policies. These policies are developed in the context of the existing open-door policies for immigration caused by either political instabilities, unfavorable economies, or natural calamities (Kymlicka, 2007), or the opportunities created by globalization in a world in which people are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before (Blackmore & Sachs, 2007; Friedman, 2000; Olssen, 1986; Rizvi, 2007). As Caillods (2003) explains, globalization is the outcome of the “abolition of borders for all kinds of economic, financial and cultural activities. It affects not only the economic and financial sphere but also national cultures and services, including education. In education it leads to an increased concern for quality” (p. 1). The fundamental question that arises is whether globalization as a product of neoliberalism policies (Assié-Lumumba, 2000; George, 1999), which seem to dominate most of the social policies by emphasizing market values (Habermas, 1991; Shultz, 2013), supports or undermines diversity and inclusion. As well, are any local programs helping groups to cope with globalization in order to ensure diversity and inclusion? How are values of globalization and neoliberalism compatible with the values of inclusion, and what mechanisms are in place to support it? Globalization and open-door policies for immigrants on the one hand, and local populations, on the other hand, are creating diversity in North America. This situation requires policies that can support diversity and inclusion. Such policies are necessary partly because of conformity to international positions and, as Kymlicka (2007) suggests, partly because ethnic politics are perceived as a threat to peace, democracy, and development. The issue is how policymakers can support diversity and inclusion, and what the level of diversity and inclusion is in the existing policies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grace John Rwiza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Policy StudiesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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