From tribes to city states to states, humans have always sought security, and used familial ties (constantly redefined) as the links to achieve that. Similarly, humans have an innate need to differentiate themselves whether by family, race, region, culture, religion etc. Globalization is confronting people with more and more differences (other countries, cultures, civilizations, religions and more) at an unparalleled pace. This is leading to individuals worldwide to redefine their identity and their loyalty creating both upward and downward trends. This recent telegraph article on an independence party for Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, has a quote by a party spokesman on exactly this trend:
“The EU makes it possible for countries such as this one to split up. We believe we are experiencing both globalisation and localisation. Some problems are global, like defence or the environment, and these need to be dealt with by the EU. But at the same time democracy needs to be closer to the people, and that is why we are a regionalist party. The two trends go hand in hand.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. More on this topic within the next week or so.