Antitrust Educators Should Teach Cultural Differences in the Global Economy

This article is part of a Chronicle. See more from this Chronicle

Paul Nihoul, Jun 12, 2015

As a Belgian, I am sensitive to the variety of cultures existing in a given territory. In my country, there are, at least, three different cultures. People speak Dutch, French, and German—not to mention other languages spoken by immigrants coming from Europe or elsewhere.

The situation in Belgium is hardly different from that existing on the European continent elsewhere. In the European Union, three languages are used as working languages by the European institutions. And 24 are considered official languages—that is, languages that can be used in relationships between institutions and citizens.

That diversity is not limited to languages. It also finds an expression in the variety of attitudes people adopt vis-à-vis different sorts of issues to be addressed in society, including how relationships between business actors on economic markets should be handled. Scholars and practitioners involved in antitrust matters can only confirm how different approaches can be, throughout the world, when it comes to regulating competition.