This paper is focussed on the relation between globalization and governance of, and in, the industrial districts, especially in the italian experience. In the opening the Author emphasizes the role that international trade has assumed in the growth of industrial districts. One of the most relevant factors of competitive advantage of industrial districts has been found in the existence of a network of social relations between people living in a district and also in the existence of a network of economic relations between firms also operating in the district. Social and economic relations are supported by the existence of special forms of governance at a local level. The paper questions if the economic and cultural transformations induced by globalization weak the ties between the nodes of the networks. Furthermore the paper questions if globa-lization forces the transformation of the forms of local governance in order to maintain the performances of the district form.