Globalization and Its Implication
- Concept of globalization
- Globalization theory
- Three major challenges in the globalization economy
- The rise of global civil society
- Globalization and democracy
Globalization and Its Implication
Globalization is an increasing unity of various world economies brought about by the breaking or elimination of barriers to international trade. “The barriers include tariffs, export fees and import quotas, and its aim is to raise goods, services and material wealth from a global division of labor” (Robertson, 1992). “Globalization is a process, driven by a combination of factors including financial, technical, socio-cultural, political, and biological” (Waters, 2001). The term may also refer to transitional circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture. The history of globalization is debatable. Some people perceive it to be from the ancient times dating back to occasions like Ottoman Empire spice trade routes in 1453 spurring exploration of different lands. Others situate the origins to the modern era, citing examples like the ending of the First and Second World War in the mid-20th century which was necessitated by the need to break down borders and foster peace (Osterhammel & Petersson, 2005).
Expansion of multinational companies and exchanging of scientific developments and information has led to globalization in most continents. In the late 1900’s inventions like networking in communications allowed for work done using computers from varied locations in the world, his enhanced a spirit of camaraderie amongst members of different societies (Osterhammel & Petersson, 2005). Globalization may be measured in various ways. The main ones include goods and services, like exports and imports, labor and people.Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology .This process has effects on economic development and prosperity, on culture, on environment, on political systems, and on human physical well being in societies around the world. Globalization is not new, though for thousands of years, people and later corporations have been buying from and selling each other in lands at great distances, such as the famed Silk Road across central Asia that connected China and Europe during the Middle Ages. Likewise for centuries, people and corporations have invested in enterprises in other countries. In fact many of the features of the current wave of globalization are similar to those prevailing before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. But policy and technology developments have spurred increases in cross border trade investment and migration so large that many observers believe the world has entered a qualitatively new phase in its economic development. The current wave of globalization has been driven by policies that have opened economies domestically and internationally. In my essay I will explain the implications of globalization on Coca-Cola. Globalization is a ubiquitous term on the world stage. It covers a variety of topics depending upon the ideas that are being expressed. In most cases, it generally refers to the world becoming a smaller place based on technology. There are some positive and negative implications of globalization.
Globalization is a series of social, economical, technological, cultural, and political changes that promote interdependence and growth. Globalization raises the standard of living in developing countries, spreads technological knowledge, and increases political liberation. (Harris 5-23) The main cause of globalization is influence from other, more developed, countries. Globalization is a historical process that results from human innovation and technological progress. The social effects of globalization are clearly illustrated in Peru. Once a third-world country filled with poverty and oppression, Peru is now transitioning into a developed nation.
In South Asia, globalization has raised the human development index, empowered women, and created a stronger country (Leon, 90-91).One of the benefits of globalization on a social level is an increased Human Development Index. The Human Development Index is a measurement of a country's social, political, and economic growth in comparison to other countries in the world. The Human Development Index rates each country with a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the most advanced, globalized country. Factors that are involved in determining a country's HDI are gross domestic production per capita, life expectancy at birth, adult literary, and the number of persons enrolled in educational institutions. In 1975, South Asian Human Development Index was a 0.643. By 2003, the Human Development Index had risen more than one tenth to 0.762. The substantial increase of South Asian’s HDI is a clear indication that globalization has made a positive impact. From 1975 until 2003, globalization has caused a 2% increase in the adult literacy rate. During the same time period, the poverty rate to drop 6%. Women's fertility rates have also dropped. In 1975, women had an average of 6 children each. In 2003, that average dropped to less than 3 children per woman. (Genovese 457-8) When fertility rates drop in developing countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and others - It is usually an indication that there is an increase in women's liberation. Women are no longer facing as much social pressure to have lots of children and stay home to raise them. By having fewer children, women are exposed to more opportunities for employment. The role of women as housewives and domestic servants is rapidly changing. Women in South Asian have begun to experience liberation and equality, mostly due to the spread of globalization.
Historical traditions in South Asians have dictated that women are only allowed to work menial jobs that pay poorly. Women were not given the opportunity to seek an education or to have a career. The spread of globalization has caused an increased number of opportunities for women to pursue an education or a career. In the last few decades, women have been encouraged to fight for equal rights. In 1993, the United Nations affirmed that women's right are human rights. If women's liberation had not occurred in the United States and other highly globalized countries, it is very unlikely that women in Peru would be experiencing liberation now. For the first time in South Asian's history, women are being encouraged to participate in politics. After facing years of social oppression, globalization has directly led to political liberation for the women in South Asia (Bowman, pg. 540-49).
Globalization is not an overnight solution to all of the world's problems. In fact, technology is always evolving so globalization will always be evolving as well. Skeptics of globalization argue that it is causing the world to conform to American standards, that there is a loss of culture associated with globalization, and many people in the countries being globalized do not want it to happen. No one should ever argue that globalization is perfect, because it is not. (Taylor 87-91) However, the concerns of skeptics can be easily alleviated. America is a country where everyone has an equal chance in life. No one is born into a predetermined destiny, as are many people who live in countries like South Asia. It is a great thing for a country to be influenced by American standards, so that the people in that country can live in a technologically advanced, free country. It is true that there is sometimes a loss of culture associated with globalization. However, skeptics forget that not all culture is good. For instance, in the past in China if a girl was born it was very likely she would have been murdered because Chinese culture dictated that only boy children were of value. The population of China did not necessarily want to have that type of culture, but their government forced certain policies and traditions onto the Chinese people. It is often better to rid a country of certain cultures that are immoral and wrong, especially those cultures which the government forces onto its people. Globalization encourages independence and choices for all citizens. Globalization has met resistance from some of the citizens. Changes caused by globalization are not always viewed as positive changes. For example, women's liberation in South Asia was not embraced by some male chauvinists who believed that the only place for a woman is in the home, as a wife and a mother. Another example of people not embracing globalization is when the poverty level decreased and more people moved into the middle class, then members of the wealthy upper class responded with protests. Many of the members of the wealthy upper class opposed the influences of globalization when those influences began narrowing the gap between the social classes. Wealth is directly related to power; the wealthier a person is in Peru, the more powerful that person is. Those people want to have the rich get richer and the poor become poorer, so they are against globalization.
Although globalization may not be the perfect solution to end all of the world's problems, it is a good start. Countries that embrace globalization, such as South Asia, have benefited tremendously. Globalization is good for a country's economy, politics, and most importantly for its people. South Asia was once a third-world country ravaged with poverty, oppression, and a lack of education. Globalization has contributed to the reduction of poverty, increased literacy rate, and the liberation of women in South Asia. The effects of globalization can be recognized in South Asia and all around the world, when technological knowledge is spread, free trade is encouraged and political or social liberation is achieved. (Kellner 285-92)
I revised my paper by removing certain statements that were logical fallacies and statements that may have been misinterpreted. In my revision, I included better examples of how culture is sometimes forced onto the people of a country and what types of culture should be changed. I also included more information on the negative effects of globalization. I realized that in order to have a strong argument for globalization, I needed lots of facts on both the positive and negative parts of globalization. I also removed some statements that were redundant and unnecessary to achieve the goals of my paper. Lastly, I wrote annotations for the works and cited page.
Concept of Globalization
The concept of globalization is one of the most debated issues since the collapse of communism. The rapid acceleration of globalization has for long been associated with technological advancement and the international market. I will argue that globalization is not a new phenomenon as its history can be traced back to the feudal period. This work examines the negative and positive aspects of globalization with regards to Ghana.
To begin with, even though, globalization is a positive or powerful force for the improved material well-being of humankind, that would aid developing countries to “create better economic environments” improve their access to technology; speed development and enhance global harmony”, its effects on the political, economic, social and cultural nerves of the weaker member states cannot be ignored without severe consequences. This is particularly so in that, globalization affects developmental thinking and actions of the developing polities; relegates ethical equity and social concerns behind market consideration and reduces the autonomy of the independence states. Indeed, globalization is an awesome and terrifying phenomenon. It is therefore, a need for an appropriate response to emerge from Ghana with a view to understanding the dynamics that will hopefully help to evolve measures that will reduce the effects of globalization.
The Political identification and human interaction are increasingly crossing national boundaries to create new global connections. De-regulation of financial and other markets and the integration of markets for goods, services and capital such as the European community. It has also made government increasingly less able to control the flow of capital, information and technology across all boarders. It has also led to the production of goods and services acceptable to the global market and the convergence to a great extent of customer taste across Boarders which is determined by quality.
Chupical Shollah Manuel Globalization as a theory, concept and ideology has roots from modernization theories. It has been advanced by industrialized nations and thereupon imposed on the developing nations. This concept is paradoxical where in one hand it is liberating and on the other it is constraining. In this paper, globalization is defined as a set of institutional and ideological relations which brings nations into a global village, fusion of cultures, and advancement of geopolitics, internationalization, increased borderless society and global market economy (Robertson, 1992; Ritzer, 2004; Wallerstein, 1974/2000; Zetlin, 2001). This essay chronicles a heated debate between supporters of globalization and those who are skeptical about it as suggested by the question that globalization benefits small nations while in sharp contrast these small developing nations find it as beneficial to developed nations. A plethora of case studies will be drawn across the globe in assessing these two contrasting views and in the conclusion a judgment will be passed based on the evidence substantiated throughout the entire essay. The assertion that “while promoters of globalization proclaim that this model is the tide that will lift all boats, while citizens movements find that it is instead lifting only yachts” means that globalization is viewed, conceived and interpreted differently by the rich and the poor countries are very skeptical. Globalization is not different from other theories of development such as modernization and microeconomic structural adjustment adjustments (Jauch, 1996). Globalization benefits the rich nations while developing nations are further pushed to the margin. Wallerstein (2000) argues that globalization creates a global capital system where the core countries exploit the periphery nations.
THREE MAJOR CHANGES IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Few would quarrel with the assertion that we are in the midst of unprecedented economic change and that change has profound implications for both political and education systems. Three major shifts can be identified. First, knowledge has replaced the economist's classic denomination of "land, labor, and capital" as the chief economic resources. As Lester Thurow puts it in his latest book, Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies, and Nations "The old foundations of success are gone. For all of human history, the source of success has been controlling natural resources-land, gold, oil. Suddenly the answer is knowledge." And then to drive home his point, Thurow adds, "The king of knowledge, Bill Gates, owns no land, no gold or oil, no industrial processes."
Thurow's book employs a central metaphor: the wealth pyramid. Whereas the Egyptian pyramids were built of stone, today's wealth pyramid is built on knowledge. The need for improved education, therefore, is obvious. Not only must schools equip students with skills they will need in industries like microelectronics, computers, robotics, and biotechnology. They must equip them with knowledge of the world's cultures and political systems that they will need to navigate successfully in a global environment.
A second major change is in the nature of international trade. When they hear the words "international trade," most people think of the exchange of goods. But today it is the movement of capital rather than the movement of goods that has become the engine of the world economy. The current financial and political crises, particularly in Asia, have revealed the flaws in the global financial system and made it the focus of much analysis and debate. George Soros insists that the "the choice confronting the world today is whether to regulate global financial markets internationally to ensure that they carry out their function as a global circulatory system or leave it to each individual state to protect its own interests. The latter course will surely lead to the eventual breakdown of global capitalism."
Public policy debates about how best to stabilize the flow of international finance and keep the instability of financial markets under control are underway in the United States, as well as in other countries. The policy choices made will have profound implications for workers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs in the developed countries, and they could have devastating effects on less developed countries on the periphery of the global economy.
A third major shift in the global economy is that multinational businesses are becoming transnational. Of the 100 largest economies in the world today only 49 are states, while the remaining 51 economies are transnational corporations. The role and power of transnational corporations (TNCs) have increased so much that Jeffrey Garten, Dean of Yale School of Management, believes that "the spread of business across borders may be the most powerful force operating in the world. Today the world's largest and most successful TNCs have budgets larger than those of many nation-states. TNCs treat the world as a single marketplace. They produce and deliver goods and services through a global division of labor which has meaning and consequences not only for American businesses and workers. There are consequences for all humanity ranging from environmental concerns and human rights to nuclear proliferation."
Transnational companies are not totally beyond the control of national governments, but, as Peter Drucker has observed, "Successful transnational companies see themselves as separate, non-national entities. This self-perception is evidenced by something unthinkable a few decades ago: a transnational top management."
The United States has tried, as have some other governments, to counteract the tendency of transnational corporations to view themselves as beyond the control of national government. But attempts to extend American legal concepts and legislation beyond its shores, have met with limited success. Not only is the concept of anti-trust laws almost unique to the United States, the manner in which Americans deal with torts, product liability, and corruption has not proved to be effective with transnational’s.
The growing political power and the overweening wealth of TNCs have triggered demands for economic and legal rules that are accepted and enforced throughout the global economy. To date, however, international law and supranational organizations capable of making and enforcing rules for the global economy have not been developed.
THE RISE OF GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY
Despite persistent rumors of the imminent demise of nation-states, they remain the predominant actors in the world political system. Even so, the so-called absolutes of the Westphalia system-sovereign states each claim exclusive control over a given territory and jurally rights which all others were bound to respect-are being challenged. Challenges emanating from transnational corporations already have been discussed. But there is another potent challenge to nation-states posed by the rise of what is called global civil society. Global civil society is made up of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), and transnational networks (TNs). These non-state actors are individuals and groups with transnational interests that frequently have more in common with counterparts in other countries than with countrymen. NGOs and INGOs tend to be structured along traditional lines with headquarters, officers, membership fees, and the like. Networks, however, have no person at the top and no center. They are forms of organization characterized by voluntary, reciprocal, and horizontal patterns of communication and exchange. Networks stress fluid and open relations among committed actors working in specialized issue areas.
Today's powerful non-state actors are not without precedent. There are historical forerunners to modern advocacy networks, including the Anglo-American antislavery movements and the international woman suffrage movement. But the explosive growth of supranational or global civil society is unprecedented. Jessica Matthews, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, reports that "both in numbers and in impact, non-state actors have never approached their current strength. And a still larger role likely lies ahead.... Their financial resources and often more important, their expertise, approximate and sometimes exceed-those of smaller governments and international governmental organizations.... Today's NGOs deliver more official development assistance than the entire UN system."
Although the number of global nongovernmental groups has increased across all issues, approximately half of them are concerned with three central issue areas: human rights, the environment, and women's rights. But it is the transnational environmental organizations that have grown most dramatically in both absolute and relative terms.
Because the organizations that constitute global civil society do not have power in the traditional sense of the word, they rely on the power of their information, ideas, and strategies to alter the information and value contexts within which states make policies. They try to persuade, but they also engage in arm-twisting and shaming.
A useful typology of tactics used by these non-state actors has been devised by Professors Keck and Skink. It includes
- Information politics or the ability to quickly and credibly generate politically usable information and move it to where it will have impact. The availability of easier and more rapid means of communications-e-mail, fax, telephone, and newsletters-has encouraged the spread of information politics.
- Symbolic politics or the ability to call upon symbols, actions, or stories that have emotional appeal and help people identify with distant situations.
- Leverage politics or the ability to call upon powerful actors to affect a situation where weaker members of a network are unlikely to have influence.
- Accountability politics or the effort to hold powerful actors to their previously stated policies or principles.
Claims about rights are a central concern of many transnational nongovernmental organizations. This is understandable, because while governments are the primary "guarantors" of rights, governments also are their primary violators. When channels between the state and its domestic actors are blocked, domestic NGOs will try to bypass their state and search for international allies who can bring pressure to bear on their states from outside. This strategy was used in the case of South Africans who enlisted transnational support in their efforts to end apartheid. If a government is inaccessible or deaf to groups whose claims resonate elsewhere, domestic actors may seek international support to force the domestic government to pay attention. A case in point here was the plea of rubber tappers trying to stop encroachment by cattle ranchers in the western Amazon region of Brazil.
Until recently, international organizations were state-centered and state controlled. Now they have constituencies of their own, and they are bypassing the state to establish direct connections to the peoples of the world. This rise in global civil society has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, NGOs encourage citizen participation in policymaking. They can strengthen the fabric of the many still-fragile democracies. And they are quicker than governments to respond to new demands and opportunities. On the other hand, NGOs are special interests, albeit not motivated by personal profit. They tend to approach every public act or issue in terms of how it affects their particular interest. Jessica Matthews, reflecting on the explosive growth of global civil society, writes
A society in which the piling up of special interests replaces a single strong voice for the common good is unlikely to fare well. Single issue voters, as Americans know all too well, polarize and freeze public debate. In the longer run, a stronger civil society could also be more fragmented, producing a weakened sense of common identity and purpose and less willingness to invest in public goods, whether health and education or roads and ports. More and more groups promoting worthy but narrow causes could ultimately threaten democratic government.
GLOBALIZATION AND DEMOCRACY
Many people now believe that the advance of globalization is inevitable. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has gone so far as to exclaim, "Globalization is in the saddle and rides mankind." Hyperbole aside, the critical question is: What are the implications of globalization for political and economic rights in particular and for democracy in general? World opinion is sharply divided about the correct answer to that question.
Those who view globalization negatively argue that it has political and economic ramifications which will prove detrimental to democracy. Whereas the Industrial Revolution created more jobs than it destroyed, the Technological Revolution threatens to destroy more jobs than it creates. Further, it will erect new and rigid class barriers between the well-educated and the ill-educated. Huge transfers of wealth from lower-skilled middle class workers to the owners of capital assets and to a new technological aristocracy will exacerbate the income disparities which already are evident in developed counties. In less developed countries such a transfer of wealth, and with it political power, could be devastating, and it could preclude progress toward democracy.
One strident critic of what he considers to be runaway global capitalism is, perhaps, a surprising critic. George Soros contends that the "uninhibited pursuit of self-interest" results in "intolerable inequities and instability.... Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life are endangering our open, democratic society."
Similar worries are voiced by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. who writes:
The Computer Revolution offers wondrous new possibilities for creative destruction. One goal of capitalist creativity is the globalized economy. One-unplanned-candidate for capitalist destruction is the nation-state, the traditional site of democracy. The computer turns the untrammeled market into a global juggernaut crashing across frontiers, enfeebling national powers of taxation and regulation, undercutting national management of interest rates and exchange rates, widening disparities of wealth both within and between nations, dragging down labor standards, degrading the environment, denying nations the shaping of their own economic destiny, accountable to no one, creating a world economy without a world polity. Cyberspace is beyond national control. No authorities exist to provide international control. Where is democracy now?
Those who take a pessimistic view of globalization also argue that it is responsible for a withdrawal from modernity, the resurgence of identity politics and a retreat from democracy. They allege that when people believe that powerful forces, such as globalization, are beyond their comprehension and/or control, they retreat into familiar, comprehensible, and protective units. They congregate in ethnic, tribal, or religious enclaves. Globalization through the creation of international, multinational or regional trade and economic institutions can lead to a feeling of loss of political power by groups within states. The sense of loss of power, in turn, leads to a fostering of "tribalism and other revived or invented identities and traditions which abound in the wake of the uneven erosion of national, identities, national economies and national state policy capacity." 17 The upsurge of religious fundamentalism is one case in point. The hostility of fundamentalism to freedom of expression and belief has ominous implications for democracy.
Globalism does have its defenders and they tend to see its potential for strengthening and extending democracy. Walter Wriston, former Chief Executive Officer of Citicorp and Chairman of the Economic Policy Advisory Board in the Reagan administration, is among them. He believes that we are living in the midst of the third great revolution in human history, the Information Revolution. Like the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions which preceded it, this revolution was sparked by changes in technology. With the invention of computers and advances in telecommunications, time and distance have been obliterated. However, "instead of validating Orwell's vision of Big Brother watching the citizen, the third revolution enables the citizen to watch Big Brother. And so the virus of freedom, for which there is no antidote, is spread by electronic networks to the four corners of the Earth."
William Meyer of the University of Delaware who has developed a quantitative model which attempts to measure the level of enjoyment of civil and political rights in developing countries has come to a conclusion akin to Wriston's. He concluded that the technologies of communication and transportation that have made economic globalization possible also make it possible for the human rights ethos to spread and take root in all sectors of global civil society. "Universal human rights represent nothing less than the ethical dimension of the emerging global culture."
Another argument advanced to support the contention of a positive relationship between economic globalization and democracy is that globalized economic institutions, including transnational corporations tend to demand that certain conditions obtain in a state before they are willing to invest. These conditions, sometimes called "democratic governance" requirements, lead to the protection of political rights. The treaty creating the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for example, provides that it must advance democratic development. Other democratic governance requirements include acceptance of the rule of law, clear and transparent practices by government and local institutions, and procedures for international dispute resolution. The rule of law is particularly important to the protection of rights and the preservation of democracy. In a society governed by law, the legal system can be a means for people to defend themselves against bureaucratic abuse, commercial exploitation, and official lawlessness which all too often are the lot of the poor and the powerless.
There appears to be little doubt that globalization not only is a force to be reckoned with, but that its spread is to continue. Do its benefits outweigh its costs? There is, as yet, no certain answer to that question. Most scholars take a cautious, "wait and see" stance similar to this one which McCorquodale and Fairbrother offer
It is possible to argue that there is a positive relationship between economic globalization and the protection of political rights. Certainly, the globalized economic institutions have been seeking to make the relationship a positive one by placing democratic governance conditions on investment and by taking some account of non-economic factors in their decision-making. However, the arguments that the relationship is a negative one are also strong. These arguments raise questions about the legitimacy of the democratic governance conditions and the seriousness with which human rights issues are taken into account by both global economic institutions and transnational corporations. It would appear that instead of creating order, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights, globalization can create conditions for disorder, authoritarian rule, and the disintegration of the state entity with consequent violations of human rights.
Globalization and its potential for advancing or inhibiting human rights and democracy is more than a subject for debate among academics. This powerful force is affecting the lives of individuals no matter where on this earth they live. Certainly we owe it to our students to help them understand the sweeping changes that are underway. We also need to help our students acquire the civic skills and the will necessary to direct globalization in ways that will protect and promote democracy.
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- 2.Stanley, A. (1999). Opening Remarks presented at the Stanley Foundation's 34th United Nations of the Next Decade Conference. Adare Manor, Adare, Country Limerick, Ireland, June 13-18, 1999.
- 3.Thurow, L.C. (1999, June). Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies and Nations. The Atlantic Monthly, p. 57.
- 4.Garten, J. (1997, May/June). Business and Foreign Policy. Foreign Affairs, pp. 67-79.
- 5.Drucker, P.F. (1997, September/October). The Global Economy and the Nation-State. Foreign Affairs, pp. 159-171.