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The world is evolving and in the last few decades, some of the major changes have taken place in the world. Out of the many changes, one of the major transformations that have taken place is what is referred to as globalization. Globalization has taken over the world by storm and reduced large distances; it has resulted in many changes in the last decade and has been supported and promoted by the advent of technology.
The world has turned into a global village which is so small that distances no longer carry much importance.
Globalization is not a single concept but one which has various aspects like technological, economical, cultural and social and each one of its dimension has a broad scope. Since, the world is now interconnected because of globalization, this has facilitated and created opportunities in different aspects, but has also resulted in increased competition and many insecurities.
In this essay, we first discuss globalization and explain what it is, discuss briefly some of its drivers, then discuss some of the non state actors and the impact of globalization on the world in terms of security.
Globalization Globalization can be defined in various ways. It is the process where extension of connections takes place on a global basis, creating a social connection of life at a global level and resulting in the fusion of global societies. The term is comprised of different large processes; the definitions thus also vary according to what is emphasized in the description.
With respect to the true meaning of the word, there is difference in opinion as to what it actually refers to as it may indicate actual processes as they take place in life, thoughts which validate the course of action or simply the manner in which people form perception of these processes.
Globalization is thus understood through the different definitions that exist and each of these definitions articulate diverse considerations of global change brought about by the phenomenon of globalization (Lechner, 1, 2001).
Globalization generally is considered to be a procedure that increases the interconnectedness and inter reliance amongst the business and markets of the world (INVESTOR 2008). Thus, globalization results in bringing the markets and businesses of the world closely linked to each other, but the term is not limited to just an economical dimension, therefore, it would be more appropriate to inculcate in it the aspects of politics, social, culture and ethics.
Globalization may also be considered as a practice of a social nature where the diminution of the limitations of geography on provisions of cultural and social nature occurs and people are more conscious over time of the fact that limitations are diminishing (Waters, 9, 1995). Drivers of globalization Globalization has been driven by a number of factors which have broadened its scope even more. The increased pressure on costs causes companies to move their resources to such places where they are more cheaply available.
Many products have reached a certain level of market saturation in their respective markets, therefore, giving rise to the need to search for new markets. Customers have become more savvy and quality conscious which has resulted in globally increased demands that have to be met. Governments at different places have introduced policies to promote globalization such as levied taxed and allowing open markets. There is development in technology every other day and many of these technological changes facilitate globalization (Briscoe & Schuler, 14-15, 2004).
There are a number of trading blocs existing in different regions that place different rules for trading among countries and pave way for open trade amongst them. The advent of internet has resulted in world wide communication and flow of information which makes information available at fingertips to be accessed at any time. The different cultures are more closely integrated and boundaries have become blurred because of global communication and availability of different products and services like music, food, clothing etc. the workforce is now more educated across the world and thus is able to meet the demands of globalization.
Trade barriers have decreased and markets have become more open resulting in increased competition and thus searching for opportunities in overseas market to keep up with the competition. Finally, E-commerce makes a business global, the very moment it hosts its website online, making it available to customers across the globe (Briscoe & Schuler, 14-15, 2004). The major contribution to globalization has been made by technological advances which have paced up the process considerably in the last two decades, thus, facilitating traveling, communicating and conducting business on an international level.
Amongst the many drivers of globalization, two major ones are advancement in telecommunication infrastructure and internet, which are a result of technological development (INVESTOR, 1, 2008). Non state actors Governments have a vital role to play in the process of globalization, they should be able to plan and implement vital policies and negotiate important international bodies for expressing the views of their nations and obtain benefits by stressing their national interests.
Though the states are important but there are different non state actors, among them are organizations which support globalization. Among these, World Economic Forum and World Trade Organization are the two most prominent ones. The World Economic Forum lacks the authority to make decisions yet it has great influence and high importance. This foundation has played its part in providing a forum for the networking needs of governments, business and non-profit leaders on a global level.
On the other hand, The World Trade Organization is an entity which was created with the objective of defining rules that will oversee global trade and capital flows by taking consent of its members and make sure that the established rules are adhered to by supervising the concerned acts of the member countries (INVESTOR, 1, 2008). The formation of WTO was meant to revolutionalize the scope of issues related to global trade and to assure the conformity of to its principles of international trade and settle conflicting disputes of the concerned domain by its dispute-settlement mechanisms (UN, 1, 2000).
Another important non state actor is the UN which has a vital role to perform in globalization on the basis of its multilateral system, which is necessary for working globally as there is a need for cop operation with each other across the globe. The multilateral system is important for the making of international policies that reflect shared values within the boundaries of law (WC, 1, 2004). But the UN has delegated its power of dealing with social and economic subjects to WTO, WB and IMF. The WTO has such approach that often leaves out developing countries in the decision-making.
The decision making policy of the UN need to have more participation from the developing matters at least in the issues pertaining to them so that they may efficiently serve the needs of such nations. The economic and social powers that were shifted to other bodies are over burdening these bodies and resulting in inefficient mechanisms, therefore, these powers should be brought back with the UN but with proper policies and rules that may benefit all nations (Khor, 1, 2000). Implications of globalization Globalization is now a common feature of the world economy but it is not accepted by everyone with open arms.
Though globalization results in opportunities and competition for everyone across the globe and provision of opportunities is good and if viewed positively, even competition is good as it results in more efficient production. But on the other hand, globalization cause deprivation for specific groups of people who do not have sufficient resources to cope with it. Consequently, in the increasing pressure of competition brought about by the inter-connection of their economies with the rest of the globe, these people are incapable of functioning efficiently and thus stand at a disadvantage (INVESTOR, 1, 2008).
Globalization requires economic, social and political adjustments for people of different societies, areas or regions to accept and characterize their culture with an aim to integrate it with that of the rest of the world. It endorses global integration significantly and asks for elimination of existing barriers between different cultures. Those who support the process justify this kind of integration by resembling it with that of the significant technological information devices like satellites and computers.
The critics argue that the proposed integration of cultural is in fact aimed at cultural invasion and will result in the degeneration of cultural identity and its spirit whereas those who support it deem the declining of cultural boundaries as an ample indicator of improved communication processes, combination of societies and a signal of capacity aimed at amalgamation of civilizations. There is evidence of how the global socioeconomic forces belonging to the industrialized West have invaded these poorer countries and may eventually cause them to lose the characteristics of their religion and society.
It is observable that the means which assisted in bringing cultures nearer to each other may also have caused the exhaustion of many of these global cultures (Moussalli, 1, 2003). An overlook of the governance of globalization shows that it is dictated by strong players and countries, proper rules and institutions to regulate the different aspects like trade or finance are lacking and poor people and countries stand at a clear disadvantage as they are unable to reap the benefits of the phenomenon (WC, 1, 2004).
Globalization has not helped in equitable development as there is an increase in disparities and poverty. Politically, even though the national boundaries are growing blurred but upon closer observation, we get to know that it is not a result of the free choice of people but a model imposed by stronger powers (Sabourin et al. , 56, 2000). The focus of globalization has stayed on the aspect of economy and business for a long time but it is about time to realize its effects on the personal and professional life of people.
Although problems like poverty, human rights violation, unemployment were present even before globalization took over but these have been fuelled by globalization along with added disadvantage of social exclusion for many poor nations of the world. Deduction from many of the studies related to globalization shows that it is someway responsible for the growing inequality as the poor usually do not get to derive their share of the benefits offered by the phenomenon; among such nations, the developing countries are most affected.
But there are also studies that suggest the benefits availed by the poor from globalization when facilities are provided to the poor like credit access, technical know-how, social safety nets as income support and well targeted food aid (Nesvisky, 1, n. d. ). With respect to employment, we see that there has been a decline in labor intensive jobs which has consequently led to lower demand of unskilled labor and resulted in lower earnings for this group as compared to the skilled group of workers.
Another phenomenon is that low-skilled jobs are moved over to countries which offer labor at lower wages; this results in low demand for low-skilled workers. Liberalization of economy is of great concern to the developing countries, which have a motive to derive benefits from increasing trade and investment flows, yet they yield increased unemployment and inequality (Lee, 1, 1996).
The phenomenon of child labor is deeply interwoven within the context of the societies or households where it exists, it was present even before globalization in the developing countries and it is in these countries that the practice has increased even more because of globalization. In the developing countries, mainly those of the poor and consequently the pressure and need for working for women and children has increased and in certain cases become vital for survival.
Due to inflation and decreasing social sector budgets, children have to work either to substitute for the working mothers domestically or to add to the family income by working outside (Raman, 1, 1997). Global insecurities The economic, technical and social changes brought about by globalization have greatly affected the lives of people. Global insecurities have been brought about by the fast spreading of information and growth of the media industry globally which has affected existing identities and resulted in decline of social cohesion and cultural diversity.
Globalization is guided only by a few powers and works in their favor, the strategies established by them doesn’t seem to work and benefit the great majority of the people around the world. This has resulted in insecurity and ambiguity for the poor and the middle-classes (Raghavan, 1, 2000). There has been unsustainable development, excessive use of resources, negative impacts on existence of original communities, and a growing gap between the rich and the poor. Consequently, there are insecurities and social tensions coming from international and intra-national inequalities (Dass, 1, 2002).
The insecurities are also attributable to the international bodies, which are explicitly in absence of state influence as these are non state actors. Their rules are designed and implemented on a basis which considers regulation of the global activities in various aspects of life by and under the control of such influences which are not considerate towards the smaller powers and play by their own rules without having a respect for the weaker associates who are exploited (UN, 1, 2000). The insecurities have also been created due to a lack of widely available social services for every country and social class.
Global insecurities are also related to hindrances towards the development of low income groups and therefore it is vital to erase distortions like inequalities and take measures to encourage the productive potential of low-income groups. Globalization definitely has its benefits but they are accompanies with new vulnerabilities, for this reason, there is confusion in the voice of public opinion about globalization. Taking steps to reduce global insecurity and equally distributing the benefits may help in creating a sustainable support for the phenomenon (Brookings, 1, 2001).
Conclusion: Though globalization may be considered to be a positive phenomenon which has resulted in various opportunities for people in the form of increased trade, choices of goods, improved lifestyle, enhanced communication and other benefits. But, globalization has also created many adverse impacts upon the life of people like increased poverty in poor nations, unemployment and low wages for low skilled workers, turning education into a commercial activity and cultures losing their individual identities.
There are non state actors like international organizations which integrate the different nations together and formulate rules to guide their path in the light of globalization, making the process a little smoother but on the same lines, the same bodies result in insecurities for people magnified by globalization. Thus, globalization is a phenomenon which apparently may look beneficial to all but actually benefits only the dominant powers and that too at the expense of weaker ones and unless something is done to stop the exploitation and mutually benefit everyone, insecurities will continue to grow.
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