Globalization & world
Globalization & world
Globalization is one of the most recent phenomenons ever to strike humanity upon its entrance to the 21st century. Historically speaking, globalization itself has been around for decades long before it was conceived as a field of study of international trade. Some economists and historians contend that the concepts of globalization have been prevalent even during time when the Silk Road started in China up to the Roman Empire. Some, however, argue that globalization began during the 19th century; when the prevalence of the Industrial Age was at its fastest and that trade between Europe, their colonies and the Americas were growing steadily.
Major advances in technology, especially during the 20th century, eventually led countries to lower trading costs; hence, highlighting the inevitability of the expansion of trade within the International Community. Still, globalization, as a term, was never used by economists; at least not until the early 1980’s. Furthermore, all its concepts and ideas were never really fully understood by the academic community until the early 1990’s. Fortunately, after seven years into the 21st century, much of the world is already aware of its contexts and aspects – from outsourcing to currency trading via wireless applications.
Still, despite our knowledge of globalization, we cannot deny the fact that we know less about its implications for the future. Globalization, as a field of study, is a volatile subject that, even with the assistance of factual data and information, is almost ultimately unpredictable. Despite the existence of a myriad of books, journals and articles pertaining to the topic of Globalization, we cannot deny that we have yet to fully understand its future trends.
Indeed, a major advancement brought by sophisticated technology can ultimately change, once again, the face of the International Community; thus, affecting international trade and ultimately affecting the “globalization” of the world. On a further note, third world countries that would eventually become first world countries in the future may end up shifting the international balance of trade and commerce for first world countries. As such, it is very tempting to imagine what the International Community would be like if, for some infinitesimal chance, the African Continent booms like Asia.
If such an event occurs, will globalization be the cause for it? Alternatively, will globalization even allow such an event to occur? People who are against the advancements of globalization argue that globalization only benefits the rich north and detriments the poor south. This is evident from the fact that countries in the northern hemisphere tend to play in a neo-imperialist fashion among the countries in the southern hemisphere. Anti-globalization movements insist that the prevalence of globalization only means the prevalence of multinational corporations (MNC’s).
They contend that these corporations, while providing employment for the local population, only encourage more poverty in the country. Multinational corporations, upon entering a country, immediately eliminates local competitors; thus, destroying the balance of power between local and foreign. As such, the country becomes subject to the influence of foreign countries that originally holds these multinational corporations. This automatically becomes a sort of leverage for foreign countries (which are, most of the time, rich countries coming from the north) against the country holding their MNC’s.
On the other hand, people that are for the advancements of globalization argues that free trade – the main tool of globalization – encourages more growth for developing economies compared to protectionism. Primarily, globalization allows several countries access to several goods and services that they could never produce or emulate from other countries. Furthermore, they contend that globalization encourages competition among local and foreign businesses. Though unfair at times, supporters of globalization claim that encouraging competition allows small businesses to grow, to become more efficient and to become more versatile.
The arguments of both sides are truly credible. Indeed, globalization, as a concept, is considered by many as a double-edged sword – though benefiting the user, it can, if careless enough, harm him/her as well. Globalization, as mentioned, is a recent phenomenon. As such, it is proven that the world has survived for decades without its presence. Now the underlying question is, can the world, now after being versed with the concepts of globalization, reverse its effects and abolish it completely? The answer, obviously, would be a sounding no – definitely not.
It is almost impossible for a country to reverse, much less resist, the effects of globalization. Globalization encourages the exchange of information and technology. If globalization is to cease, and that countries would now resort to protectionism, then growth for many countries would also grind to a halt. International trade is what makes every country wealthy. Unlike before in the early 15th up to the 18th centuries – where colonialism and imperialism were one of the main methods of accumulating wealth – wealth today are shared almost unanimously be every country in the world.
From the trading of currency to the trading of services, countries today are becoming even more interconnected than ever before. Consequently, putting a stop on that interconnectedness could ultimately destroy the economies of the world. Another good thing about Globalization is that it can serve as a buffer for possible aggressive maneuvers by violent countries. For instance, the People’s Republic of China would never sort to war simply because starting a war can affect the economies of its neighbors; hence, affecting its trade relations with them.
Such a plausible fact just proves how beneficial globalization is to the rest of the world. Globalization is an important aspect of the International Community. It is inevitable. It cannot be stopped nor can it be reversed. This realization has been the foundations of several international organizations in the past. International Organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and others (i. e. Asian Development Bank, etc. ) have been the cornerstones of the world’s acceptance to globalization.
These international organizations have become overseers of the international economy. For instance, the World Bank – which is, by all means, Bank – grants loans to countries but with the condition of removing some (or most) of its protectionist policies; hence, paving the way for the entrance of foreign companies. The World Trade Organization, on the other hand, makes its Member Countries abide by its rules and regulations of free trade (simply, the removal of trade barriers). These international organizations are in existence for the simple reason of understanding and monitoring the trends of globalization.
In a globalized world, where everything is almost instant, it is important to have a huge body of experts whose main objectives are to understand the implications of such trends. Understanding the future implications of Globalization is not an easy task. For one thing (as mentioned), it is a volatile field of study. It is possible, however, to make certain predictions regarding future trends for globalizations. One possible prediction is the emergence or prevalence of offshoring. Offhsoring, in the simplest sense, refers to the relocation of businesses from one country to another.
This mostly pertains to business processes such as manufacturing, production and even services. This is done mainly in order to save costs through the hiring of a cheap workforce. Coupled with low taxation, lax laws (i. e. environmental) and other such benefits, offshoring for corporations is truly a more tempting act than establishing their businesses locally. Depending on future circumstances, this possibility could prove detrimental to present developed countries. Take, for instance, the American workforce. Several US corporations would most likely prefer to offshore their businesses processes (i. e.
manufacturing) to other foreign countries instead of putting them up locally (mainly because of the low labor cost and others). As such, a huge number of the American population would remain unemployed. Still, since it is the future we are referring to, it is quite impossible to assure the possibility of such an event occurring. For one thing, many countries in the future would most likely transform themselves from third world countries to first world countries. As such, previous benefits such as cheap labor cost, lax laws and others could disappear or much less change depending on the economic status of that State.
Yet another possible prediction is the ultra low cost of transportation – ultimately making the transfer of goods and services very cheap; thus, making international trade more disseminated and more beneficial. The introduction of future technologies could very well change the face of every country and how they conduct their trade relations. Not only that, technological advancements in transportation may also mean that time will not become a factor anymore. The world may enter an era where everything can be delivered in a flash – an era of instances. Such possibilities are credible.
But again, future predictions can change drastically depending on future circumstances. In 2015, a lot of change could’ve resulted from the prevalence of globalization. Assuming that the war in Iraq is now over – and that democracy is now slowly spreading across the Middle East, globalization will now have a chance to influence the Islamic region synonymously to that of how it influenced the Asian region. Indeed, globalization will set itself to open up new markets coupled with new opportunities for everyone. These predictions are a little ambitious as it gets.
Looking at some current events, it may seem so. However, one must understand the fact that everything can change in an instant. A single event can change the history of the world in no less than 5 years. One example for that is the introduction of the internet. The prevalence of the internet made the world smaller and more interconnected than ever before. If a greater technological advancement could spark the same sort of impact as that expressed by the internet, then globalization can most likely shift to a higher level in a short span of time.
Globalization, in its simplest sense (economic), refers to the transcendent movement of goods and services, labor, capital and technology on the international level. In some cases, globalization may also refer to the interconnectedness of countries and people through advancements in technology. This understanding of globalization, however, may change drastically in the next decade or century. Depending on future circumstances (i. e. continued growth and the absence of war) and major technological advancements, globalization may reach worlds beyond ours – making the universe a smaller place than we perceive it to be.
The possibility of this occurring, however, is hard to determine. Globalization, as discussed, is a double-edged sword. It works in two ways: one, it benefits the country by providing different goods and services. It also allows the country access to foreign markets; thus, providing an opportunity to earn more by selling more products. The other is that it destroys the country’s local economy by being outdone by foreign businesses. Truly, globalization is damaging for some; but also beneficial at the same time.
Sources Cited: Whichard, O. G.(2003) Measuring Globalization: The Experience of the United States of America (1 December 2007) Bureau of Economic Analysis Stubbs, R. and Underhill, G. R. D. (2005) The United States and Globalization: Struggles with Hegemony (30 December 2007) Oxford University Press Broda, C. and Weinstein, D. (2005) Are we underestimating the gains from Globalization for the United States? (30 December 2007) Federal Reserve Bank of New York Glasel, J. (2006) Globalization’s winners and losers New York: The New York Times (1 December 2006) http://query. nytimes.
com/gst/fullpage. html? res=9F05E3DD1630F932A05751C1A9609C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 Scheve, K. F and Slaughter, M. J. (2007) A New Deal for Globalization Foreign Affairs (30 November 2007) http://www. foreignaffairs. org/20070701faessay86403/kenneth-f-scheve-matthew-j-slaughter/a-new-deal-for-globalization. html Rosenberg, Tina. (2002) Globalization. New York Times 30 November 2007, http://query. nytimes. com/gst/fullpage. html? res=940CE5DD103AF93BA2575BC0A9649C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Organizations/I/International%20Monetary%20Fund
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 December 2016
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