Globalisation describes the process of increasing interconnectedness in the world, by which political, economic, social and cultural systems become strongly integrated together. The sheer intensity of globalization in various aspects, is dissolving the significance of national boundaries.
As a result, political and economic systems now extend beyond the state level. Globalisation has created an unprecedented level of interconnectedness in human history. With the many new opportunities and privileges that we now enjoy, globalisation has also brought about new problems that affect us more than before.The 4 strands of globalisations are: To make technological, social and economic progress as a human race, there is a need for globalisation. We need cheaper and more efficient means of transport and communication for greater societal welfare and production. We also need global solidarity to cooperate on global issues and maintain peace.
This globalised world has enabled efficient military mobilisation across borders and weapon proliferation, resulting in state sovereignty being easily infringed upon by powerful states and non-state actors. This is seen in Israel’s expansionism, Russian’s annexation of Crimea and the 9/11 attacks. Realists argue that the rise of international organisations allows for powerful states to influence decision making to serve their own national interests; this is most notable in the UN Security Council and their 5 permanent members. This leads to greater inequality as only the powerful states grow and prosper.
This is further compounded by the lack of enforceability in international bodies.Realists view trade liberalisation as advantageous only for economically developed states as they gain access to larger markets and are able to exploit developing economies for labour and raw materials. Developing countries make little economic progress in this era of economic globalization as they are locked into the production of raw materials to serve the world economy. They are also unable to keep up with the production efficiency and competitive prices of the global competition that they are exposed to. TNCs also exploit such labourers by subjecting them to poor work conditions and low wage.
Profits are also returned home and not invested in the host country. New media and digital technology led to the emergence of transnational criminal networks and militant groups. Globalisation also increased immigration which strains countries’ resources, posing challenges in migration managements for states such as the US and UK.
We move towards a monoculture as Western culture has spread extensively and is adopted by many parts of the world. English is becoming the global lingua franca and much of consumerist products and services are Western. Western ideas are also seen as more desirable, resulting in the erosion of local customs and beliefs. Huntington states that there are civilizations which feel threatened by this encroachment of Westernisation, causing them to react with hostility and conflict; the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism being an example. With globalisation, there are more international organisations such as the UN and IMF, that tackle global issues no state can solve alone such as climate change and poverty. States voluntarily participate in international cooperation due to the harmony of interests they share and their desire to make absolute gains.
With increased international cooperation, the world has been able to gradually make economic and social progress as well as preserve international peace and security. There is also greater mixed actor involvement as TNCs and NGOs have become influential actors in global public policy. Due to trade liberalisation, increased availability of labour, efficient transportation and information technology, we have moved towards a single integrated world economy. The internet enables easy access to goods and efficient financial transactions. Economic globalisation created transnational economic structures, allowing for free flow of financial capital, increased privatisation and trade. The growth of TNCS In this international capitalist economy brings inward investment and jobs for the locals as well as wealth to the economy when TNCs buy local resources, services and products.A global communications infrastructure has facilitated the transnational spread of ideas, information and religion.
This has led to technological advancements, increase in standards of healthcare, education and religious tolerance. The digital revolution has raised awareness of events in other countries such as wars and social issues such as human rights. As people across the world are increasingly connected, tendencies towards a global sense of solidarity become reinforced. This empowers individuals and societies to take action, leading to the rise of NGOs and social progress in the world.
With increased international trade, there is greater availability of foreign consumer goods, allowing people to experience foreign culture without travelling, by buying things such as food and clothing. There is also increased cultural exchange due to ease of migration, tourism and the internet which allows for foreign experiences such as foreign popular culture. Globalisation has created a world where the lives of humans have become closely intertwined regardless of geographical proximity. We are all part of the international economy and market, equally affected by global issues and even boundaries between cultural identities are blurred now. Currently, the powerful actors are reaping the most rewards. However, globalisation is a continual process and it is foolish to weigh the pros against cons to decide whether more or less globalisation is ideal. This is because globalisation results in such vast, multi-faceted impacts and nuances varying across states, that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.