| Definition of Globalization Essay
One of the leading modern theorists, Anthony Giddens, defines globalization rather simply as amplifying interdependence of the societies, making a modern human civilization. Today the globalization influences all aspects of the social and cultural life, changes the developed representations and values, destroys a habitual way of life, involves representatives of different cultures in continuous dialogues, dilutes the borders between national economies, states and cultural worlds, but, on the other hand, it promotes marking of new borders. The globalization changes the character of a social life properly by giving it an unprecedented earlier scale and complexity.
Throughout the most part of the human history, societies existed more or less isolated. However, the tendency to overcome this isolation appeared a long time ago. The association of tribes, the formation of the ancient states, the trading exchange all this can be considered as steps towards overcoming the patrimonial, breeding and ethnic isolation.
As the best example of overcoming the isolated existence of different people, it is essential to take into consideration ancient and medieval empires. However, the most extensive empire of the past did not cover the whole space exhibited by a person, and the unity of such empires was substantially conditional. The interaction between the regions was interfered by a poor development of means of communication and transport. Besides, as the subsistence economy was dominating, each settlement represented a self-sufficient economic unit.
The way to a modern global economy with all its advantages and disadvantages began during the Age of Discovery. The European colonization, which followed these discoveries, put an end to a self-sufficient existence of many societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. All the factors, such as cheap or, as a matter of fact, gratuitous resources and raw materials, cheap labor, new goods, later a sales market for the European production, were of immense value for the developing European economy. The break to the industrial society, according to some researchers, was made substantially due to the resources of not western societies. The formation of the industrial society finally fixed the western economic and political domination in the world. The colonial policy of the western powers led to the involvement of non-European societies in the system of the international economic and political relations. Many societies which became the objects of the colonial expansion had no own state structures. These structures were created by the Europeans that led later to a set of the territorial and ethnic conflicts, for example, in Africa.
The colonial expansion involved not only the inclusion of the colonies in the international economic system being formed, but also the distribution of the achievements of the European culture and the civilization among the part of the colonized population. The modernization process began with the colonialism in the societies which became the objects of the colonization.
The colonialism, despite numerous negative consequences, created economic and cultural preconditions for the formation of a uniform human civilization. However, the unity is based not only on the harmony of interests and purposes but on the interdependence, which does not exclude but often means contradictions and conflicts.
Globalization is, first of all, an economic process which caused large-scale political, social and cultural changes. Globalization of the economy is an exit of the economy outside the borders of the national states. Bell noted, Within the last two hundred years there has been an international economy… The global economy differs radically from the international one. It is a uniform system of the economy, an association of the markets of the capital, currencies and goods as well as the growth of production dispersals (Gray 14).
Therefore, globalization of the economy is not simply an intensive international economic exchange, but a merge of national economies in a uniform – supranational, transnational economic system.
According to a number of researchers, the process of globalization passed two stages. The first stage was a turn of the XIX-XX centuries, the period of the development of imperialism, an active development of the international economic relations. During this period, some western researchers said that free trade was capable of causing general economic growth and prosperity, while destroying the background for political conflicts. Nevertheless, this period came to the end with the World War I which buried the hope of a uniform prospering world.
The second stage of globalization began in the 1970s of the XX century. It was connected to the emergence of multinational corporations which are commercial enterprises based in one country but having a set of offices in the territories of other states. In the 1970s, there were 10 leaders of the multinational corporations. Today, their number is estimated in hundreds, and among them there are not only Americans but also Japanese, Swiss, British, and others. Multinational corporations disperse the production worldwide and gradually lose the obvious national identity. The personnel of the most different nationalities work in multinational corporations.
Not only the multinational corporation development but also the disintegration of the socialist camp promoted globalization. In order to be integrated into the capitalist system, the former socialist economy was compelled to accept new rules of the game which, as a matter of fact, became universal.
At the second stage of globalization, a significant role was played by the development of information and communication technologies. Without a continuous intensive exchange of information as well as without effective vehicles, the functioning of the global economy would be impossible.
The globalization is characterized by the following features:
– a spasmodic increase in scales and rates of capital moving;
– an advancing growth of the international trade in comparison with a gross domestic product of all countries;
– a creation of nets of the international productions with a fast placement of capacities on the standardized and unified production release;
– a formation of the world financial markets on which many operations are carried out quickly and round the clock;
– a formation of the financial sphere as the self-sufficing force, defining the possibilities of the development of the industry, agricultural infrastructures, services sectors; today the financial sphere becomes a real economy ;
– almost instant distribution of information on changes in financial and other markets at the expense of the development of telecommunication systems, the software, therefore, the decisions on moving the capitals, sales and purchase of currencies, securities, debts and others are accepted in real time;
– an exit of the world financial markets from under the jurisdiction of the separate, even the largest states;
– an emergence of powerful subjects of the world economy at the expense of merges and absorption of multinational corporations;
– a sharp expansion of the labor markets and change of their structure which happened under the influence of new technologies, on the one hand, led to a mass migration to the developed countries and considerably changed a traditional ethnic structure of the population of the developed countries, while generating a social tension in some of them; on the other hand, it led to the migration of the production, new forms of the organization of the economy from Europe and the USA to the regions which predominantly kept a traditional way of life before. It, in turn, generated a phenomenon of an enclave modernization in many Third World countries and also promoted the growth of the social tension;
-an emergence of some kind of metainfrastructure of the income redistribution in favor of the states of the industrially developed North.
Within the world economy, the contours of its specialized segments are shown. The world system of the economic pluralism with three centers is formed: North and South America under the aegis of the USA, Europe under the aegis of the EU, South East Asia under the aegis of Japan.
Globalization has a considerable number of aspects which refer to the world in several various ways. They are as follows:
industrial an emergence of the international markets of production and a wider access to a number of foreign products for companies and consumers;
financial an emergence of the international financial markets and the best access to external financing for national and corporate borrowers;
economic a realization of the global market based on a free exchange of the goods and capital;
political a creation of the world government which should regulate the relations among the nations and guarantee the rights which are growing out of social and economic globalization;
informational the flows of information between geographically distant countries are increasing;
cultural a growth of cultural contacts; an emergence of new categories of consciousness, such as Globalism, that embodies a cultural distribution along with a desire to possess and consume foreign ideas and products, accepting new methods and technologies, and to participate in the world culture;
ecological an emergence of the global ecological appeals which cannot be regulated without an international cooperation, for example, a climate change, ground waters and air pollution, an exhaustion of fish stocks in the ocean, and a distribution of aggressive versions of flora and fauna;
social a free circulation of all nations and all people around the world;
transport fewer and fewer European vehicles on European highways every year (the same can be also told about American vehicles on American highways).
In a system of the international relations, the globalization process also makes a crucial impact on its change. First of all, it is a question of the roles decrease in terms of the national states and its increase in relation to the non-state actors, thus, leading to the emergence of new international institutes.
The economic basis of globalization is an unconditional domination of so-called multinational corporations, first of all, financial ones. The transnational financial capital (expressed in fictitious actions) plays a dominating role in the modern world both by its quality and its volume.
The disadvantages of globalization:
1. The interdependence of all the countries of the world increases.
2. Globalization of the world financial system led to a significant strengthening of the influence of financial factors on ensuring the national security of the states of the world.
3. More than 90 % of the countries of the world have an external debt.
4. An active rivalry for the world leadership in the financial sphere began between two main currencies of the world, dollar and euro.
5. Considerable difficulties in the sphere of solving the universal problems are connected with the economy globalization. The growing coherence of various links of the international economy accelerated the processes of transnationalization of the local ecological systems. The character of the universal problems became also complicated. Environmental, demographic, resource problems appeared to be closely bound with each other, inseparably linked with the general condition of the world economy and the social development in various countries and world regions. All this led to appreciable narrowing of possibilities of the national governments to solve environmental and other problems within the states without a close coordination of actions with each other.
6. At the same time, a specific global factor appeared, such as separation from the national background of the increasing number of the companies and firms, creating offices, branches, subsidiaries on the territory of other states, and also the growth of non-governmental organizations and individuals working abroad.
The advantages of globalization:
1. Globalization of the economy creates favorable preconditions for the international cooperation for solving the universal problems.
2. Unique possibilities contributed towards the considerable international exchange of scientific ideas and the implementation of joint researches conducted by scientists and experts of different countries in the most difficult branches of knowledge.
3. There were new preconditions for development of communications and integration between national government agencies, non-governmental and other structures of the different states, elaboration of the coordinated strategy and the joint programs directed on the achievement of the general purpose for everybody which is ensuring ecologically sustainable and balanced development.
Now, it is the Information Era which characterizes the creation of the uniform global world information space. An increasing role of information and information systems is a historic fact based on the concepts of the information society. The other fact is that fast, truly revolutionary influence of an information mind on the production, management, the life of the whole mankind.
The information capacity of the state influences considerably, providing a high material level of the population.In this regard, the closest attention in the world is given to information which is the main feature of the modern world possession. The more opportunities in the information sphere the state owns, the more possibly it can achieve geopolitical strategic advantages and economic prosperity.
In the political sphere, the increasing value is gained not by power but information and ideological factors.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, there was a group of countries in the world which appeared away from the process of the economic development because of the absence of valuable natural resources, small capacity of the local market, extraordinary low level of literacy and qualification of labor. As a matter of fact, in the 1970s, there were 31 countries with 11,1 % of the world population which had zero or minus growth rates of a per capita income. In the 1990s, the number of such countries grew to 48, and their population increased up to 22,5 % (Gray 26). Though a certain role was played by internal contradictions, the influence of globalization either avoided them or influenced them negatively.
At the same time, the share of the population of the countries whose growth of a per capita income exceeded 4 % a year, grew from 12,3 % in the 1970s to 28,7 % of the world population in 2010. The specific weight of a remarkably small group of countries (only 11) grew from 26,3 % of all export of the developing world in 1970 to 66,7 % in 2010: it is over 90 % of the machine-technical export. The overwhelming part of the foreign investments also goes to this group of countries. Thus, these countries substantially won from globalization. As a whole, globalization not only united but also divided the world economic space into those who gained or lost.
Some multinational corporations practically supervise the most part of the economic potential of the planet. In the course of globalization, there is a realization of financial operations in the volume considerably exceeding the gross local product sizes of the large states. Having contributed towards the most essential developments in the economic sphere, globalization at the end of the XX century left its limits and began to reconstruct the political structure of the world.
Globalization also had a positive impact on certain countries.
China. The reforms led to an unprecedented decrease in the level of poverty. During the period from 1978 to 1989, the number of rural poor people was reduced from 250 to 34 million.
India. For the last 20 years, the level of poverty has decreased twice.
Vietnam. The results of inspections of the poorest families testify that 98 % of members of such families improved their living conditions at the end of the XX century. The government conducted a survey of the families at the beginning of the reform process and returned to the same families six years later in order to establish that there was a considerable decrease in the level of poverty. People had more food, their children attended high school. The trade liberalization became one of the numerous factors which affected the success of reforms in Vietnam. For ten years, the poverty level in the country has managed to be reduced twice. Owing to the economic integration, the prices for the production of the deprived farmers grew up for such products as rice, fish, nuts; the number of workplaces at factories of footwear and clothes manufacturing, where work was paid much better in comparison with other facilities in Vietnam, increased as well.
Nonetheless, globalization affected negatively some countries.
Many African countries did not receive any benefit from globalization. Their export is still reduced to the limited list of the main types of raw materials.
Some experts explain the backlog of these countries by an inefficiency of the policy, backwardness of infrastructure, weakness of institutes and the corruption of authorities.
Other experts consider that some countries cannot join the process of global growth owing to an adverse geographical position and climatic conditions. So, the countries, which do not have an outlet to the sea, can experience difficulties with the competition in the global commodity markets of industrial production and services.
As the process of globalization worsened the state of a quite considerable number of the developing countries, there were a number of anti-globalization movements in the late nineties. Subsequently, the citizens of the developed countries started to join them. In this movement, there was a consolidation of the most diverse forces: businessmen of the developed countries connected with the local market, trade unions, socialists, anarchists, green, left social democrats, and others. This represents that these forces cannot achieve the globalization termination as the international division of labor, which is irreversible, lies in its basis. However, their pressure can change its forms and methods in order to adapt it to the interests of the producers serving the local market and less developed countries.
Globalization became the reason of the hottest discussions of the last decade.
The supporters of globalization consider that carrying out the policy of the open economy in such countries as Vietnam, India, China and Uganda, allowed to reduce poverty scales substantially.
In reply to it, the critics declare that this process led to the exploitation of people in the developing countries, a serious destabilization and hardly brought any advantage.
In order to ensure that all the countries receive benefits from globalization, the international community should continue working on the elimination of disproportions in the international trade (reduction of subsidies to farmers and decrease in trading barriers) which serve the interests of the developed countries, and the creation of a fairer system.
Though globalization accelerates the development of the mankind, it represents a complicated process which is necessary to be adapted to and which also creates serious problems and difficulties. Such fast rates of changes can acquire a menacing character, and the majority of the countries try to supervise or operate them. Thus, the mankind entered the extremely difficult era of existence when the world will be organized and at the same time fallen into chaos, globalized and localized, united and divided.
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