Wednesday, May 29, 2013

globalisation is out of date?

Introduction Samimi, Lim and Buang (2011 suggests that the world has undergone various changes and experiencing different opportunities and problems. This has led to a discussion concerning the nature and historical significance of these changes. This has led to the development of the term globalisation. In the present age, the term globalization has emerged as a powerful and controversial idea. The world has experienced a major process of rising connectivity and interdependence of the markets as well as businesses. This is a process that has been so dramatic especially in the last two decades. This has been caused by the technological changes and developments which have made it easier and possible for people to communicate, travel, and operate globally. Development in telecommunication infrastructures and increase in the use of the internet are the major driving forces behind globalization. Regardless the fact that there is evidence of these changes, there has been a major debate regarding the use of the term globalisation, especially in explaining the contemporary issues (Chandra, Styles and Wilkinson 2012). This paper seeks to prove the argument that globalisation is out-of-date and no longer useful in explaining modern issues. The paper will begin with a discussion in support of the statement, some counterarguments and finally the stance taken by the writer. The stance will emerge in the conclusion part of the paper. Support for the thesis Globalisation is basically a problematic concept in explaining issues in the modern world. Because of the disagreement resulting from the idea of globalization, there has not been a common definition for the concept. A universal definition does not exist either in academic field or even in the everyday usage. Various scholars are focused on diverse aspects of the change such as economic, social, cultural, and technology. Nevertheless, at the most basic level, the term globalisation refers to the increasing interconnectedness. For the different scholars who are in agreement world has become globalised, different definitions have been developed for the term. Some of these definitions entail an idea of an increasing degree of global flows in such a manner that one can speak about a ‘global society’ (Lee 2009). Samimi, Lim and Buang (2011) have revealed that activities in the world have come to be interregional or intercontinental in scale. Tešić (2012) define the term as the increasing unification of the international economic order through elimination of barriers such as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas. The objective of globalization from this point of view is increasing material, wealth, products and services. The term globalisation is closely associated with the idea of economic globalisation. This is the incorporation of regional economies into the global economy. However, this is a problematic definition as globalisation cannot be understood from a single perspective (economic). This is economic perspective is disputed by the fact that globalisation also defines the process by which national cultures, societies and economies are integrated through communication transportation, and trade (Williams and Martinez 2012). The term can as well be used in referring to the transnational exchange of ideas, languages, or culture through acculturation. For most people the idea of cultural globalization means westernization. This is the erosion of national cultures and being replaced with western culture. This is evident in the world, through how people dress, the kinds of foods they eat, the kind of programs they watch and the kind of music they listen to among other aspects of cultural globalisation. Another major concern has been in the spread of a consumer culture. For majority opponents, non-western cultures and practices are endangered and at risk of being overtaken by homogenizing “McDonaldization.” From this point of view globalisation cannot be used to provide adequate explanation of the modern issues, which are greatly diverse (Soomro, Nasar-ul-eman and Aziz 2012). The history of globalisation is another aspect that is controversial making it unsuited to explain the current global issues. Globalisation as a process is suggested to have a long and is historically rooted. On the other hand, it has fits and starts and it is not teleological. Most scholars, however, associate it to the modem age. There are some authors who have suggested that it has a longer history. From this point of view, authors have argued that that forms of globalisation have their roots in the period when trade began between different communities (March and Olsen 1984). There are different other ages that are suggested to have experienced some form of globalisation, such as the Hellenistic Age. The Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire are also suggested to have gone some form of globalisation. This is due to the development of commercial connections. Nevertheless, the events that characterise globalization can be looked at in the contemporary terms of globalization. These can be traced back to the nineteenth century. This is because of the development of industrialization which caused the development of products that could be traded in diverse parts of the globe. The first stage of modern globalization began to break down at the start of the twentieth century (Irani and Noruzi 2011). The end results of the changes in the global world cannot be overlooked. Development and particularly on an international level is an interplay of many factors, it can take many years, decades or even centuries, to attain and immediate satisfaction is an aspect that should be expected. In spite of the evidence that the actors in the global system being compelled by self-interests, they can at the same time have a significant part to play in pulling the ones lagging behind along (Zeng, et al 2012). Therefore, it is the responsibility of those lagging behind to ensure that they are a part of the process, by demonstrating their potential as well as participating, rather than just arguing and awaiting benevolence. This means that all the players in the global system have an important role in ensuring that they are not left behind in the development process. Globalisation as a process defines this development and progress being natural and happening regardless of the fact that there are some states lagging behind. This is not a sufficient explanation of the present issues facing the world system in the modern age (Tešić 2012). Counterargument Hickman and Olney (2011) feel that globalisation is currently, just like in the past in a position to explain issues. As a matter of argument, the current age is in a position to use the concept in understanding different issues. Globalisation which comes with the strengthening of the flows of resources and a high degree of interdependence of nations can finally produce increased overall understanding of economic, social and cultural issues. For instance, the general increase in the quality of life and living standard can be understood through globalisation. It is a fact of the matter that the more nations there are in the incorporation, the less possibility of engaging in conflicts, which ultimately can cause more stabilization as well as sustainable political and economic development. This explains the reason for the decrease in conflicts between states in the modern age of globalisation (Irani and Noruzi 2011). Possibly, globalisation can cause greater benefit to the majority. However, the problem is that the benefits are not as equally distributed as many people would want the situation to be. This explains the issue of inequality. The greater issue is that the nation state tends to be greater losers in the process of globalization, provided the fact that their independence and sovereignty reduce due to effects of the post-modern tendencies. There is sufficient proof of selective benefits of the globalisation process as well as its limitations. As a matter of fact, the Marxist idea of “the rich exploiting the poor” is always present in any globalisation discourse and can be adequately understood in this context. Most of the global organizations and structures only serve the interests of a few nations. Regardless of their seemingly altruistic mission statements and visions, they do not serve the interests of every nation, but a selective few. Regardless the argument that the achievement of their objectives involves development of all the regions in the global system, the motivation behind them is still self-interests (Świątkowski 2011). The issue of the world becoming a global village or an economic unit can only be explained by the concept of globalisation. Charles Kindleberger confidently claimed that “the nation-state is just about through as an economic unit.” In the contemporary age, there are important dimensions of global life besides the relations between nation states. In fact, in the modern globalised age, there exists a major change in economic, political and social dynamics. This means that there are “New Realities” that can only be explained by the concept of globalisation (Andreas, 2011). One of the realities is said to be the move to the postindustrial or information society from the industrial age. Things have changed for the nation states as well as the global system. This also means that the manner in which states related prior to this age is no longer the same way they are relating. Globalisation has a great deal changed relations between states (Hickman and Olney 2011). In the era of globalisation, there has been proof of substantial large quantity of apocalyptic predictions of the termination of the nation state. From this perspective, globalisation is on a regular basis given the role of “prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.” In the present globalised age, most of the major issues are on a global level. These issues can only be explained by the idea of globalisation. This means that the majority of the issues which happen in the world nowadays like politics, conflicts and business can only be viewed from a global level and not a national level. Therefore, policies developed by nation states concerning these kinds of issues cannot be developed from a nation state dimension but a global or international one. In addition, most of the issues which happen in diverse regions of the world are felt, though not consistently in the rest of the world. In the globalised world, thus, it is not possible for the state to remain a lone or sovereign player. It is also not possible for issues to be explained at a national level (Świątkowski 2011). Conclusion This paper provides argument for the idea that globalisation is out-of-date and no longer useful in explaining modern issues. From discussion, it emerged as a controversial concept. Its definition is one of the aspects of debate, as there is no universal definition of the concept. It has also emerged that globalisation is the process that has been developing for a long time amid a lot of debates. While some people view it as an evident process that has changed the world in the modern era, others argue that the idea of globalization is an illusion. Some support for globalisation as being a current phenomenon and in being used in explaining contemporary matters has emerged in the discussion. The problem is that the reality of globalisation cannot be proven. The world has undergone a lot of changes, especially in the twentieth century. While there is no agreement in the meaning of the term globalization, the basic idea of globalization is a process of economic, social, political and cultural integration. However, important to note is that there are many others factors that explain the changes and can be used in explaining issues, besides globalisation. 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