The essay is a critical examination of the impacts of globalization on national sovereignty. To adequately address this issue the concept of sovereignty is defined, an illustration of how globalization impacts on sovereignty is brought to light and finally the major drivers of globalization as well as their effects on national sovereignty are well tackled to give readers more insight.
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The concept of sovereignty is usually seen in a three-fold perspective and include; “absolute supremacy over internal affairs within a country’s territory, absolute right to govern its citizen as well as freedom from any external interference in the previously mentioned matters” Sassen, (1996); a country or state is deemed to be sovereign and autonomous when it is considered to have the capability of making and implementing laws within its jurisdiction as well as carry on its functions, duties and responsibilities with no external powers or aid.
Similarly, it does not acknowledge any higher power or authority above itself. A state can thus be sovereign or not on the basis of the definition provided. On the other hand globalization refer to free movement of people, goods and services and capital between and among countries made possible by the advent in technology information. As a result the world has no doubt turned into a global village fashioned by interconnectedness and interdependence.
The major drivers of globalization include improved transportation and communication systems. With this people can travel within days from their own countries to others thousands of miles away.
This is attributed to technological improvements. Additionally, the desire of nations to enhance foreign direct investment by lowering issues relating to permits and tariffs has encouraged globalization. Similarly the need to join hands in the desire of nations to be stronger in terms of fighting for better economic, political as well as environmental stability has also encouraged globalization.
In the past, countries especially from the west and Middle East had very little in common concerning economic interdependence. However, the recent changes have seen to it a country like China being compelled to mend her relation with the western counterparts and vice versa.
To be in a position to sell their goods and services, the relationship is vital which has a greater probability of making sovereign states to compromise one of the attributes of autonomy/sovereignty. This idea contravenes the concept in which countries opt to operate and carryout their affairs without external influence (Wang, 2004).
Another attribute that comes with sovereignty as suggested by Yip, 2003 is the country’s ability to fully protect her subjects from any kind of harm. Through free market which is a product of globalization, goods and services have found their way to other countries where the same are not produced or do not meet the demand.
There are instances that some goods or products are sold to these countries and without the knowledge of the recipient country, such goods are defective and can lead to serious health problems. This can be exemplified by such products as milk, beef, fish and poultry that have in the recent years caused serious health complications in the Middle East (Sassen, 1996).
Similarly, it is a fact that there are a number of multinational corporations that have spread all over the world. In the recent past, despite the fact that the corporation offered employment to the locals which is in line with the host governments wishes, the top positions are usually held by expatriates especially from the original country where the corporation comes from (Wang, 2004).
This has been possible through a number of corporation’s laws that override the interests of the host nation hence negatively impacting on laws and regulation that serve to make the host state autonomous.
Additionally, there are instances where multinational company have bought some of the factors of production such as land at higher prices leaving the local citizen either landless and squatters (Yip, 2003). From the review of the concept of sovereignty and globalization, the former is adversely affected by the later. However it is worth noting that globalization has brought some positive influence on the concept of sovereignty for instance improved democracy.
Sassen, S. (1996). Losing control: Sovereignty in an age of globalization. New York: Colombia University Press.
Wang, G. (2004). The impact of globalization on state sovereignty. Chinese Journal of International Law, 3(2): 473-483.
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Yip, G. (2003). Total global strategy II. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, In.