The term globalization is a universal term that comes with very many definitions that encompass many elements. However, the most popular definition that is in the public domain defines globalization as a greater movement of people, goods, capital and ideas due to increased economic integration.1 This is later propelled by rampant trade and investments that blossoms and hence, appear as though you are ‘moving towards living in a borderless world.1
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Globalization entails the exchange of diverse elements that include cultures, services and goods, among others. Initially, these processes of exchange of these elements were hampered courtesy of limitation in technology. However, with increased technology, there has been a speedy exchange and as such, propelled the rate of globalization. It should be noted that the inception of globalization does not automatically guarantee the benefits of the same.
In order to harvest the benefits of the same, there ought to be strong policies, infrastructures and institutions. Even as we enjoy the benefits of globalization, the problems that come with the same cannot be swept under the carpet. These problems are so evident to be undermined. In synopsis, this essay will focus on the impacts of globalization in both the rich and the poor nations.
Generally, the title ‘impacts of globalization’ evokes a strong feeling that makes one to narrowly think about modernized infrastructure, telecommunication among other physical aspects. However, this term is much complex in that it touches on many issues that stem from politics, life expectancy to culture. If globalization is supported by strong policies and institutions, a country stands to gain immensely.
To begin with, the economies of those countries that openly interact with the international community are perceived to grow at a faster rate vis a vis those with closed economies. Numerically, it has been calculated that open economies grow at a rate of two and a half percent higher than closed economies.2 As a result, there will be reduced poverty, and as such, there will be improved standards of living. This is evident in countries like China and India, which have made giant strides in curtailing the poverty levels.
Another benefit enjoyed by a globalised country is that its citizens enjoy accessibility to cheap and yet effective medical services. This reduces the death rates, and as such, there would be an increased life expectancy. The world’s current life expectancy stands at sixty years which is about 200% the life expectancy a century ago.
Globalization has led to the formation of global institutions such as the ‘World Bank’ and the ‘World Trade Organization’ which have become part and parcel of these nations such that they cannot be neglected. As a result, this has led to overdependence on these bodies, and as such, these countries can be manipulated for the benefit of fostering peace and unity around the world. This is so because no nation would like to breach the international relations lest it risks being denied the monetary benefits.
These bodies use sanctions to reinforce peace the world over. Another benefit that is closely linked to political stability is the evolution of democracies from dictatorial to liberal democracies thanks to modernized communities3. This has led to the collapse of dictatorial governments as they are being substituted with democratic governments.
The perception people harbour when referring to the term ‘globalization’ tends to overlook the negative impacts of the same towards a country. On the contrary, the negative impacts of the globalisation have equally the same impacts as its benefits. It is, therefore, imperative to look at either side of the coin in order to evaluate the overall impact of globalization. As regards the negative effects of globalization, there are several factors that portray globalization negatively.
To begin with, the inception of globalization in a given country is perhaps thought to be costly economically as well as socially. Liberalization of trade naturally credits the competitive market as it punishes the uncompetitive market. It, therefore, follows that in order for the ‘below par market’ to compete favorably, it has to restructure in order to reform itself. All this come at a cost to the immediate regime even though the benefits will be long term.
The effect of globalization on the standards of living is one factor that has received mixed reactions. Whereas some countries perceive this impact positively, some perceive them negatively.3 For instance some statistics have shown that there is no mutual benefit between the groups of poor countries and rich countries. Instead, the gap between the two has continued widening and as such, the poor countries have continued retrograding as the rich ones progress.4
One other effect that globalization has impacted negatively to populations is the spread of deadly diseases e.g. HIV, cancer among others. The rate at which these diseases spread globally is alarming thanks to the ease of movement and trade. As a result one cannot help but to live with it.
In a conclusion, the term globalization is a broad term that encompasses several aspects that cuts across many elements that include economical, socio-economical as well as political issues. Globalization has both the merits and demerits that come with it. However, in order to benefit from the same there is need for existence of strong institutions and policies.
- J. Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 14-16.
- J. Sachs, The End of Poverty (New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2005).
- Takis Fotopoulos., “Globalization, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalization ‘Movement’”. Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, 7/2 (2001), 46-50.
- Robert Wade. ‘The Rising Inequality of World Income Distribution’, Journal of Finance & Development, 38/ 4 (2001), 23-30.
Bhagwati, J., In Defense of Globalization (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
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Fotopoulos, Takis., “Globalization, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalization ‘Movement’”. Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, 7/2 (2001), 46-50.
Sachs, J., The End of Poverty (New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2005), 34-40.
Wade, Robert. ‘The Rising Inequality of World Income Distribution’, Journal of Finance & Development, 38/ 4 (2001), 23-30.