Views on Globalization
The debate as to what globalization is and what it is not is often without unanimity. Globalization is linked to diversity and the dynamic changes in the social-economic, political, technological and cultural dimensions. The linkage of globalization to the above aspects is because the world is closely becoming more interconnected and also because states have become largely interdependent. Lack of common ground as to what globalization is has given rise to different perceptions of the term by different scholars.
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Some scholars have argued that globalization is a mere buzzword that explains political and economic relations and can at times vary to a certain extent in that relations can become strong depending on where they are or how they were at a particular time. Another class of scholars has argued that globalization is in itself unique with strong consequences; these consequences may be negative or positive especially in the fields of technology, economics, politics, and culture. Globalization has also been associated with erosion of the sovereignty of states and the liberalization of the global economy. Agents of globalization like regional organizations and intergovernmental organizations together with Transnational Corporations have revolutionized the global system (Extract 1).
Interrelationship between Socioeconomic and Technological Aspect of Globalization
Globalization has both the socioeconomic dimension and the technological dimension. The socioeconomic dimension of globalization is its relationship with the distribution and the organization of tasks, the varying patterns of employment and also the dynamics and changes in the allocation of the products of various economic activities. An example of this is when labor and the production process is seen to be suffering from the influence of the possession and allotment of information that is in the hands of Multinational Corporations (MNCs). It is the development of these multinational corporations and the advancements in the field of technology that best justifies the link between socioeconomic and technological dimensions.
The socioeconomic dimension of globalization is linked to the increasing role of MNCs in the global arena. Consequently, the intertwining of socioeconomic and technological aspects is due to the recent technological developments in the fields of transport and information and communication technology (ICT). The modern developments in the transport sector and the development of modern transport facilities have enhanced the flow of goods, the transfer of services and movement of people to various parts of the globe.
The advancement in the ICT sector has facilitated faster communication and also the flow of information and finance in the global arena. This has led to a phenomenon where distance is never considered a factor in international interaction and matters of time and space have been relegated. An example is that with these developments in the ICT, one can watch CNN and BBC broadcast at the comfort of his/her room irrespective of his location on the globe. This has led to enhanced productivity and diminishing human weaknesses (Extract 1).
Role of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the Global Arena and their criticisms
Together with the recent advancements in ICT, Transnational corporations have contributed in many ways to the maintenance of international relations especially in the core-periphery relations that are typical in the world of globalization. Transnational Corporations play the role of absorption of international finances. Transnational Corporations are credited with the provision of employment especially in the countries they operate.
Furthermore, Transnational Corporations have led to the intensification of trade and commerce in the global market which is instrumental in raising the standard of living among the populations of the world. Despite the role of globalization in the stabilization of the international economy, it is also responsible for the impoverishment and the marginalization of the countries of the periphery. This is because they indulge in exploitative activities especially with regards to children and women (Extract 1).
Consequently, the decrease in the role of the state in international affairs is linked to the emergence of powerful Transnational Corporations with strong income and wealth than the majority of the states. This has relegated the role of the state leading to the erosion of state sovereignty. Transnational corporations have also been criticized for their involvement in activities that were earlier reserved for the state which include their participation in sectors like health care and education. Another criticism labeled on the Transnational Corporations is that they have led to the collapse of domestic industries in the countries of the periphery since they sell their merchandise at a cheaper price due to their large scope of operations (Extract 1).
Neo-Liberalism and its Connection to Globalization
Ideologically, globalization is linked to neo-liberalism in ideas and institutions. Scholars link neoliberalism to Thatcherism and Reaganism that developed prominence in Britain and the USA respectively during t`he period around 1970 to date. This ideology eliminated social democracy and social welfare that had until then dominated the world and had allowed for state intervention in the economy and gave prominence to the state’s provision of social services. This was countered by neoliberals with their introduction of free trade and free-market economy otherwise referred to as a capitalist economy.
Capitalism eliminated the role of the state in the regulation of the economy. Neoliberalism advocated for the role of the state in levying taxes and also in the provision of law and order. This emergence of neoliberal ideology was realized and actualized through media propaganda which was facilitated and actualized through satellite media like CNN and BBC which are the main agents of globalization with regards to the propagation of western ideologies (Extract 1).
How Globalization has reduced the Role of the State
Globalization has given birth to various Transnational Corporations like the McDonald’s and Coca Cola and regional organizations like the African Union and the European Union. Also, it is through globalization that satellite media stations have become a reality, furthermore, globalization has led to the emergence of global activities like terrorism and also the development of international NGOs like Amnesty International and Transparency International. All these factors have ganged up to relegate the role of the state in the international sphere. The increase in the power and the influence of Transnational Corporations have proved difficult for the government to scrutinize and regulate their activities and operations.
The decline in the influence of the state is also associated with the emergence of regional and global tools of governance like the European Union, the African Union, and the United Nations. Other forms of governance include the World Trade Organization which has liberalized the international markets and thus opening the domestic markets to international and global forces thus taking away the power of the states to drive their economies. In general, globalization has negatively as well as positively affected different economies.
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