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Globalization Today more and more places around the world are being connected in more and more ways. Contemporary researches called this process globalization So, what is globalization? There are many attempts to give a definition to the term globalization. Douglas Kellner points, the term globalization is thus a theoretical construct that is itself contested and open for various meanings and inflections. (Imade) The majority of researchers state that the term globalization is the term used to describe the increasing links in economy, policy and culture between human beings around the world. They think that globalization is a phenomenon of technological, economic, political and cultural exchanges produced by modern communication, transportation and legal infrastructure. It was also produced by political choice to open cross-border links in the international trade and finance.
So, globalization has such aspects as economic, political, cultural and technological. Since World War II a serious of agreements on free trade have been signed. But interest in globalization as a concept began to develop quickly during the 1990 s. According to the Social Sciences Index the term globalization appeared in the 1980 s, but only in 1992 it started to be used frequently. Nowadays, it is one of the dominant new theoretical concepts of the social sciences in the last years. Talcott Parsons is considered to be a primary theorist whose theory was in the center of debates over modernity, postmodernity, and globalization.
He points social processes as the main ones of modernization on a global scale. In his theory, structural functionalism, Parsons emphasized that economists tend to take social order for granted, we... "place" a dynamic process structurally in the social system. But beyond this we must have a test of the significance of generalizations relative to it The test is to ask the question, what would be the differential consequences for the system of two or more alternative outcomes of a dynamic process? Such consequences will be found to fit into the terms of maintenance of stability or production of change, of integration or disruption of the system in some sense. (Parsons, 24) Talcott Parsons notices that in some circumstances social order does not affect economic reasoning. Economists' attention should be directed toward geographic areas and spheres of human activity. In these cases social order is either unknown or unstable, It follows that any important change in our knowledge of fact in the field in question must of itself change the statement of at least one of the propositions of the theoretical system and, through the logical consequences of this change, that of other propositions to a greater or lesser degree.
This is to say, the structure of the theoretical system is changed. (Parsons, introduction) Contemporary researches state that the first era of globalization began in the 19 th century. During that time the countries of Europe, America and Oceania that engaged in that ear, flourished. Inequality between those states fell. Goods, capital and labor flew freely between the nations of these countries. Emma Rothschild points, one way of looking at globalization from an historical perspective has to do with the economic and social history of international relationships, and in particular with the history of earlier periods of rapid increase in international trade, investment, communication, and influence. (Imade) The process of globalization and its after-effects were studied by a great number of theorists.
There were three main conceptions that provide their points of view as for understanding globalization. These theories are realism, liberalism, and Marxism. Han Morgethau, Kenneth Waltz, and Edward Carr are the most famous representatives of the realist school. Their theory was based on three fundamental assumptions, states are the most important actors, that they seek power, and that they pursue their policies in an essentially rational manner, calculating costs and estimating benefits, typically in a logical fashion. (Imade) The next approach is liberalism.
The writings of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and W. W. Rostow played the most important role in the developing of the theory. They had another view of the process. They thought globalization was a natural outgrowth of capitalist development. They pointed that a state was not a dominant player.
The main power and the primary stimulus was trade. Liberals considered that trade helps to increase productivity and raise income levels in developing countries. The process stimulates growth of new technologies, generate investments, and transform traditional social-cultural practices. The classical theory of production is formulated under essentially static assumptions which freeze-or permit only once-over change- in the variables most relevant to the process of economic growth. (Imade) One of the well-known liberal theorists was W. W. Rostow.
Rostow considered that less developed countries would undergo a series of changes in their socioeconomic system like well-developed ones, As modern economists have sought to merge classical production theory with Keynesian income analysis they have introduced the dynamic variables: population, technology, entrepreneurship etc. But they have tended to do so in forms so rigid and general that their models cannot grip the essential phenomena of growth, as they appear to an economic historian. (Rostow, 7) The theorist marked out several stages of the modernization process: traditional society, precondition for takeoff, takeoff, drive to maturity, and age of mass consumption; and emphasized that liberals, ... require a dynamic theory of production which isolates not only the distribution of income between consumption, saving, and investment (and the balance of production between consumers and capital goods) but which focuses directly and in some detail on the composition of investment and on developments within particular sectors of the economy. The argument that follows is based on such a flexible, disaggregated theory of production (Rostow, 9) The third approach was the Marxist one. According to the theory globalization was regarded as a process of absorption of the industrialized nations of the North and the underdeveloped nations of the South. Marxist scholars viewed globalization as synonymous with imperialism, the latest stage in the development of international capitalism.
In the Communist Manifesto, 1848, Marx wrote about main demands for capitalism to survive, it must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, and establish connections everywhere In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. (Imade) Marxists considered that globalization leads to monopoly in some fields. As the result, it would be an obstacle for free competition. Lenin wrote in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Monopoly is exactly the opposite of free competition; but we have seen the latter being transformed into monopoly before our very eyes, creating large-scale industry and eliminating small industry, replacing large-scale industry by still larger scale industry, finally leading to such a concentration of production and capital that monopoly has been and is the result. (Imade) The effects of globalization on developed and developing societies are being studied by a lot of researches. The opinions of some of them differ from the others.
With the purpose to exacerbate the gap between rich and poor countries The Washington Consensus was represented, in 1989 by John Williamson. The idea was that, markets are efficient, that states are unnecessary, that poor and the rich have no conflicting interests, that markets perform at the highest level when left alone. It held that privatization and deregulation and open capital markets promote economic development, that government should balance budgets and fight inflation and do almost nothing else. (Imade) Critics of the economic aspect of globalization content that globalization of free trade will lead to the destruction of a countries native industry, environment and a loss of jobs. They pointed to empirical evidence weak economies (witness by Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil) overwhelmed by easy money and vulnerable to volatile shifts in capital flows, of jobs less secure than the livelihoods abolished by globalization, of sweatshops and child labor, of environmental devastation, of wealth not enlarged but distributed upward to local elite and multinational corporations, and of intensified social and political conflict. (Imade) They state that by introducing the financial scheme of international investment a country will lose its economic independence and may be forced to conduct policies that are contrary to its citizens interests.
They consider that multinational companies may obtain much political and economic power in a relation to citizens of any country. Opponents see globalization as the promotion of corporatist agenda. The aim of which is to reduce the freedom of individuals in the name of profit. They say that free trade will benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. The opponents considered that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, and the orthodox model of development is being held up for closer scrutiny, as we become more aware of the risks as well as the opportunities which globalization and Washington consensus bring in their wake. (Imade) Some ague that globalization will provoke the growth of debt and debt crises in the countries with debt-ridden economy. They take for example financial crises in 1997 in the South-East Asia.
It began in Thailand and then quickly spread to Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea and eventually the crisis was felt all around the world. It showed the new risk in rapidly changing globalize markets. Opponents emphasize that quasi-governments such as The International Monetary Fund and The World Bank are not responsible to the population they govern. They support the interests of corporations mostly. Proponents of globalization see the extension of market forces as being positive for society. Bruce Scott notes, that poor countries should grow faster than rich ones in a free global market.
Capital from rich nations in search of cheaper labor should flow to poorer economies, and labor should migrate from low-income areas toward those with higher wages. As a result, labor and capital cortland eventually income rich and poor areas should eventually converge. (Imade) The U. S. economy demonstrates how this theory can work in a free market. Global markets offer greater opportunity for people to use more and larger markets around the world. It means people will have access to more capital flows, technology, cheaper imports and larger export markets.
Supporters point out that free trade will lead to lower prices more employment and higher output. But many academics see a lot of problems arising from corporate globalization. For example they write: In Canada, fishing villages, farm communities, northern settlements, and mining towns are reeling from resource depletion, corporate consolidation, government cutbacks, and industry shutdowns. The reality for many in the Majority World is grim, with little relief in sight. All in all, the consequences of corporate globalization are becoming a global disaster. (Southcott, 30) Globalization in economy opens borders for migration. A 2003 UN-Habitat report in "The Challenge of Slums" says: "the cyclical nature of capitalism, increased demand for skilled versus unskilled labor, and the negative effects of globalization in particular, global economic booms and busts that ratchet up inequality and distribute new wealth unevenly contribute to the enormous growth of slums. " (Hier, ch. 26) As for globalization in policy governments have created international rules and institutions such as The World Trade Organization (WTO), The Euro Currency, and The North American Free Trade Agreement and so on.
All of them deal with trade human rights and the environment. The opinions on political globalization are divided. Some of the researches think that political globalization will delimit the powers of national states. The Canadian academics Held and McGrew write: In principle, states are no longer able to treat their citizens as they think fit. Although, in practice, many states still violate these standards, nearly all now accept general duties of protection and provision, as well as of restraint, in their own practices and procedures. (Hier, ch. 26) Social activists and non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth and others are afraid of economic exploitation of their citizens and violation of their human rights.
They speak in support of globalization people and unions, but not globalization money and corporation. According to an environmental group Friends of the Earth: Neo-liberal economic globalization encourages the pursuit of profit regardless of social and environmental costs. It is associated with increasing levels of inequality, both between and within countries; the concentration of resources and power in fewer and fewer hands (resulting in erosion of democracy); economic, social, political and economic exclusion; economic instability; spiraling rates of natural resource exploitation; and a loss of biological and cultural diversity. (Imade) Bibliography: Chris, Southcott. 2005. Globalization, Culture, and Northern Identities: Some Considerations for a Northern Dimension Foreign Policy.
Canada. Lakehead University, Department of Sociology. Jennifer, Sumner. 2005. Sustainability and the Civil Commons: Rural Communities in the Age of Globalization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Lucky, O.
Imade. 2003. The Two Faces of Globalization: Impoverishment or Prosperity? Shaw University International Studies Center. web The Social system.
Talcott, Parsons. 1951. The Action Frame of Reference and the General Theory of Action Systems: Culture, Personality and the Place of Social Systems. New York: Free Press, ch. 1. The Process of Economic Growth.
Walt Whitman, Rostow. 1953. Trends in the Allocation of Resources in Secular Growth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ch. 2. Sean, Hier. 2005. Contemporary Sociological Thought: Themes and Theories. Canadian Scholars' Press, ch. 26.
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