Globalization is a dynamic process that involves the cultural, social, and political integration of communities worldwide. It is a process that breaks borders and allows for the exchange of the key aspects of live without any stringencies. While the concept of globalization has taken center stage in recent years, it is a phenomenon whose roots can be traced centuries back during the exploration era. With the astronomical improvement in transport and communication, exchange of cultures has become more prevalent amplifying the effects of globalization. These effects have been observed as both positive and negative. The dynamic nature of globalization, free of control from any formal organization, makes it an intriguing yet complex phenomenon. Globalization has consistently been catalyzed by the various cultural and technological revolutions over human history. With the prevalent technological revolutions, the world will increasingly become an even smaller and seamless community with multiple cultures intertwined into one. Despite proven negative consequences associated with globalization, it remains a vital part of human advancement that allows for improved living standards through prudent exploitation of available resources.
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The fact that globalization is an unregulated process is one of its most appealing characteristics. Without regulation, there is limited chance of exploitation. Globalization is largely a positive externality of positive technological advancement. As such, formal global organization have very little control in the process, ensuring it remains free from bureaucratic and capitalist interests. With globalization, thousands of cultures across the world have the opportunity to interact and in the process adopt what is positive all-the-while discarding the negative (Fei 2015, p. 160). Perceptions are constantly being changed as a result of globalization. Through interaction among different cultures, people are able to make informed perceptions about other cultures depending on their experiences as opposed to hearsay and other predetermined dispositions. Transport and communication advancements have made it increasingly easier for people to traverse the world as well as communicate seamlessly across continents. In the process, prejudices are constantly being challenged, and in its place, a more culturally sensitive populate is borne. This argument is however challenged by the fact that cultural erosion is a real and actual consequence of globalization (Fei 2015, p. 166). Individuals, especially from minority cultures such as native populations in the United States, Canada, and Australia are increasingly abandoning their indigenous cultures and becoming part of the majority cultures. Individualism is lost in the process resulting in a less diverse global population. However, despite the exposure of different cultures to erosion, perceptions are equally changed for the better in the process. Minority races are exposed to less prejudice and discrimination due to the increased interactions stemming from globalization.
The strong correlation between globalization and technological advancement offers invaluable advantages to the global economy. Through the exchange of ideas and technologies, developing countries are able to better their economic systems over a shorter span than their developed counterparts. As a result, people living in these nations are bound to have access to better standards of living to the exchange of production technologies that are more efficient and prudent. Globalization also allows all nations with the competitive advantage to access global markets which exponentially improves the financial returns on their capitals of production (Samimi & Jenatabadi 2014, p. 2). Market forces can now take place on a global scale, pushing production in developing countries while increasing consumption in the developed nations and vice versa through international trade (Gurgul & Lach 2014, p. 5). All the factors considered, globalization provides developing countries with the right platform to accelerate their development. Standards of goods and services are equally heightened as the global competition pushes out substandard products from the global market. As a consequence, the global population consumes products of better standards which consequently amplifies their standards of living. Additionally, with globalization, international organizations such the United Nations are able to put measures in place that avert human suffering by rallying for the collective input of all major global players. Famine in sub-Saharan Africa is less likely to be fatal to due to global contributions from other parts of the world. Disease outbreaks can be better managed and contained through cross border efforts; all possible as due to globalization (Ritzer 2008, p. 683). While all these benefits are welcome, it is impossible to overlook the counter effects. Developing nations are constantly being exploited for their untapped natural capital by the developed nations. Also, these nations have become dumping grounds for outdated technologies. The gap between the rich and the poor has equally widened due to globalization, as few individuals continue to control the factors of production (Gurgul & Lach 2014, p. 2). Samimi & Jenatabadi also state that globalization may only be beneficial to high and middle-income countries (2014, p. 1). While all these issues are valid and unfortunate, they are more of a consequence of capitalism, with globalization only amplifying their effects.
Political globalization contributes towards human advancement through improving the standards of governance globally. By definition, political globalization, an element of globalization, refers to the growth of a global political system (Ritzer 2008, p. 414). In essence, the process involves the accumulation of power by a single international organization of governance. The United Nations mentioned easier is an example of a product of political globalization. One of the roles of political globalization in protecting human rights across the globe is through the standardization of governance (Ritzer 2008, p. 415). Using the example of the United Nations provided which has over 185 member states, the organization has stipulated some regulations that each of the member states must abide to. Part of the strategy of the organization is offering incentives for members, and through the incentives, regulate policies and actions of the member governments in their individual nations. Part of the key mandates of the United Nations is maintaining global peace and preventing the outbreak of another world war (Ritzer 2008, p. 681). In this mandate, member states are required to observe and respect the sovereignty of other member state contrary to which the organization, through its resources and that of its other members will take the required measures against the nation that contravenes the regulations signed. In light of such measures arising from the political globalization, it is evident that the political balance of the world rests on such organizations which wield enough power to deter oppressive leaders from interfering with the basic rights of other nations as well as its own citizens. The case of the Rwandan genocide is frequently highlighted in the role of such global political organization in preventing conflicts and atrocities even within a country’s borders. Other organizations such as the International Criminal Court all serve to protect mass human rights across and within the borders of its signatories. Despite arguments that global superpowers may often be conferred special treatment by such global organizations, their role in protecting the welfare of global citizens remains unprecedented.
While for the most part globalization is often viewed as a product of improved transport and communication technologies, the phenomenon also aids in the advancement of the said technologies. In the process, it is results in a symbiotic relationship where both technological advancement and globalization; as two two distinct phenomena, are intertwined. Over the years, globalization has created a conducive environment in which talents from all over the world can be seamlessly tapped for further enhancement of technology. Brain drain, a concept which is loosely defined as the migration of unique talents from one country to another, eased by globalization, as enabled the concentration of great minds towards the further advancement of technology. In this digital age, innovation and invention are highly sought after traits (Weresa 2014, p. 21). The ability of globalization to mate the genius minds to nations with the required resources has brought brought significant technological progress which cannot be ignored. While the countries from which the personnel migrate from might face limitations in human resources, the entire world stands to gain if these talents are provided with the necessary resources to fully exploit their capabilities. Without these resources, a lot of such talents would remain untapped. This argument is closely associated with role that globalization has played in enhancing the efficacy of resource exploitation. With improved technologies, natural resources are extracted and exploited in a more sustainable manner, reducing wastage and enhancing environmental sustainability.
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In retrospect, it is clear that while globalization remains an integral part of human advancement, it also results in a fair share of negative consequences. Globalization has brought about the interaction and integration of different cultures of the world, and in the process reducing prejudice and biased predispositions. Additionally, globalization has played a significant role in growing the global economy. Both developing and developed nations have benefited from cross boarder commerce that has been enhanced by improved transport and communication networks. As a result, the general welfare of the world’s population has improved during to improved economic tidings. Global political stability and technological advancement too have benefited from globalization. By uniting the world, globalization has ensured the human race remains a united front in addressing key issues affecting us as a race. In doing so, the world stands a greater chance of succeeding as opposed to addressing these same issues individually. Such is why globalization, despite any negative effects, remains a formidable force in sustaining human advancement.
- Fei, X., 2015. Globalization and cultural self-awareness. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
- Gurgul, H. and Lach, Ł., 2014. Globalization and economic growth: Evidence from two decades of transition in CEE. Economic Modelling, 36, pp.99-107.
- Ritzer, G., 2008. Political Globalization. In The Blackwell Companion to Globalization. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 414–428.
- Samimi, P. and Jenatabadi, H.S., 2014. Globalization and economic growth: Empirical evidence on the role of complementarities. PloS one, 9(4), p.e87824.
- Weresa, M.A. ed., 2014. Innovation, Human Capital and Trade Competitiveness: How Are They Connected and Why Do They Matter?. Springer Science & Business Media.