Impact of Globalization on Global or International Relations

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Abstract

The purpose of this research paper is to carry out a critical assessment of the impact of globalization on global or international relations. The paper focuses on the impact of globalization on the international political affairs. It utilizes both secondary and primary sources to assess the subject matter. It is observed that the salient differences between political features of the contemporary international relations are far diverse as compared to what the Cold War world was. During the Cold War period, the global political/economic atmosphere could be described as divided with distinct cultures, only 8% of the countries having free markets and stressing on the power of nations. On the contrary, the globalization age came with integration of nations, economies or markets and technologies. More countries achieved free market economy and the setup stressed on global culture with power of individuals overriding the power of nations.

[Key Words: Globalization, international relations, global economy, internationalization, international politics]

Introduction

A global paradigm shift has been evident since the end of Cold War towards the close of 80s. During the Cold War period, the global political/economic atmosphere could be described as divided with distinct cultures, with only 8% of the countries having free markets and stressing more on the power of nations among other characteristics. On the contrary, the globalization age came with integration of nations, economies or markets and technologies (Garrett & Geoffrey 1997). More countries achieved free market economy and the setup stressed on global culture with power of individuals overriding the power of nations. While it is evident that the world in the age of globalization is different from the pre-globalization world, globalization has had a lot of impact on the international economic operations, political relations, cultural aspects and environmental issues (Edgar & Dauvergne 2005).

It is used interchangeably with internationalization. Globalization is used in context such as processes, perspective and more so in outcomes. It is expressed in various dimensions e.g. from political, economical and socio- cultural point of view. These various ways of expressing globalization has led to a lot of controversies on the clear difference between it and internationalization (Gultang, 1997).

The study of globalization and internationalization tries to examine its ubiquitous nature basing on the economical point of view. Globalization has different meaning when expression is made in conjunction with higher education where globalization concerns with convergence of the educational systems which is directed to catering for the needs of world knowledge. According to education systems, internationalization defines the divergent approaches within the various contexts of convergence (Smith, 2000).

The literature examines original investigations, other literature reviews, peer reviewed academic literature, research databases, reviews, journals in various academic fields and original manuscripts. These form the secondary and primary sources upon which the backbone of this research paper is anchored.

Definition of globalization

Globalization has been defined in various ways by different scholars. In economic terms, it refers to progression of incorporating different isolated national markets of capital, labour and commodities into a single world market which different investors across the globe can exchange ideas. It is vital for quick flow of information (Panayotou 2000). It also refers integration of diverse countries and economies where the impact of global pressures has a major impact on the international business operations (Mike, 1998). With respect to political dimension, political globalization can be defined as the integration or synchronization of the world political standards, labor standards, for the purpose of breaking the boundaries with the main object of making governance easier and promoting mutual international relations. Bodies like the United Nations play a defining role in this. Therefore, globalization is multidimensional and can be viewed on various aspects. These aspects are environmental, economic, political and cultural. They are however closely intermarried to bring a better understanding of the concept (Panayotou 2000).

With the introduction of globalization, international business is becoming increasingly popular, environmental advocacy more voiced, cultural aspects being shared more and legal issues being synchronized through the international law. Hence, these aspects are inseparably intertwined. A company must keep itself abreast with the language and culture of the destination country where it is going to put its investment. Politics and laws of the destination country can either make international business easy or hard.

Literature Review

Globalization and Its Many Forms

Benjamin & Virginie (2003) note that the integration of different isolated national markets, cultures and political standards takes variety of forms as it tries to distinguish itself from myth, phenomenon or outcome. One school of thought among economists (e.g. Garret 2000) postulated that globalization is relativistic in nature as it takes variety of forms.  Globalization has therefore been viewed as a myth due to its questionable validity in global leadership consensus. Its history has also depicted features that are related to mythical stories as current global economy is considered (Aglietta 1998). The fact that most transnational corporations are no longer under the control of most nations reveals some characteristic of myth.

European Union which is a form of regionalization of global zones has the features of globalization such as integration and harmonization of diverse regions. Strategies have been put forward by many nations to eradicate dissent in the international business operations while promoting consensus in governance. This indicates that economic and like minded leaders can respond positively to matters concerning nation-state autonomy. The leaders should be in position to relinquish certain powers for the collective benefit of many nations in terms of business efficiency and mutual political good. The European regional global zone, EU has attracted other international organizations found in the Central and Eastern Europe. The impositions that EU has had on members’ qualification are another pressure on the global business operations.

Some scholars have different perspective on globalization. Some view free trade and economic rationalism as the basis for globalization and that evolutionary advancement in the economic sector aids globalization. The economy of nations is the basis of efficient globalization across the globe. Globalization has been further viewed at face value hence perceived as failing to measure up to the aggregate of logical communal power and applied economics. It is criticized to negating the activities and efforts of undeveloped countries which are currently facing high rate of inflation and rising unemployment. Analysis of international regulations has been considered as an attempt of measuring globalization. The multilateral agencies are in the front in designing international regulations that are governing international business operations. Some of the major agencies which greatly influence the international business operations and globalizations are World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization.

These organizations are designed to protect the economies of nation states and other inter-governmental regions. These agencies have stipulated regulations and leaders whose responsibility resembles that of head of most nation states. The institutionalization of international regulations is quite paramount and that most nations should comply with these in order to enhance efficient globalization.

Globalization and Its Dimensions

There is a clear link between diverse political dimensions of globalization and post-modernity as revealed through spatialization of social theory which commence with feudalism to capitalism to socialism. The inhuman objects are the central theme of globalization and it constitutes contemporary networks in the current global economy. Urry stated that computer networks, associational opposition and modes of citizenship are some of the contemporary networks that have had a lot of impact on the process of globalization (quoted in Barnet 2000: 93).  Some scholars have also postulated that there exists a link between the economic dimension of globalization and capitalism and development. It is summed up that cultural dogma of consumerism dominates the economic undertakings; global development can be achieved less effectively.

Social democracy is far much better than capitalism if efficient globalization is to be achieved. Intrinsic nature of human agency and the norms they have adopted over time has to be modified if globalization is to be efficient in the national markets and this calls for constant changes in the policies that are used in day-to-day business and that stakeholders should at all times accept the change of identities. These ideologies have led to rise of controversies and variations of utopianism. Some of the early analysts such as Thurow suggested that capitalism cannot implode in the same manner as communism but that success and prosperity of global business depend on a shift from consumption to builders’ ideology (Thurow’s L. C. (1996) The Future of Capitalism, quoted in Emmeriji 2003: 97)

These ideologies contrast with cultural dimension of globalization which has the effect of underpinning the influences of cultural imperialism. Clark argues that spread of modernity and resistance to the hegemony of westernization drives globalization to fragmentation (quoted in Benjamin & Virginie 2003). This forces most multilateral organizations to adopt protectionist strategies due to the forces of fragmentation.  The intellectual difference, then, of forces such as globalization and disintegration makes it difficult for much of the world to incorporate into a particular, homogenized world.

Economic and Political Benefits of Globalization

Many economists have argued that globalization has positive impact to economy and especially to international business investors. The major positive impact of globalization is that it has led to liberalization of international trade. Expansion of FDI[1] has also been enhanced and cross border financial flow has been made possible. The fact that there is enhanced flow of ideas across border has led to intense competition in the international markets. The combined efforts of different countries in the national markets have resulted in good relations among diverse cultures. These in turn lead to greater competition. Policy decisions concerning diversified cultures have also been achieved through globalization and this has enhanced reduction in national barriers that may hinder international economic transactions. Cost is the major concern of all business organization. Globalization is effective in the sense that flow of information has been made possible hence cost of moving information has been vastly reduced. Flow of goods and capital across the globe has reduced dramatically. This has eased transactions in the national markets.

Cost reduction is the main benefit that companies derive from participating in shared efforts. Companies also benefit from more efficient compli.............


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