Comparative Political Systems

Muslims are divided between the Shiites and Sunnis - Comparative Political Systems introduction. The Sunni Muslims form the majority of the population whiles the Shiites the minority (Cookson, 2003). The division between the Muslim arose as a result of disagreements on who was best suited to succeed Prophet Muhammad. Looking at globalization, it is a term that describes the integration of regional economies, societies and cultures (Pizzuti & Franzini, 2001). This has both the positive and negative effects. The social problems posed by globalization in developing countries seem to be getting out of hand. Economy on the other hand entails the production, consumption, distribution or exchange of products. The 21st century has seen a resurgence of big economies like China and India while dominant economies like the U.S seem to be affected greatly by the economic depression. In light of this, this essay discusses the historical basis of the divisions between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Social problems associated with globalization in the developing countries will also be highlighted. My opinion concerning the top three economies in the 21st century will also be discussed.

         The divisions between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims are said to have arisen as a result of disagreements on whom to succeed Prophet Muhammad and also over the nature of politics in the Islam community (Cookson, 2003). The Shiites supported the succession based on the bloodline of the prophet while the Sunnis were of the view that the successor should be a qualified individual whose leadership style would be based on the customs of the prophet. Although the election of Abu Bakr, a close companion of the prophet as the first successor was supported by many Muslims, the Shiites who were the minority supported Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the son-in-law and cousin to the prophet. Religious practices and beliefs between these two sects are very different. Contrary to the belief of Shiites that leaders are divinely inspired, the Sunnis do not agree with this fact. These differences are the causes of their differences even to date.

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         Globalization has led to several social problems in developing countries. One such effect is culture erosion. Brain drain has also resulted from globalization and thus poor countries are robbed of their talent. Globalization has also led to a rise in income inequalities mostly in sub-Saharan Africa (Prasad and International Monetary Fund). Both the developed and developing countries have a collective responsibility of managing the problems that befall the developing countries as a result of globalization. The developing countries have a duty to ensure that their citizens are taught about the importance of their culture. They should be reminded that no culture is superior. They should also set in place proper measures to ensure that proper talents are nurtured and incidences of brain drain are minimal. Such measures might include reforms in the educational sector. A good tax policy should also be set to ensure equity in distribution of income. The developed countries should assist developing countries with finances in order to tackle these issues.

         Going by the current economic growth rates and the level of infrastructure, my opinion is that the top three economies to watch are China, India and United States of America. However, America will continue to lead the world till other nations develop a working economic system as well as social system.  Currently, China has an annual growth rate of about 8% while the U.S has a 3% (Business Week, 2007) growth rate. Based on economic growth rate, China appears to be competing with the US in term of economy. However, the U.S currently has the best infrastructure. It enjoys a good degree of freedom and stability; it has a fair justice as well as healthcare system and also possesses a good education system which produces the best talents all over the world. This puts it ahead of any nation. India just like China has very cheap labor, it also has a fairly high economic growth rate of 7.2% (Nagaraj, 2006) and its educational system is fairly good. In addition, India enjoys democratic and liberalization gains and stands a chance of beating China. These reasons though gives it an advantage, only places India as a pacesetter but not a leader.

References:

Business Week. (2007). Who Will Rule the 21st Century? Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://www.welchway.com/About-You/Leaders/Going-Global/Who-Will-Rule-the-21st-Century-.aspx

Cookson, C. (2003). Encyclopedia of religious freedom. London: Taylor & Francis.

Nagaraj, R. (2006). Aspects of India’s economic growth and reforms. New Delhi : Academic Foundation.

Pizzuti, F. R., & Franzini, M. (2001). Globalization, institutions and social cohesion. New York,: Springer.

Prasad, E., & International Monetary Fund. (2003). Effects of financial globalization on developing countries: some empirical evidence. Washington, DC. : International Monetary Fund

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