Has globalization made the world more or less secure? Discuss with specific reference to the rise of non-state actors?
This paper shall discuss the meaning of globalization and its effects on the various segments of the world. Also I will provide my argument on the topic of whether globalization has made the world more secure or not. But according to my opinion globalization has made the world more insecure. My paper shall prove this with the help of examples and effects that globalization has brought in various aspects.
Globalization is a word that has not found consensus over its meaning. The meaning is in the stage of evolution. Everyday new theorists add up some new concepts to the meaning of the word globalization. But a broad general agreement has been achieved on one aspect of its definition, which states that globalization is a system of transnational economic activity with exchange of goods and services. Other dimensions of globalization are also extremely important like the social, cultural, geo-political and technological aspects.
Despite the fact the fact that economic factor has the greatest wieghtage. For many others globalization is actually the integration of several economies of the world into a single entity. But in a nutshell globalization is actually the exchange and sharing of information, services, resources, knowledge, technology etc (Batterson & Weidenbaum 2001).
Globalization as a concept is very fruitful and efficient in its nature. The conceptual idea of bringing the world closer on a single platform was the first step towards attainment of peace. After the Second World War the earth witnessed immense amount of destruction. The economies fell and the entire humanity suffered. The concept of globalization came up in order to bring the communities of the world together it makes it a safe place. The basis of globalization was communication. It brought technology through which the entire world was known top each other. Today it is amazing to witness the franchises of an American or British company to be found all over the world. Everyone wears Nike today. Through Internet we now know what is happening around the world. Globalization has contributed many researches where the scientist all around the world came together to devise such technologies that can improve the quality of life (Bigelow & Peterson 2002).
Every concept has its pros and cons and so does globalization. Some of the advantages of globalization are discussed as follows. Globalization through free trade has created a worldwide market and everyone has access to it. This has created competition due to which the quality of products is increasing. It has increased choice foe consumers. And has abandoned monopolies to a large extent. Also the production possibilities have increased all around the world. Cheap labor is available and companies can cut their costs. There is more influx of foreign exchange in all countries, which is why the economies would stabilize. Also there is intermingling of cultures through which different societies get to know each other well, that in turn creates flexibility (Bourguignon, Marin &Venables 2002).
Despite all these advantages globalization has many disadvantages. Globalization is said to have increased poverty rather than decreasing it. Unemployment has increased. Cultures are losing their identity. And it is promoting a single power in the world. Where few economies are prospering and others are being exploited. Terrorism is a gift of the globalization.
To me the beautiful picture that is painted in the name of globalization is all fake. It is concept that has marginalized societies. It is a very exclusive concept. It is tool of the super powers to use the developing nations for their interest. It is extremely exploitative in nature. It has given nothing but insecurity to the world in the form of terrorism and economic crisis.
Today the world agrees that globalization has not been able to deliver what it was thought to have done. On the contrary is has created more problems than solutions. Let us start with the economic effect. The free trade and global economy was supposed to bring together the world on a single platform. It did do so but only for the benefit of the wealthy nations. Since many a restrictions were posed on the developing nations. They could not compete with the big players (Cohen 2007).
For example if we consider wheat, the wheat of south Asia is considered to be of the best quality and is available at cheap rates. But with the advent of the free market south Asia started losing its competitive advantage. Why because countries like the USA gave subsidies to their farmers due too which they were able to sell the wheat at a much lower price in the market. But the developing countries do not have enough funds to counter such an act. And therefore they were exploited on the basis of financial grounds. Now the overall effect this has brought is that the farmers of Asia are now facing much unemployment as orders are reduced. The foreign exchange has reduced. As a consequence they have stopped cultivating wheat due to which their own homelands are facing shortages and are forced to import it (Labonte 2002).
Globalization is supposed to have increased poverty. Since it is an exclusive concept it gives birth to an environment where it favors only a certain segment of the society. The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. It increases segmentation in the society. Therefore poverty is increasing. Globalization’s aim was to increase the living standards of the societies but it has failed to achieve its goals (Nissanke & Thorbecke 2007).
The concept of outsourcing came up with the idea of globalization. Outsourcing is a concept to rent out the company’s functions to other countries where there is availability of cheap labor in sufficient amount. Whoever offers the lowest rates attracts the largest customers. For example McDonalds makes all its toys in China where there is cheap labor. On top of that they don’t have to obey any labor laws as compare to that which are present in their parent countries. And so we see that small children that are kept in horrible environments make these toys (Rodrik 1997).
Globalization also has done a lot of damage to the culture. Due to the intermingling the cultures of the world are losing their identity. Every one is trying to become westernized and the new generation is leaving their roots in order to join the rat race. This has produced hatred and extremism. This also has created a lot of confusion. For example a girl living in Islamic states due to exposure to the world wants to adopt the western attire and values. That is a free society. But she cannot. In this way she becomes rebellious to her own values. And is she adopts the western values she is condemned and segregated from the existing society and if as she doesn’t have the courage to do what she wants in that case she suffers from immense frustration(Scholte 2003).
In the field of medicine and health it was thought that globalization would help reduce problems on the contrary it has raised many. If we consider the case of medicines, the new research has helped many but also has raised the prices of medicines to an extent that a poor person is unable to afford them. Through communication and exchange the spread of diseases across the globe has also increased. There are many diseases that initially were concentrated in certain regions. But now it has spread far and wide and no one is safe from the harmful effects of these diseases. Dengue fever and the bird flu were not so popular before because it was concentrated in some regions. Another example is of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome commonly known as AIDS. Today people who are carriers of such a diseases move freely and can infect several other persons. Especially through the usage of infected needles, contaminated blood available in banks and sexual intercourse (Smith & Naím 2000.).
Another aspect is concerning the illegal activities may it be smuggling of drugs, addictives or humans. Due to lack of employment and poverty people are forced to leave their country in order to earn some money to support their families. Since they don’t have the finances that are required, they eventually end up taking the wrong way. Afghanistan has the largest poppy cultivation in the world. But their drugs are available all over the world through smuggling. This is another drawback of globalization because the exchange is not always of the services and goods. But because there are all kinds of people in the world they transform it into a way that is disastrous for the entire humanity. The illegal immigration of people has created a lot of problems for al the countries specially those who have higher employment opportunities. Many a children are also illegally smuggled to various countries to carry out labor work. Despite the various regulations no one has been able to stop this curse from taking place (Stiglitz 2003).
There is also illegal smuggling of arms and ammunitions. The black market is equipped with all the latest ammunitions and technology. This has brought many people into power. Because they have access to a wide verity they are able to attain power on this basis. This is why we see the misuse of power taking place in many countries where the law is not very strictly implemented (Stiglitz 2007.).
One of the largest concerns that have come up with globalization is the emergence of a super power on the face of the earth. In the earlier times there was balance of power between two major super powers so the world was much safer. But today there is just a single super power which has given USA the authority to exercise their power all around the globe. They are misusing this power and there is none to stop them. Because they are economically so strong, through reforms and sanctions they have been able to restrict the growth of the developing nations. Due to which the US is carrying out activities despite the criticism and lack of support from the world (Smith 2000).
One of the biggest challenges faced by the world in the present times is that of terrorism. Now terrorism is an act of violence that is carried out by non-state actors. Non- state actors are people that have no state to support them. They come from nowhere and no state takes responsibility of such actors. Terrorism is a tool of the helpless. Those who have suffered and cannot find any other way to convey their messages carry it out. It is also termed as the weapon of the weak. But if we want to know the truth we will have to find the root cause of terrorism. People who are denied their basic right to life carry out terrorism. As a consequence they kill innocent people and convey their message. Terrorism can destabilize any country to such an extent that it can force any power to become weak and agree to the terms of the terrorists (Waters 2001).
The major cause behind terrorism is injustice and poverty. Both are largely connected to globalization. If a state or any other entity is not successful at providing justice to their people then such kinds of reaction are witnessed. Take the case of US invasion on Iraq, which is the perfect example to explain my point. When the USA attacked Iraq the entire world condemned it. We even saw processions against the invasion in the United States. But they went ahead with their plans because they were powerful. They entered Iraq saying there were weapons of mass destruction but found none. But they still are there even after lying to the world because of their power (Batterson& Weidenbaum 2001).
The people of Iraq saw it as an attack on Islam and even all the other Islamic States agreed to that. USA did complete injustice with the Iraqi people. Because of the war the company is destabilized. There is no order or rule of law. People are dying in hunger. Poverty is increasing. This is creating frustration amongst the generation of Iraq. In order to attain justice what should the Iraqi people do? They cannot fight the US army. In fact none in the world can because it is so technologically advance and destructive. So the only option that remains is that they adopt terrorism (Bigelow & Peterson 2002).
When the community is frustrated to such an extent. The non-state actors take advantage of such a situation. Through smuggling and illegal activities these non-state actors become financially strong. And eventually they launch terrorist attacks. It not only claims precious lives but also creates huge impact. Through media and communication, which are the building blocks of globalization, these terrorists achieve fame within seconds. They footage is seen on all channels for 24 hours. This creates fear in the minds of people. And shows that the controlling authority has failed and the terrorists have penetrated into the secure zones as well. The main aim of the terrorist is achieved to terrorize the people and destabilize the controlling authority (Labonte 2002).
Terrorism has also become global now. Today no place is safe. Any thin can happen to anyone at any moment. The fall of the twin tower came as a great shock to the world. People couldn’t believe that a super power could be hit like that. The frustration of the USA has made it take steps that instead of controlling or eradicating terrorism are actually working as promoters of terrorism. Frustration and agitation is increasing at every point. And is working in the best Interest of the non-state actors (Nissanke & Thorbecke 2007.).
The policies are making the situation go even worse. And there is a need to revisit the strategy in order to achieve the desired results. That is to finish the root cause of terrorism. Globalization as concept is very good but it remains effective on papers only. In reality it has not been able to achieve a single thing it promised to. It has indeed made the world and its habitants insecure. Despite giving them a relief it has created problems and several issues. It has increased segmentation in the society which produces frustration and eventually has disastrous results. This is a complete cycle. Globalization has made a major impact on the present economics of the world. It was not like that before. It has created policies that impair the growth of the developing nations. It is exploitative. An exploitation that cannot be removed easily. The resources of the developing countries are being misused. Because these countries are not financially strong they cannot fight and are being forced to adopt policies that will harm the in future. The credit crunch that has been created is due to the lack of trust in the minds of the investors. This is because globalization has promoted financing through loans. Due to which the liquidity suffered and the world is busy today in tackling and handling the global economic crisis (Scholte 2003).
The concept of world being one and a safer place is from reality today. This is primarily because of globalization. Despite of maintaining peace it has increased the arms race and the game of power amongst nation. Every nation is blindly following the rat race which is why the conditions are worsening. People are treated with great injustice. The world is converting into a big jungle where might is right. It’s the power that matters the most. And all the worlds’ nations are trying hard to become shareholders of the power. Whether for that they have to give up on the values and righteous attitudes (Waters 2001).
The insecurity comes mainly in the form of fear. The fear to die, to loose job and to loose identity. Globalization is eating people like a termite. Terrorism has promoted the fear of death amongst people. All the rich of the world are spending humongous amounts on security. This fear has restricted the movements of dignitaries. People avoid going on holidays and enjoying. That results in stress because of lack of relaxation. Countries are loosing their foreign exchange that they use to earn from the tourist. In most countries tourism is an important contributor to the GDP. Unemployment has created the fear to loose jobs. Contract jobs are insecure. Privatization has also boosted unemployment. And the fear of outsourcing is creating immense pressure. As a result the efficiency is suffering. People are not loyal to their jobs and remain stressed in order to maintain their jobs (Stiglitz 2003).
The intermingling of cultures has created confusions in the minds of the young generations. They are standing in the middle of nowhere. They can neither completely aloof themselves form their culture and cannot adopt the other culture. And therefore there is no acceptance for such members in a community. Poverty is the root cause of every evil in this world. Everyone wants to feed his family with an adequate amount. But this competitive globalized world is making it very difficult for those who don’t have the opportunities to become skillful enough. It is provoking them to adopt the wrong means. In the globalized world there is no room for those who didn’t get the opportunities, it is a world of grabbers. A world where the most powerful will have access to all the means and the weak shall wait for someone to give him justice or aid. Aid will make the countries even weaker as then they will have to cater to the obligation. Therefore according to me the idea of globalization has made the world more insecure. It is beneficial for only those who can prosper even without it (Cohen 2007).
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