Globalisation

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Currently in international circles there is a great debate over globalisation and whether it is a force for good or bad. The statement oversimplifies the matter, of course. But the issue of globalisation and our collective response to it promises to define who prospers and who does not well into the 21st century. Globalisation has positive and negative aspects. On top of its positive aspects comes the tremendous development of new information and communication technology, triggers in economic growth through increased trade and job creation around the world. This economical growth can be illustrated by the fact that the world real GDP grew from US$2 trillion to US$28 trillion, which means an increase of 1400%.  On a per capita basis, this means an increase of US$614 to US$4908, an increase of about 800%.  The quality of life in developed countries has increased  However, anti-globalisation supporters affirm that although there was an economical growth, this was not well distributed throughout society, and that over the past 150 years, the rich countries are developing at a faster rate than the poor countries, increasing the difference between them.  This happens because dealing with globalisation in a capitalist society, there will always be winners and losers.  The winners will be the nations which have more skill, technology, information, power and money, whilst the losers will be the poor countries, which export primarily goods and rely on the rich countries to obtain technology and manufactured goods. As a term, globalisation means different things to different people. To some, it is a purely economic trend, the result of the market system unleashed on a worldwide scale, a century-long process that has now been vastly accelerated by the fall of Communism and the relaxation of other restrictive economic practices. As has the impact and growth of globalisation changed, so has its meaning during the last decades. But what is certain is that globalisation is not something of today or yesterday. Among the so many given definitions, Martin Wolf defines globalisation as a “journey, but toward an unreachable destination, the globalised world. A globalised economy in which, neither distance nor national borders impede economic transactions. A world where the cost of transport and communication were zero and the barriers created by differing national jurisdictions had vanished”. (Wolf, 2001: 178). But globalisation is a very wide notion, which embraces the social, cultural, and political interdependency of states. Globalisation refers also to the integration and interaction between different people and nations. Take the European Union as an example, where the member states share the same democratic values and norms, or the convergence and similarities of the constitutions of the member states, which could lead to a European law or constitution. To others, it defines the ever widening process of international interchange and interconnection that can be witnessed in so many aspects of life, whether the casual observation that top musical artists draw increasingly on other cultures for their melodies and rhythms, the news that former enemies are now participating in joint peacekeeping missions, or the realisation that there are suddenly many more foreign faces and accents in your hometown than before. No matter what the definition, globalisation is dynamic and real, causing numerous and often radical changes in all but the most remote places. Depending on your point of view, circumstance and prospects, the process can be seen as hugely positive or grossly negative. Those who defend globalisation say it is bringing prosperity to untold millions around the world, breaking down national and cultural barriers, and helping to speed the general process of peace-building. Critics say that the chaotic manner in which market forces have scaled up to the global level has unleashed a destructive whirlwind that treats workers callously, serves...
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