The ongoing process of international integration is often referred to as 'globalization'. An organization called the 'United Nations' (UN) is specifically important as it is contributing to this process by creating a possibility for its members to discuss problems, initiatives and much more. Almost all states are its members and through that an important environment is created for international integration. The question this article tries to answer is; 'Is international integration an advantage or disadvantage for world peace?'.
An answer is tried to be found through the exploration of the process of globalization, its link to the UN and the current conflict in Syria. The case study of the current conflict in Syria explores how the UN works in certain situations and the problems it faces for acting on an international level. It will be used as an example to find an answer to the main question. As the UN is almost an universal organization it is the terrain for endless discussion between its members who all have certain interests. But its democratic character may not be truly valid as certain actors have more power than others, influencing the process of equal input. International integration and its features are constantly developing and as will be described the process has multiple consequences, positive and negative ones.
Modern society anno 2012 could be described as an interconnected world where information is shared at a rapid pace through various channels as internet, television and telecommunications. Mankind has evolved a curiosity in everything that happens around him. Nowadays it is possible to acquire the latest news by a single mouse click and we are excited to share even the slightest happenings through our personal domains such as Facebook and Twitter. A global network of intelligence arose with the development of modern day communication resources, one of the reasons for the process of globalization (Jeffery, 2002).
The general understanding of the process of globalization is the increasing international integration of the world caused by mass trade and cultural exchange (Fincle & Govale, 2012). Although opinions also seem to differ about the meaning of the concept it is generally accepted that it is concerned with the growing scope, speed and intensity of interconnectedness worldwide (Goldstein & Pevehouse, 2011). Reasons given for globalization are; freedom of trade, improvements of transportation, labor wages and skills and improvement of communication resources (Fincle & Govale, 2012).
Globalization has resulted in increased international trade, transnational corporations, faster and better accessibility of information, freer movement of persons and a greater dependence on the world economy. Opponents of globalization see an expanding gap between the rich and the poor, as wealthy states drain human and natural resources from less developed countries for unfair compensations (Jeffery, 2002).
Several indicators for globalization have been developed over the last decades, relevant are their variables and data they use. One of the first indicators designed and one that is used as reference for many others is the Kearney/FP index which is supported by a database (Lombaerde & Iapadre, 2007). It takes into account; "[...] the economic integration in the world economy, the extent of international political engagement, the internationalization of personal contacts of citizens and the use of internet technology." (Lombaerde & Iapadre, 2007, p.3). The Modified Globalization Index, by Martens and Zywietz, includes these four variables and adds another two;"[...] the involvement of a country’s military-industrial complex with the rest of the world, and the intensity of globalization in the ecological domain." (Lombaerde & Iapadre, 2007,p.4) Their definition of globalization is;...
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