Political Consequences of Globalisation

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Discuss the political consequences of globalisation.

Today’s world is faced with various questions concerning political affairs such as peace, legislation, policymaking, and cooperation between states and even societies. But one of the fundamental dilemmas of the contemporary times is undoubtedly the question of globalisation. This phenomenon is based on numerous worldwide exchanges in the field of economy, social life, culture, ideology and the environment- all of these elements leading to certain political consequences. Globalisation, which has been pushed forward by the expansion of capitalism, has been seen in the political world since 1848, when Marx and Engels stated how the “bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and exchanged “local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency” for “universal inter-dependence of nations” (1966: 112). Nowadays, many people around the globe ask themselves the questions: What are the political costs of globalisation? Does it bring prosperity and development to our world or poverty and the deepening of differences in national wealth between countries? Does it bring people together and serves as a means of knowledge about various cultures or is it a form of spreading and forcing people into accepting a universal ‘pop’ culture? In this essay, an analysis of the political consequences of globalisation will try to answer these questions.

Globalisation has influenced and even changed the world system in various positive ways. According to the supporters of social democratic global governance, globalization, after the fall of the Soviet bloc, has created opportunities for advancing the “cause of human rights, to challenge dictatorial rule, and to spread the principles of democracy throughout the developing world. New criteria of liberal democracy have been advanced in most international development organisations to judge the relative fitness and legitimacy of states, making it difficult … for dictatorial regimes to gain legitimacy in the world arena” (Putzel 2004). But on the other hand, globalisation got rid of the idea of checks and balances, leaving hegemons, like the United States, in charge which may sometimes lead to breaking of the multipolar world order and principles of peaceful international relations introduced after the end of World War II. For example, this was visible in the case of the Iraq invasion.

Modern globalisation is also seen as the world-wide exchange of information amongst people. Universally used tools, such as the internet, have led to the creation of the so-called ‘cyber-sphere’ in which people are able to converse freely about the political situations in their countries as well as exchange their personal insights and feelings. The cyber-sphere is also perceived as a new dimension of communication for governments, which are able to control their economies that are now existing in the cyber world. Furthermore, the internet became not only the means by which people are able to exchange valuable ideas but it is also used as a weapon by terrorist groups. Moreover, it provides access to a variety of scientific sources but it also creates the risk of plagiarism and theft. Various governments are not able to fully regulate what is being done or said on the internet, therefore, it is very important for countries to work together in the fight against extremism and cyber-crime. Furthermore, globalisation became the source for the accelerating competition around the globe which thus led to the increase in production and efficiency. “Competition and increasing market space can lead to specialisation and an improved division of labour. There are also economies of scale and scope that have salutary effects on costs and prices and which provide a strong impetus for economic growth” (Pere 2007). Competition is able to increase standards of living and promote higher wages. Also, according to Anthony Giddens,...
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