The Globalisation Debate: Arguments and Consequences

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The Globalisation Debate: Arguments and Consequences
Globalisation has been a hot topic for academic and political debate for decades now. There is often disagreement on many aspects of globalisations from its conceptualisation to whether or not its effects are positive or negative. For the purpose of this essay, the debate concerning the issue of historical continuity or distinct change is examined. Accounts of globalisation differ tremendously in regards to whether globalisation is considered a novel or a reoccurring phenomenon (McGrew, 1998). There are three dominant positions with regards to this debate. Firstly are the globalists who define globalisation as a new epoch in society that signifies the end of the nation state and the beginning of the global economy (Ohmae, 1995; Wriston, 1992, Guehenno, 1995). Secondly is the sceptics which dismiss globalisation as a new phenomenon and instead regard it as just a continuation of internationalism (Hirst & Thompson, 1996). Finally are the transformationalists who take an apparent halfway perspective between the globalists and the sceptics. While they see globalisation as the critical driving force behind the social, political and economic changes which are currently reshaping today’s society, they still believe that the nation-state will play a significant role (McGrew, 1998; Giddens, 1990; Scholte, 1993; Castells, 1996)). It is important to try not to look at this globalisation debate as being black or white. We cannot think of the world as being entirely globalized or internationalized but rather contain aspects of both under different circumstances. What is best to do is understand the complex relationships so as to provide organisations with a proper understanding of the future market. For many people the terms globalisation and internationalisation are used interchangeably. However it is important to distinguish between these two terms as it will allow for a better understanding of how events are playing out in different parts of the world. Globalization can typically be described as the increasing integration of the world's economic order. This has occurred through the reduction of barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas (Bhagwati, 2004). Material wealth, services and goods are increased through an international division of labour by efficiencies catalysed by international relations, competition and specialisation (Bhagwati, 2004) Globalisation describes the process by which regional cultures, economies and societies have become integrated through trade, transportation and communication (Bhagwati, 2004). It is the consequences and results of this increased connectivity that is the root of the globalisation debate. Is this leading to a new era of political, cultural and economical organisation, or is it simply a continuation of processes that are already in action? The arguments for the globalists, sceptics and transformationalists are described below. Globalists

Globalists believe that globalization defines a new point in history where nation-states are becoming obsolete (Ohmae, 1995; Wriston, 1992, Guehenno, 1995). In the past where nation-states where considered the primary structures, globalists argue that a fundamental reorganisation has occurred due to the significant degree of functional integration between what may be considered geographically distant locations (Herod, 2009). This integration leads the globe to be viewed as a singular unit rather than a group of different defined identities (i.e. nation states). This can be described with reference to 3 important realms, the cultural, economic and political realms. Globalists believe that the nation-state will be undermined as a container of culture due to the increasing interconnectivity which will lead to cross-fertilisation, interpenetration and migration. There will instead be the emergence of a global ‘pop culture’ that assists in the erosion of nationally distinct...
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