What is globalization, and is it a positive force for good in the 21st century.
It is hard to define globalization and seems “easier to describe than to define” (Kiggundu, 2002:3). “Globalization has become, the most important economic, political, and cultural phenomenon of our time. Around the globe the integration of the world economy is not only reshaping business but also reordering the lives of individuals, creating new social classes, different jobs, unimaginable wealth, and, occasionally, wretched poverty and globalization is neither new nor complete” (United Nations Development Program, 1999:1). Globalization affects everyone across the globe but will most likely have a different affect on different people, therefore there are and used to be many various opinions on globalization and on its affects.
If you look at globalization and no matter what opinion you have on it, it has brought the world to how it is known today. In some countries the benefits have been dramatically diverse, it lead to wealth, increased health and higher security. It increased the standard of living in more developed countries. In some however inferior benefits were provided by globalization, this was generally the case in less developed countries. For less advanced countries it does not always have to be inefficient, it can also provide opportunities to increase the countries economic, political and cultural development. Economics has been the driving force for globalization, such as trade agreements between countries or the introduction of free trade and the lowering of transportation and communication costs. Whether a country is for or against globalization one of its main interests is going to be economic growth and development in order to be able to provide a higher standard of living to its population. Without the movement to a more efficient economy a high standard of living cannot be provided. Main economies such as the ones of the United States of America or East Asia and large corporations such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or the World Bank have been highly influential in terms of managing and making globalization work. More developed countries will make and take decisions in favor of their own interest and potentially even make decisions which in the end for less developed countries could be quite dramatic and not enable them to use globalization to its full extent and potential. “The rules of the game have been largely set by the advanced industrial countries and particularly by special interests within those countries” (Stiglitz, 2007:4). With the introduction of free trade and the act of opening up economies it has enabled the access to markets and market information, making it a very competitive environment. This competitive environment has made many less developed countries fall behind in terms of economic wealth but also delivered good to some countries. A very good example of using globalization for its benefits is East Asia. East Asia had huge success with globalization, free trade and the advancement of technology. Their independence and events for instance the one in 2009 when China plus ten Southeast Asian countries joined together to scrap tariffs and put a trade network into place spanning more than 1.9 billion people added to their success. This trade network has brought further success to its economy and enabled them to move from being a developing region to having one fifth of the globes GDP (Gross Domestic Product). “A globalized world is one that political, economic, cultural, and social events become more and more interconnected, and also one in which they have more impact” (Smith, Owens, Baylis, 2011:8). There is prove of East Asia using globalization for its benefit as East Asian countries became more important for each other in the 21st century. The IMF, World Bank and the World Trade Organisation over the past few years have been promising to lift people out of poverty in poor countries by...
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