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Debate: Globalization

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*'''Globalization is a threat to traditions.''' Globalization means "many cultural changes, the loss of traditional existence, the marginalization of indigenous groups, and the problems associated with rapid urbanization and industrialization — pollution, increased crime rates, dramatic inequalities, and a location for a hotbed of social and political instability and upheaval." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain] *'''Globalization is a threat to traditions.''' Globalization means "many cultural changes, the loss of traditional existence, the marginalization of indigenous groups, and the problems associated with rapid urbanization and industrialization — pollution, increased crime rates, dramatic inequalities, and a location for a hotbed of social and political instability and upheaval." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
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 +*'''Globalization equals loss of individualism.''' Globalization is, in effect, a process in which people give up individualism in exchange for homogenization, or belonging. As popular culture spreads, creativity and individual values disappear.
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Is cultural globalization a force for good?

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Contents

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(In)equality: Is globalization a force for good?

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Yes

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No

  • Globalization further widens the gap between the rich and the poor. "Most international trade and investment is concentrated in North America, Europe, and East Asia. States that have already prospered from globalization continue to do so, while others—Bangladesh, Bolivia, Belize, Burma—are left behind. Inequality between the haves and have-nots within and among countries has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, and the share of global income of the poorest people on earth has dropped from 2.3 percent to 1.4 percent in the last decade. A recent United Nations report [Elizabeth Becker, “U.N. Study Finds Global Trade Benefits Are Uneven,” New York Times(February 24, 2004)] found that 188 million people worldwide (or 6.2 percent of the global labor force) are unemployed. The report also found that the gap between rich and poor nations has widened, with countries representing 14 percent of the world’s population accounting for half the world’s trade and foreign investment." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization increases inequality within a country. "China, Mexico, India, Nigeria, and other countries that have liberalized their economies and have taken advantage of economic globalization have also seen dramatic increases in inequality within their countries." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
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Economics: Is globalization a desirable process?

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Yes

  • Globalizations helps international trade flourish. "Economic globalization is a process that leads to the reduction in official obstacles to cross-border economic transactions. This often makes it as inexpensive to do business with foreigners as it is to do business at home, thus reducing the advantages held by domestic businesses." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization allows for specialization. "According to neoclassical liberal economic theory, reducing tariff barriers and other impediments to the free movement of goods and capital, which makes it easier for countries to trade with each other, lifts the wealth of all states by allowing them to concentrate on those things in which they have greatest expertise. In general, poor countries that have lowered their tariff barriers have seen overall increases in employment and national income because labor and capital shifts to capital-generating export industries. In addition to providing jobs, foreign companies moving to developing countries often bring with them higher wages and better working conditions compared with those offered by domestic companies. The experiences of India and South Korea suggest that as countries increase their levels of growth and development, their wage levels rise, and a shift from labor-intensive industry to more capital and knowledge-intensive industry is seen." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalizations allows for foreign direct investment. Foreign direct investment (one of the pillars of globalization) is closely linked to transmission of ideas and technical information, creation of new jobs, as it serves as a boost for ailing economies.
  • Foreign competition boosts innovation. [Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Jan Svejnar, and Katherine Terrell, "Globalization and Innovation in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Paper no.14481 November 2008]
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No

  • Globalization increases market sensitivity. "Each actor in the international system is tied together more closely and in numerous ways. As a result, each becomes more sensitive to the decisions or actions of others and more vulnerable to the effects of others’ choices and actions." Our economies are becoming more interdependent, and thus more sensitive and vulnerable. ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization undermines social welfare programs. "Structural adjustment programs often force countries in the developing world to streamline the economy and redirect spending away from social welfare and toward export sectors and other profit-yielding enterprises. This can lead to a reduction in or elimination of many social welfare programs such as health, food, and housing subsidies." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization accelerates the "race to the bottom". Multinational companies tend to "seek the lowest level of regulation and taxation, forcing competing governments to lower their standards of labor, human rights, and environmental protection, taxation, and other regulation." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization can lead to a "brain drain". "For developing countries, the reduced cost of movement across borders to access jobs or education (...) can also lead to a “brain drain,” as the best minds and most educated leave their country for greater opportunities or rewards elsewhere." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Financial liberalization is difficult to implement. "Lacking mature financial sectors, emerging nations are unable to float their currencies if they wish to attract foreign capital because exchange rate volatility would reduce foreign investment inflows. (...) Prominent economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Jagdish Bhagwati believe that financial liberalizations by developing countries would most likely lead to financial collapse. (...) Although greater economic and financial integration permits diversification from narrow production bases, it also induces greater specialization in production and makes countries susceptible to external economic shocks." "Globalization: Curse or Cure? Policies to Harness Global Economic Integration to Solve Our Economic Challenge", by Jagadeesh Gokhale, February 2010
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Politics: Do we benefit from globalization?

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Yes

  • Globalization has enabled us to solve global problems. Had it not been for globalization, we would be bereft of international organizations and institutions that allow for more effective decision-making on a global scale.
  • Globalization helps democracy thrive. "Governments also have a harder time controlling the flow of information and ideas in a more globalized world. It is harder to hide human rights abuses when survivors can go online to share stories, or when CNN cameras let us witness the aftermath of demonstrations or riots, or when satellites pick up the existence of mass graves." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization is a liberating force. "The integration of rich and poor nations is not a zero-sum game where the gains of one come at the expense of the other. Driven by the rapid democratization of information, technology, and finance, globalization is turning out to be a remarkably progressive, liberating force." "The Benefits of Globalization", by Pete Geddes, January 2004
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No

  • We are "forced" to give up national sovereignty. As it is impossible to isolate ourselves from globalization and international organizations, we have to "go with the flow" and thus - in exchange for possible economic benefits - to give up a little bit of our national sovereignty (such as members of the EU, WTO, etc.).
  • Globalization has made it more difficult to ensure safety and stability. "Countries have less control than ever before over the flow of people, communicable diseases, pollution, drugs, arms, hazardous materials, and even terrorist activity. Terrorists such as Al Qaeda are stateless and have acquired the knowledge, resources, and support to employ destructive capability using the same technology through which you or I might place a phone call home or check stock prices. Terrorists, arms dealers, and drug cartels all operate as underground cross-border networks, moving money, people, or contraband across borders with greater ease than ever before." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • "Globalization can lead to state disintegration and often to violence, ethnic conflict, civil war, or secessionism. Examples abound, from the influence of terror networks on the secessionist war in Chechnya to the uprising in Chiapas in 1994, sparked in part by the signing of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Institutions of global governance mean a “democratic deficit,” meaning that "international institutions of governance represent elites and governments rather than individuals or groups, and are thus not able to be held accountable for their actions. Rarely is an individual able to elect (or vote out) representatives to a supranational body (a rare exception being representatives to the European Parliament). Thus, unlike politics at the national level in a democratic system of governance, there are few if any avenues through which global citizens may articulate their interests via conventional politics." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
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Environment: Is globalization a force for good?

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Yes

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No

  • Globalization harms the environment. Globalization and subsequent "industrialization leads to more emissions, contributing to global warming and a deterioration of air and water quality. In addition, profitable resource-based industries such as oil drilling, forestry, mining, and fisheries exploit resources of countries with little regard to the environmental cost." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
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Gender issues: Is globalization a force for good?

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Yes

  • Globalization has improved the status of women. "Globalization has rapidly improved the social and economic status of women in the developing world. (...) In a competitive, globalized world, the role of women becomes ever more valuable. Cultures that exclude women from full participation (e.g., Saudi Arabia) fall ever further behind." "The Benefits of Globalization", by Pete Geddes, January 2004
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No

  • "On the whole, women have been harmed more than men by globalization. Structural adjustment programs often force countries in the developing world to streamline the economy and redirect spending away from social welfare and toward export sectors and other profit-yielding enterprises. This can lead to a reduction in or elimination of many social welfare programs such as health, food, and housing subsidies. Women on average are poorer than men and, as such, are the majority of those dependent on social welfare programs. Therefore, elimination or reduction in these programs affects them disproportionately to men." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • "Foreign subsidized agriculture or foreign imports undermine women’s traditional livelihoods as subsistence farmers or small producers in many developing countries. Put out of work by global competition, many women then face cultural barriers when looking for alternative occupations." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
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Culture and society: Is globalization desirable?

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Yes

  • Globalization can help preserve traditions and cultures. "...paradoxically, the new global media have proven a powerful means of projecting traditional culture and values, as well as the ideas of radical opponents of globalization. It is also a medium through which cultural practices and ideas otherwise unknown outside a local area are also transmitted globally." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • "Globalization helps break the regressive taboos responsible for discriminating against people on the basis of gender, race, or religious beliefs. It is an antidote to the intolerant fundamentalism that oppresses millions of the world’s poorest." "The Benefits of Globalization", by Pete Geddes, January 2004
  • Globalization helps eradicate child labour. Child labor declines as a country’s income increases. As trade promotes economic growth, globalization results in less child labor over time. In 1960, children made up 32 percent of the labor force in low-income countries. Forty years later, following the massive expansion in international trade, child labor in the same countries had declined to 19 percent. "The Benefits of Globalization", by Pete Geddes, January 2004
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No

  • Globalization is a threat to traditions. Globalization means "many cultural changes, the loss of traditional existence, the marginalization of indigenous groups, and the problems associated with rapid urbanization and industrialization — pollution, increased crime rates, dramatic inequalities, and a location for a hotbed of social and political instability and upheaval." ["AP Comparative Government and Politics Briefing Paper: Globalization", by Matthew Krain]
  • Globalization equals loss of individualism. Globalization is, in effect, a process in which people give up individualism in exchange for homogenization, or belonging. As popular culture spreads, creativity and individual values disappear.

See also

External links and resources

Books

  • Gabor Steingart: "The War for Wealth: The True Story of Globalization, or Why the Flat World is Broken"

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