A continual debate among economists, political experts, social, cultural, and world governments about globalization leave some people scratching their heads about what does globalization actually mean. According to Cusimano Love, "Globalization increases connectivity among individuals, polities, and regional and functional sectors. This increase in connectivity leads globalization's proponents to argue that globalization increases information, transparency, and democracy, serving as a powerful engine of social, political, technological, and economic progress and development" (11-12). Review of the following literature with some assigned and others chosen to compile this discourse on the subject of globalization connect in one specific way and that is about economics. All contrast with one another because each addresses a particular aspect of the human connection to finances – positive and negative that becomes apparent as this document unfolds with the following findings about globalization. One of the defining characteristics of the 21st century remains globalization but what this means from a political science perspective continues challenging a concrete understanding of its major components, who, condemns and condones it, and other issues presented in this academic investigation.
Globalization is Not a New Thing
Many do not realize the historical timeline of globalization. The fact remains it is an ongoing process for centuries now. Colonization during the great Western imperialist agenda to gain economic and political control of masses of land on all the known and newly explored continents remains a benchmark in the history of globalization. In many ways, globalization went as far back as the Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans. When the last of the Moors ruling parts of Europe ended and Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were the first Western monarchs in that region of Europe in 700 years, their financing the Italian born Christopher Columbus' exploration to the West looking for the East proved the onset of globalization at a staggering pace for the era. Globalization took major rooting in economic gains, exploitations of the natural resources, and conquering of native peoples in lands different from Western Civilization ideals (Cusimono Love 2004; Goldin and Reinert 2007).
Globalization ran on caravans, sailboats, steamboats, cargo planes, truck fleets, and, from trade in a few commodities to global production and distribution networks and to the present explosion of international flows of services, capital, and information" (Goldin and Reinert ix).. Over the past millennium, some recent estimates put globalization as a world economy with the global export of merchandise at Based on Maddison's recent estimates on the world economy over the past millennium, it is possible to calculate that world merchandise exports amounted to around "US$40 per capita—at today's purchasing power—in 1870" (Goldin and Reinert ix).
How good is this for Humankind?
One point about the rich get richer and the poor get poorer provides logic:
With the underlying evolution of globalization as an international marketing process now worth trillions of dollars the question pervades how good is this for humankind – or how bad Although progress has been steady and in some instances rather dramatic, global imbalances in the distribution of income and wealth are huge, and the awareness of these imbalances grows as information flows ever more quickly in tandem with globalization. People everywhere can compare themselves to the richest developed societies and are anxious to reduce the yawning gaps in income and consumption. (Goldin and Reinert x)
What this means for the future holds its own concerns. Nations facing this seemingly, inevitable economic inequality clearly produces social tensions as history supports. Each nation, looks to the future where growing populations, expanding urbanization, and equal opportunities to education remain the influences of hour tensions arising from linked inequalities in these areas evolve. When inequality already exists economically, socially, politically, and in other areas, trade cannot effect the distribution of this income equitably especially where economic growth continues driven by the high skilled. Skilled and unskilled workers frame the main contributing factor to global inequities between and within poor and emerging nations (Goldin and Reinert x).
Stiglitz is one of the experts understanding the framework of how this widening gap between the rich and poor globally came about. He explains the end of the Cold War gave the U.S. the opportunity to assist in building a global political and economic system "based on values and principles, such as a trade agreement designed to promote development in poor countries" (xii). Rather, industrialized nations of the West created their own "global trade regime" (Stiglitz xii) thus instigating the have – have not global community of the 21st century.
The outcome of this typical imperialist move meant the corporate favorites of these nations gained economically, while the poorest of the nations, became poorer. One of Stiglitz's easily understood contributions on the subject seems sound as he admits, "development is complex" (xii). Poverty comes in various dimensions. Goldin and Reinert explain, "Probably for the first time in history, the absolute number of people living on less than $1 a day in the world has dropped, from 1.5 billion in 1981 to 1.1 billion in 2002" (ix) and they attribute this drop from extreme poverty to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Asia's poverty dropped considerably over the past couple of decades while Sub-Saharan Africa's income poverty increased. "We face a brief window of opportunity during which these global imbalances can be tackled. The opportunity is to put into practice within countries what we have learned about increasing development potential, reducing poverty, and cushioning the impact of restructuring and globalization" (Goldin and Reinert x)
Review of Bhagwati's "In Defense of Globalization: With a New Afterward", provides explanations, reasoning, and a more pragmatic and fearful view from the position of the workers and labor unions of the richer industrialized nations toward trade with poor nations. The worries arise that doing so reduces wages and working conditions at home. The author proved his point referring to the American voter electing Democrats in 2006 who were "making anti-trade noises" (267). What immediately comes to mind in Bhagwati's offering, connects with the fact legislation may work to make equitable changes in human rights, economics, cleaning up the planet, but in the hearts of humans, and in their pocketbooks no one can change attitudes. Thus far, this academic investigation comparing the different views presented comes to the same point, that Western greed is the purveyor of complexities tying the global community to an economic manifesto of inequalities. Inequality breeds discontent, distrust, hatred, and war. The globalization of weapons reaching warring nations does not remain in the domain of foreign aid by Western nations alone.
Billions of dollars gained by unscrupulous people in nations like Russia, the U.S., South America, and elsewhere with supplying weapons to places in Africa in particular the Sudan that remains one of the most impoverished, unsettled places outside the Middle East today define some of the globalization issues about national security. Among the literature investigated besides the required reading for this academic exploration come from Ripsman and Paul explaining, "Most writings on globalization and security operate in the realm of theory, rather than rigorous empirical analysis the economic (such as how) political and social globalization that has swept the world during the past two decades has had an impact on the way states pursue security" (161). This ugly part of humanity makes the issue of globalization a far more sobering aspect how economic inequalities create undesirable consequences. On the other hand, globalization other aspects including health issues has more positive outcomes with a paradoxical side to it.
Globalization, Health, and Education
Today, poor countries show less infant mortality than 25 to 50 years ago, and the life expectancy globally as of 2004 is now 65 years from birth. The paradox emerges with the fact more people survive birth, live longer, and this includes poor nations. More people means, more mouths to feed. Keeping away from the obvious downside of this is how HIV/AIDS remains problematic in Africa because the medicines proved capable of treating the killer disease are unavailable when these typically poor nations have no economies capable of buying the necessary treatments. Conversely, one of the positive outcomes of globalization no one can argue as a bad thing is the rate of advancement in education. Developing nations show adults now having at least five years of school. In the past two decades, adults with no schooling globally shows a drop to half the former number now at one third of the world's population (Goldin and Reinert x).
Ideas evolve from globalization and prove a positive aspect of the aid, migration, trade, and finance. These proactive measures lend to transmitting, learning, and adjusting ideas toward eliminating poverty. Technology provides a prime example of this. Exported technology then becomes the means for learning through the exchange turning it into new ideas creating technology in turn, becoming an export where it was once imported. In the greater sense of globalization, the process of the exchange of ideas come communication and technology providing a global form of infrastructure connectedness. Yet, again, the poorest of countries remain marginalized, and excluded, and unable to share in their global neighbors' exchange of ideas, technologies, and methods (Goldin and Reinert 43). The implications precede the obvious.
This spread of ideas through the communication technology available globally to all but the extremely poor nations goes back to the early annals of human history. The exchange of ideas inarguably emerges as the best practices of globalization. The exchange of ideas incurs the exchange of languages, ideologies, and the draw of how diversity establishes an ironic link between the demographic characteristics of people because in the end everyone is human. Herein, lay the underlying most prevalent argument against a one-worldliness that globalization strikes in the hearts of different people that the majority of the literature presented in this discussion also touched upon with different amounts of words and pages dedicated to the issue. People – numerous people from different ideologies (although Christian right seem to vocalize the fear on a regular basis) believe globalization is the precursor to the New World Order governed by the corporate evils of marketing erasing the cultural distinctions existing today. This New World Order as some believe ultimately proves governments fade away into one world political view of either humanistic ideals or those of Big Brother. One of the most logical of the literature aligned to the "idea" of this looks at Ohmae.
Ohmae provides the most explicit of the opposite views of globalization (briefly discussed about the historical underpinnings of globalization in the beginning of this discourse). He explains, "Some of the opponents of globalization decry it as an attempt to impose a particular form of commercial activity on the whole world, at the expense of the varied tapestry of cultural differences" (122). At the same time, he advises, "Others argue that globalization is the same as Americanization. Globalization is nothing of the sort" (122) and he further explains this arises from the interdependency of both humans and human formed societies. He posits there exists, a basic fallacy of human cultural or economic self-sufficiency.
Homer-Dixon also reminds how, "Humankind has been crisscrossing the globe for millennia, and we've been trading large quantities of raw materials and manufactured goods around the world for many centuries" (13). He also reminds how this past century marks the creation of "tightly interlinked economic, technological, and social systems" (Homer-Dixon 13) with the world population literally tripling in this timeframe. He reminds how the 21st century is now a single unit operating with the input of the many. It is the billions of people today whose carbon footprint impact, the environment as the sole physical force with this distinct power on an equal level with the earth's natural systems (Homer-Dixon 2004).
Sheih looks at globalization processing connected to human rights by two categories One is the legal obligation as a global community to one another, and the other is the question of moral values with the two interrelated. When created for the good of people based on values and morals laws create social norms. Conversely, when making laws the values society holds high underpin this process, with the closeness of the two depending on the type of society in question. Shieh makes a pragmatic and logical conclusion. Globalization and human rights remains problematic because no central lawmaking body in reality exists, and ideally, what kind of a central lawmaking body can reconcile the diversity creating the large gap between global legal obligations and moral values of so many societies' views of human rights (2004).
Ohmae offers a concise definition of where globalization continues evolving with a marketing perspective affecting government, poverty, the military, and finally, the creation of one global village. "What I have observed is that globalization is nothing but liberalization of the individual, consumers, corporations, and regions from the legacy of the nation-state in which they belong"(122). Ohmae sees each person having information at hand, providing them wisdom in making the right choice. Eventually, the global citizen chooses from whom and where they buy their consumer products and not by the directives of government (2005).
In conclusion, as posited in the introduction, one of the defining characteristics of the 21st century remains globalization. This academic discourse looked at the political science perspective for understanding its major components, which, condemns and condones it, and the other issues emerging with the review of the literature. Globalization evidently started evolving when the first cognitive efforts of humans decided to trade goods and services with one another, most likely outside someone's cave dwelling. How this evolution carries on with the billions of people in this shrinking global community depends on the humanity of the process. At the present, that humanity remains at best a clearly shaky process with the have and have not gap ever widening. Until the time the avarice that controls this planet has its day of reckoning unfortunately, this point of globalization's evolution remains blight on the human race.
Bhagwati, Jagdish. In Defense of Globalization. Copyright © 2004, 2007 by Jagdish Bhagwati. Print.
Cusimano Love, Maryann K. "2: Globalization." The Virtuous Vice: Globalization. Ed. Siamack Shojai and Robert Hristopherson. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004. 11-26. Print.
Goldin, Ian, and Kenneth Reinert, eds. Globalization for Development: Trade, Finance, Aid, Migration, and Policy. Revised ed. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007. Print
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. The Upside-Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization. Island Press. 2006. Print
Ohmae, Kenichi. The Next Global Stage. © 2005 by Pearson Education, Inc. Print
Ripsman, Norrin M., and T. V. Paul. Globalization and the National Security State. New York: Oxford UP, 2010.
Shieh, Shawn. "11: Toward Universalism?" The Virtuous Vice: Globalization. Ed. Siamack Shojai and Robert Hristopherson. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004. 141-58.
Stiglitz, Joseph. Making Globalization Work. W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. Copyright © 2007, 2006 Joseph E. Stiglitz. Print