Question one: How does the shift in development strategy during in the late 1970s in favor of structural adjustments, acted as a fuelling force for development?
Globalization is a broad concept that entails expansion of economic activities, transfer of capital markets, investments, and human labor, easy flow of goods and services across the borders, and integration of global economies. Globalization has created a viable platform where nations can import and export goods and services freely, exchange ideas, knowledge, research findings, and enhance diplomacy ties through market liberalization. In other words, it has turned the world into a “global village” where nations have an opportunity to engage in the international trade and contribute in economic development. Several factors have played a crucial role in fuelling globalization in the contemporary time and these factors are: innovation and advancement in information and communication facet, emergence of multinational corporations, establishment of transnational organizations, and governments’ commitment (Heywood, 2011). Although these factors have fuelled globalization in the region, they have been embodied in the concept of structural adjustment that prevailed during the 1970s and facilitated globalization.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of world war two, cold war, a rivalry emerged between the super nations, as they wanted to control the global economy and influence developing nations to subscribe to their political and economic ideologies; a move that fuelled interdependence. Superpower nations had to form alliance with other affiliated states to strengthen their political and economic mighty and outdo their rivalries. In this case, democratic system that advocated for capitalism was in a better position to influence developing nations to implement macroeconomic policy that focused on eradicating poverty, promoting economic development through privatization, liberalization of trade, deregulation of monetary policies, and taxation, and enhancement of comparative advantage of nations. Indeed, encouraging the developing nations to adopt and implement macroeconomic policies presented numerous rewards to these nations and fuelled globalization as it enabled developed nations access limited resource and wealth in global economy and universality of societies.
Structural adjustment programs aimed to improve the role of market forces and promote sustainable growth by changing the role of the state via privatization, deregulation, and liberalization. In doing so, it promoted globalization as it encouraged non-discriminatory treatment of entities in domestic and foreign enterprises and fuelled emergence of multinational corporations, which fuelled free movement of labor, capital market and exchange, and investment in global economy.
The concept of neo-liberalism (Washington consensus) fuelled globalization during this period as it was embodied in the idea of structural adjustment programs. In 1970s, many developing nations had large debts, experienced inflation, devaluation of currency, and lacked effective monetary policies; a move that compelled transnational organizations (IMF, World Bank, and other NGOs) introduce macroeconomics stabilizing policies (Heywood, 2011). Initially, these policies focused on developing nations, but later they become international policies, which were applicable to all nations thus leading to globalization.
Question Two: Discuss the thesis of “clash of civilization,” and how it goes opposite to the idea of cultural of globalization
Globalization has promoted regional integration, enhanced coexistence, cooperation, interaction among nations and people, and spurred economic development in the region. Although this is the case, globalization has also influenced cultural diffusion and assimilation by creating a platform where people can exchange and share their culture, values, norms, traditions, and customs easily. Cultural globalization means the process in which people information, artistic work, and images produced in a given region finds its way into the global economy and levels out cultural variance across nations. In other words, cultural globalization entails diffusion of values, and symbols, which define peoples’ lifestyle and parameters of operation. Today, many nations have aped and adapted western culture because it is a universally accepted culture associated with modernization. In essence, nations, which fail to embrace and subscribe to western culture and ideologies are considered uncivilized.
Cultural globalization and clash of civilization are two main concepts, which seem to complement each other, but they convey and articulate contradictory views. The concept of cultural globalization articulates that individuals and groups from different parts of the world may have social-cultural links, which are inconsiderate of territorial boundaries. This shows that cultural identity remains a single component that enables people from different ethnic communities to bond, associate, and coexistence harmoniously. However, the concept of clash civilization articulates opposing views and assertions. In the analysis, Samuel Huntington (1993) argues that a clash of civilization is an imperative theoretical approach that articulates that peoples’ culture and religious identity would be the primary source of conflict in post cold world war (Heywood, 2011). Borrowing from the work of other theorists, Samuel agrees that democracy, human rights movements, and advocacy capitalist markets, have remained the major ideologies, which raise conflicts among states. However, this predisposition does not exist anymore because cultural identity and religious constructs form the axes of conflict in post cold war. In essence, political and economic factors would not defined people and states, but cultural and religious constructs would do.
Cultural globalization affirms that culture is a unifying factor, but clash civilization articulate that culture is a divisive and unifying factor. In this case, clash civilization predisposes that individuals separated based on ideologies variance, but unified by culture tend to form alliance and work together as envisioned in the case of Germanys, Koreans, and Chinese nationalities. In the same breath, societies unified by historical events and ideologies, but separated by culture mainly experience separation as in the case of the Soviet Union and Bosnia. Alternatively, the parties may experience strain as in the case of Ukraine, India, and Somalia, to mention, but a few. Notably, nations, which have cultural and religious commonalities, assist each other economically and politically as in the case of European Union. Based on this assertion, it is evident that the world has eight civilizations and cultural and religious commonalities and variance among these civilizations influence their conflict.
Question Three: After highlighting the factors that have lead to resurgence of regionalism in the post- cold war period, discuss how regionalism can relate to globalization.
Over the years, the world has transformed and attained levels in economic, political, and social development. Globalization has played an integral role in ensuring that the nations integrate, engage in international trade, encourage the inflow of capital markets and human labor, and contribute in global economy. Toward, the world is in the post cold war period and has shifted its attention to resolve internal and external conflicts through dialogue. One of the characteristics that mark the post cold war period is the move by the international community to urge other parties to join and participants in the global forums aimed to resolve regional conflicts, promote economic development, and implement effective trade rules and regulations in the region. Today, the world is focused on strengthening international ties and relations by encourage states to form regional corporations (European Union, North America Free Trade Agreement, and Asian Pacific Economic Corporation) which are aimed to promote dialogue and enhance cooperation in the regions.
Cultural, economic, political, and social factors have influenced the introduction regionalism that entails formation of regional blocs to spur economic development. Although the concept on regionalism conveys different issues, it can relate with globalization in several ways. First, regionalism forms a platform where states come together to strengthen their economic growth and development and achieve common goals. In this case, the member states of a particular region are encourage to remove all trade barriers, and formulate policies, which would encourage movement of capital, human labor, and goods and services across the region thus facilitating regional integration. Second, regionalism entails formation of independent bodies, which perform various functions (NAFTA and EU). As in the case of globalization, these independent bodies assume and perform supervisory and advisory roles, as they can execute roles, which a state cannot. Third, regionalism is a new concept that employs multipolar domain that reinforces the concept of compatibility, cooperation, and interaction among the members’ states. In other words, regionalism create a platform where members states have the freedom to exchange cultural values, ideas, technological researches, and other aspects, which promote collaboration; an aspect that is also emphasized in globalization. Based on this assertion, it is evident that regionalism relates with globalization.
Heywood, A. (2011). Global Politics .. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.