Globalization is a phenomenon or a complex set of social, economic, cultural and technological factors that seemingly bring the world closer and turn it into an interconnected space where events in one country has the ability to affect other countries. Globalization is nothing new as different civilizations and empires have had contact between each other for centuries. It has gone through different stages depending on the evolution of transportation, communication and technology. Globalization, the process that interconnects different countries of the world is also something that does not really go along with the concept of nation states. After the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, nation states were created with clear concept about their territory as well as their sovereign powers. With globalization, however, the sovereign powers of a country come under increasing threat as economic, cultural and social decisions are sometimes beyond that of a national government and are affected by forces outside of the country.
With Globalization and increased technological resources, no nation state in the present century can maintain an isolated existence. Foremost of all, the globalization process has made the global economy highly interdependent. For example, the success of manufacturing industries is not only dependant on the workforce and the management skills or the local market but is also highly dependant on the overseas market as well as the governmental decisions of other countries. A country can decide to stop import of fruits, clothes and other items or ban the products which might result in the industries in another country suffering heavy losses or shutting shop. The recent Greek crisis which has threatened the global markets into a slide is another example of how interconnected the global economy is. A small country like Greece defaulting on its loan and the possible exit from the Eurozone has consequences not only for Greece and the European countries but affects markets in countries like the US, UK, China and more. In the same vein, China’s sudden growth and the relative slowdown of its markets also has far reaching impacts on countries like India and the US. These examples go to show the vulnerability of the nation stats when it comes to their economy. Well laid plans of economic stability and growth can be derailed in a day or weeks because of an unrelated conflict or crisis in another part of the world.
The impact of Globalization on a nation state is not just on the economy. Globalization has far reaching cultural, political and social effects on nation states as well. Globalization has also seen increased migration around the world. There is migration of people, companies, labor as well as cultural practices. When people travel through borders looking or employment or just better opportunities, they also take their cultural and religious beliefs along with them. Although this normally does not pose a problem, it becomes an issue when the majority sees the immigrants as a threat to their livelihoods and beliefs. In some cases this balloons into a bigger issue that can threaten the security of a nation state with civil disturbances and violence within its borders. The local population can also accuse the new arrivals of being a threat to their established culture and customs. Americanization for instance is a slogan that is adopted by many people and countries when they describe the onslaught of American ‘culture’ on their local space. ‘Americanization’ encompasses a whole plethora of issues, ranging from the mushrooming of Mcdonald's and other American fast food chains all over the world to the popularity that is enjoyed by the American soaps and movie industry around the world. Eating out and changing their language and way of dressing by the youngsters is seen as a cultural shift or threat by the older generation creating a rift not only between them but also between the countries.
Globalization also affects the local industries in a country and the lifestyle of people ringing about social changes. When countries open up their economy, they let other companies from around the world to set up base and also export products that are cheaper than the locally made products. With ‘dumping’ and the availability of cheaper products and varied choices, the local industries take a hit. Outsourcing has meant loss of jobs in some countries while in others it has meant new opportunities of employment and a change in their socio-economic status. these changes do not happen at the individual level alone and social mobility of a group that had been previously excluded can have far reaching consequences on the cultural and social makeup of a nation state. In an increasingly globalized world, the politics of a nation state is also not autonomous anymore. International financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have such a reach into the internal politics of a country that they can cause toppling of governments. Although not directly, the policies that they force on a country in lieu of their debt can make a government highly unpopular and create political tensions in the country. Bolivia, Argentina, Greece and many other countries all over the world have seen governments and political parties lose power because of the infamous policies that they followed coerced by the international institutions.
Thus the political autonomy, the economy of a nation state and the cultural and social milieu of the country is vulnerable and is open to change in a globalized world. The changes brought on by Globalization can be positive as well as negative. While it bring prosperity to some countries, in others it can cause the flight of capital and result in poverty and political tension. However, what is increasingly clear is that in the era of globalization and technological advancements, no nation state can live in isolation and has to come to terms with the interconnectedness of the world.