Let’s take a look at globalization and some of the theories and different perspectives about it. In general globalization is the sharing of culture, and money, and products, between countries that is happening because of international trade, and advances in transportation and communication.
You might think that globalization is a recent development, but really international trade has influenced changes across borders for centuries.
Silk and spice trade routes through East Asia that began as early as the 1st century BCE, introduced different cultures and linked the economies of different nations.As did the English and Dutch shipping empires in the 16th Century.
Globalization is also a social process where people become more and more aware of other cultures and peoples, across geographical political and social borders.
The economic interdependence of different countries, as well as advancements in communication technology, and the progress of technology in general, have all contributed to globalization.
There are many theories of globalization. Let’s look at World-systems theory first.
World-systems theory focuses on the importance of the world as a unit, rather than looking at individual countries. It divides the world in to three regions: core countries, periphery countries, and semi periphery countries.
Core countries include areas like Western Europe and the United States. These countries have a strong central government with enough tax to support it. They are economically diversified, industrialized, and relatively independent of outside control. They have strong middle and working classes, and focus on higher scope production of material goods rather than raw materials.
Periphery countries are those in Latin America and Africa, and tend to have a relatively weak government. They tend to depend on only one type of economic activity like extracting raw materials. There’s a high percentage of poor and uneducated people, as well as a small upper class which controls most of the economy. And this creates a huge inequality in the population. These countries are greatly influenced by core countries and transnational corporations. Which can harm the future economic potentials of the periphery countries.
Semi-periphery countries like India and Brazil make up the middle ground between Core and Periphery.They are often not dominant in international trade but they have a relatively diversified and developed economy. These semi-periphery countries can come either from Periphery countries moving up toward the industrialized Core countries, or from Core countries declining toward Periphery status.
The World-systems Theory is a fluid model, but it is criticized for being too focused on the economy and the Core countries, and forgetting about the culture or even the class struggles of individual countries.
Then we have modernization theory which proposes that all countries follow a similar path of development from a traditional to a modern society. It assumes that with some help traditional countries can develop into modern countries in the same way that today’s modern countries developed in the first place. It looks at the internal social dynamics as the country adapts to new technologies, and the political and social changes that occur.
Dependency theory was a reaction to modernization theory, and uses the idea of Core and Periphery countries from the World-systems theory to look at the inequalities between countries. Basically it is the idea that Periphery or third world countries are poor and export resources to the wealthy core or first world countries. Not because they are in an earlier stage of development, but because they have been integrated into the World-system as an undeveloped country. They have their own structures and features not seen in developed countries, and will not accelerate to become a developed nation. They are in an unfavorable economic position that means they don’t even have the opportunity to improve and develop. They’ll remain poor and dependent on wealthier nations.
These are just a few of the theories of globalization. There are lots more that look at: culture, or social networking, economy, politics, or even goods.
The world is now a busy and bustling place where events and things can have an effect around the globe. There are different ways of looking at globalization too.
The hyper globalist perspective sees globalization as a legitimate process ,a new age in human history. Countries economies become interdependent as the nations states themselves become significantly less important.
The many individual countries become one global society, though theorist don’t agree whether this is good or bad.
The skeptical perspective is critical of globalization, and considers today’s international processes as becoming regionalized rather than globalized. Countries borders are not becoming less important.
The third world countries aren’t being integrated into the global economy with the same benefits as first world countries.
Skeptics don’t believe that the current economy is leading towards global capitalism.
transnational Corporations are still tied to their
home country and national borders are as important as ever.
Then you have the transformationalist perspective which doesn’t have either a specific cause or a specific outcome.
They believe that National Governments are changing, perhaps becoming less important, but it is difficult to describe the change so simply.
As to the strong stance skeptics take on the marginalization of third world countries, transformationalists again just see that the world order is changing.
Into what specific patterns they are uncertain, just that a new world order design is developing. They state that there are many factors that influence the change of the world patterns, but that the outcomes of these changes is just not known. Globalization has caused many changes in society. It has allowed for international terrorism and civil unrest as different nations are inundated by foreign cultures. It has also created a world economy where different countries are interdependent on each other promoting a global community.