Global Trends Chapter 4 Note

Global Trends     Chapter 4

Chapter Four: Globalization and Regionalism

4.1. Defining Globalization

  • Globalization is often understood as a phenomena, or a process characterized by increasing interconnectedness or interdependence
    • it is a supra regional process bringing the world into one global village
  • Globalization characterized by
    • the stretching of social and political activities across state (political) frontiers
    • the intensification or the growing magnitude of interconnectedness in almost every aspect of social existence
    • the accelerating pace of global interactions and process
    • deepening enmeshment of the local and global
  • globalization embodies a process of deterritorialization
    • social, political, and economic activities no longer organized solely according to territorial logic
  • under the condition of globalization, national economic space is no longer coterminous with national territorial space
    • Example U.S companies based their headquarters in Europe
      • in the globalized world, territorial borders no longer demarcate the boundaries of national economic or political space

4.2. The Globalization Debates

The Hyper-globalists
For the hyper-globalists:
  • globalization today defines a new epoch in human history in which nation states become obsolete to regulate their economy and boundary
  • This view privileges the economic over the political, the market over the state, and prefigures the decline of states\
  • globalization is bringing about a de-nationalization/ de-territorialization of economies through the establishment of transitional networks of production, trade, and finance
  • economic globalization is bringing about the decline of states
    • states becoming the site of global and transnational flows and as opposed to the primary container of socio-economic activity
    • authority and legitimacy of states thereby is undermined
    • cumulative effects of these forces would make the state in effective to full fill the demands of its citizens
  • competitive nature of the market would bring new economic class as winners and losers, hence this put a challenge for the state, especially welfare states, to helping those losers under the constraint of liberal market economy
  • globalization is imparting new liberal ideas and implant culture of modernization replacing the traditional culture
    • it is creating a new global order marked by uniform cultural values or way of life
The Skeptics
  • rejected the view of super- globalist as a myth
  • the force of globalization is very much dependent on the regulatory power of the state to ensure the continuation of economic liberalism
  • States are central actors and agents of globalization playing central role in shaping and regulating the economic activities including the Trans boundary flows of ideas, goods and peoples
  • globalization is not more than regionalization that is being manifested in the emergence of financial and trading blocs
  • we have seen more interconnectedness at regional level lesser than at the global level. For that matter, Skeptics argues that
    • there is no free flow of goods, resources, technology and finance at the global level; instead we have regional based globalization
      • it has become evident that the Western region is more intergraded and globalized than the other part of the world
  • in terms of trade the developing countries are integrated to the western market whereby the developing countries supply their primary agricultural commodities to earn foreign currencies
    • such trade connection is not benefiting the developing nations
  • Sceptics do not believe that globalization would help to narrow the economic and technological gap that is still prevailing between the Global North(developed Countries) and The Global South(Developing countries)
The Transformationalist
  • globalization is a critical driving force behind the rapid social, political and economic changes which are reshaping societies and international politics
  • At the core of the transformationist view:
    • globalization is reconstituting or reengineering the power, function and the authority of the state, Even though the state has ultimate legal power to control events inside its boundary, it can’t command sole control over trans-boundary issues, actors, resource movements
      • Under globalization, national economic space no more coincides with state boundary
  • globalization is transforming or reconstituting the power and authority of national governments
  • transformationist however reject both the hyper globalist view of the end of the sovereign state as well as the Sceptics claim that nothing much has changed Instead, they assert that
    • a new sovereignty regime is displacing traditional conception of state power as an absolute, indivisible, territorially exclusive power
  • world order can no longer be conceived as purely State-Centric or even primarily state managed
    • authority has become increasingly diffused amongst public and private agencies at the local, national, regional and at global levels
  • power of national government is being redefined, reconstituted and restructured in response to the growing complexity of process of governance in a more interconnected world

4.3. Globalization and Its Impacts on Africa

  • aspects that are unique to the present form of globalization are
    • Americanization of the world
    • propagation of a universal paradigm for economic and political development
    • dominance of unilateralism as a way of conducting international relations
Americanization of the World
    • unequaled American influence on international issues and decision-making
    • transformation of the international system from a multi-polar or bipolar system to an imperial system under American hegemony
    • A major consequence of this is the propagation of a universal paradigm for both economic and political development, in the form of the so-called Washington Consensus
      • its main features are market forces and liberal democracy, without regard to the historical and cultural specificities of individual countries
    • homogenization of the world, with the United States as the model and the standard by which all other countries are to be judged
  • Africa’s position in the international system has been considerably weakened by the fact that it has been losing the race for economic development in general, and human development in particular, to other regions
    • This poor performance by African countries accounts in part for the political and social instability and the rise of authoritarian regimes
The cold war consequences in Africa
    • support of the two blocks to keep African countries in their respective camps resulted emergence of authoritarian regimes in most African Countries in the form of one-party or military regimes
    • With the end of the cold war, support has been withdrawn by the major powers for many African countries considered no longer of strategic importance
      • This has entailed an increase in the number of so called “failed states” in Africa during the last two decades
      • It reduced Africa’s international negotiating power and its ability to maneuver in the international system
      • worked against democracy and economic development in Africa
Specific impacts of globalization on Africa
    • In the political sphere
      • erosion of sovereignty, especially on economic and financial matters, as a result of the imposition of models, strategies and policies of development on African countries by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization
      • globalization has promoted greater respect for human rights and contributed to the development of an African press which has opened African countries to far greater scrutiny than in the past
    • However, this positive development is negated by the fact that these principles of democratic governance and transparency tend to be applied selectively and subjectively
    • globalization for the most part does not facilitate the establishment of the economic conditions necessary for genuine democracy and good governance
    • fragmentation of national economies, polities, societies and cultures that are triggered by globalization weaken national consciousness and cohesion, leading to social divisiveness and instability, which in turn facilitate the emergence of authoritarian rule
      • One major positive impact of globalization on Africa
        • it has made available information on how other countries are governed and the freedoms and rights their people enjoy
Among globalization negative impact on the growth and consolidation of democratic governance in Africa: 

1. globalization has often pressured African leaders to adopt policies and measures that are diametrically opposite to the feelings and sentiments of the vast majority of their people 

2. By defining basic and generally accepted principles of democratic governance in narrow terms leaving little or no room for adapting them to different societies and cultures, democracy takes on the image of something alien and imposed from the outside

      • Support for the fundamental principles of democracy is thus undermined, cynicism arises, and the effort itself fails to develop roots in the countries to which they are being artificially transplanted

3. Globalization leads to the development of anti-developmentalism by declaring the state irrelevant or marginal to the developmental effort

      • Welfare and other programs are transferred from governments to non-governmental organizations that begin to replace governments in the eyes of the people. As a result, governments lose what little authority and legitimacy they have

4. By imposing economic specialization based on the needs and interests of external forces & with very little linkages among them, divisions within African countries are accentuated and the emergence of national consciousness

5. economic specialization imposed on African countries makes rapid and sustainable growth and development impossible

      • conflicts over the distribution of the limited gains realized from globalization become more acute and politicized
6. globalization, by insisting on African countries opening their economies to foreign goods and entrepreneurs, limits the ability of African governments to take proactive and conscious measures to facilitate the emergence of an indigenous entrepreneurial class
    • Economic and social stagnation has also triggered a substantial brain- drain from Africa, further weakening the ability of African countries to manage their economies efficiently and effectively
    • African countries are rapidly losing their cultural identity
    • Overall, the negative consequences of globalization on Africa far out way their positive impact

4.4. Ethiopia in a Globalized World

  • Ethiopia is one of the countries marginally integrated to the capitalist system during the postCold War era, despite the 17 years interruption during the Derg period
  • In the post-1991 period Ethiopia found itself facing the challenges of democratization and the reconstruction of the post-conflict society
  • The course Ethiopia took to federalize and democratize, for instance the FDRE constitution, bears the mark of globalization
  • Ethiopia like any other country found itself facing a fast track of multidimensional changes that positively and negatively affected its place in the globe
    • the triumph of western free market economy and liberal democracy has put the country’s defiant political economic policy in a head-on collision course with the requirements of Briton woods institutions and western powers
    • it marks the development aid and loan Ethiopia managed to secure to finance its national development projects and design its own economic policy independently
  • positive impacts
    • with meticulous planning and strategic thinking, Ethiopia achieved amazing economic transformation and gained a lot
    • also benefited from the technological and knowledge transfer
  • negative impacts
    • expansion of information communication opened the historically closed doors of Ethiopia to new religious and secular values that affected the religiosity and social solidarity of its people
    • glocalization dynamics contributed to the rise radical nationalism and ethnicity
    • prevalence of human trafficking and migration is partly attributable to the onset of globalization
  • To sum up, Ethiopia has benefited less from globalization than its negative influences

4.5. Pros and Cons of Globalization

merits of globalization
  • expansion of democratic culture, human right and the protection of historically minority and subaltern groups
  • Innovation in science, medicine, and technology and information communication has enabled the improvement of quality of life
    • lifting out of millions of people out of poverty
    • advanced human security and safety
  • free movement of good, service, people, ideas, expertise, knowledge and technology across national borders strengthened international interdependence
    • contributed to the birth of a new sense of global society and the perspective of global citizenship
  • it emerged the responsibility of states to protect their citizens and the shared responsibility of the global society for protecting vulnerable groups from human right violations and victimization
demerits of globalization
  • prevalence of a gnawing gap between rich and poor became considerably
    • is an aspect of Western imperialism of ideas and beliefs eroding and inroading the sovereignty of non-Western countries
  • With technological advancement, climatic, environmental and technological risks have multiplied
  • globalization has made the globalization of risks, threats and vulnerabilities like global terrorism, religious fundamentalism, proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs), arms and human trafficking
  • globalization has stimulated the emergence a simultaneous but opposite process of Glocalization: involves a process of integration to the world and differentiation to the local
    • contributed to the rise of radical nationalism and ethnicity
    • emergence of the era of identity and identity conflicts
In general, countries of the global south have faced multidimensional economic, political, socio-cultural, security and military challenges induced by globalization

 4.6. Defining Regionalism and Regional Integration

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