Contemporary Globalisation

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Contemporary Globalisation
14.02.2019
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The term globalization denoting the international integration emerged at the end of the twentieth century, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It was the middle of the 1980s, the end of the Cold War. Globalization denotes the process of economic, political, cultural, scientific, and other international integration. Therefore, countries of the world become more interdependent in their economic, political, cultural, and scientific activities. Human beings have been interacting for dozens of centuries since the very beginning of humanity. For instance, the famous Silk Road connected people of Asia, Africa, and Europe. They exchanged their goods, ideas, lifestyles, discoveries, inventions, pieces of arts, and other things. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Europeans discovered the New World. It was a period of colonization of the Americas by European civilization. For the next two centuries, the European people had been fighting against one another for new colonies. The nineteenth century is characterized by the colonial expansion of the European countries along with the United States and Japan. This historical period is called the New Imperialism. After defeating Napoleon, the leading European countries created a sort of a club, which called “Concert of Europe”. It was an economic and political system that existed until the beginning of the First World War. It maintained ‘the European balance of power’ and reached ‘collective decisions on various potentially divisive issues.’ At the same time, this club legitimized the European occupation of Africa and Asia. As Hui states, ‘Since the mid-nineteenth century, imperialist expansion has brought Western nationalism to a position of great influence in Asia.’ Therefore, European international society was merely a means of legitimizing imperialism. The United Kingdom was the most powerful European state because industrial capitalism was displaced by financial potency. Therefore, Great Britain established corporations and had the largest overseas markets in the world. Other European countries wanted to have colonies, as well. Therefore, there were armed confrontations with France, the Netherlands, and other European countries for the West, East, and South African colonies. At that time, some countries of Latin America, such as Brazil and Mexico, gained independence from Spain and Portugal, but their relations with the European countries were not equal. Furthermore, European metropolis created special laws to execute their expansions all over the world. It became an international law afterward to govern ‘relations between states’, ‘interactions between European sovereigns’ and their former colonies ‘to justify formal or informal colonialism.’ In fact, the law justified ‘military intervention in China, Turkey, or Latin America.’ Some scholars state that contemporary globalization is not a continuation of patterns set up during the colonial period.

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According to the International Monetary Fund, there are four main aspects of globalization in the twenty-first century. They are trade and transactions, movements of capital and investments, migration, and exchange of knowledge and human resources. From 1971 to 1999, the share of world trade in developing countries increased by ten percent. At the same time, the Asian developing countries prospered, and the African ones were poor. Private capital substituted for the development assistance in developing countries. At the same time, private investments were more volatile and impacted the financial crisis of the 1990s. The migration of the labor force doubled in the second half of the twentieth century. Hence, some scholars define five dimensions of the current globalization. They are economic, political, cultural, ecological, and ideological. Hence, Cooper considers that the historical approach to study globalization today ‘does not lie in the assimilation of old (colonial) and new (global) forms of linkages but in the lessons it provides about both the importance and the boundedness of long-distance connections.’ Therefore, historians do not account for all aspects, while analyzing the concept of the current globalization. According to Cooper, ‘Historical analysis does not present a contrast of a past of territorial boundedness with a presence of interconnection and fragmentation, but… a varied combination of territorializing and deterritorializing tendencies.’ At the same time, the ideological and discursive aspects are not useful categories, because it is considerably easy to make a mistake while analyzing. Therefore, the global aspects are contrasted with the local ones, and it is necessary to analyze historical changes drawing attention to their historical specificity. In this case, globalization is the integration of various countries under the free trade and movement of capital, which is called liberalism. Despite differences in culture, economy, ethnic traditions, contemporary globalization unites nation-states.

The next aspect is modernization, which creates the movement to modern society through developing a new industrial economy, urban society, secular ideology, and contractual relationships. According to Cooper, modernization and globalization are parallel processes. The modern industrial capitalism emerged in the nineteenth century when slavery existed in America. White people brought slaves from Africa. The slaves worked under the supervision and were trained to observe time-discipline, fulfill tasks, and maintain a residential and productive space. The slave trade developed the economy of the United Kingdom leading to the emergence of the industrial revolution and capitalist relations. The slave trade was the main international relations between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The Emancipation Proclamation emerged in 1863, but the actual emancipation of slaves took place between 1935 and 1938. At the same time, the produced by slaves sugar impacted the world culture. On the one hand, the African slaves were trained to produce material wealth, and on the other hand, they were trained to live in civil society. Finally, slavery was eliminated. Many African countries gained independence, and the African people began to develop their economies. Nowadays, African countries are the poorest ones in the world. One of the reasons for their poverty is the lack of globalization among them. They can be compared with China, which was one of the poorest countries in the world. Thus, in the result of the Three Years of Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961), over fifteen million people died according to the official information. The exact number of famine victims is unknown. Some scholars consider the total number of victims to amount between twenty and forty-three million people. The Chinese economic reform began in the 1980s because of globalization. The Chinese government had to surrender some communist dogmas for the sake of the future development of the Chinese economy. For example, the Chinese government passed the law on private property on land, and according to it, the benefits of Chinese peasants increased by 15 hundred percent. The next major step was the openness of China. Hence, there was competition from foreign commodities in the domestic market in every branch of the Chinese industry. At the same time, various foreign investments improved product quality. Therefore, Brandt and Rawski state that the Chinese experience proved that globalization had increased the wealth for poor states. Nowadays, China is one of the most powerful states in the world. In 2010, China took second place in the world and produced 15.3 percent of the World GDP.

In the case of the African states, the foreign aid is considered as “unearned” money, and as Goldsmith states, ‘similar to the rents available from mineral wealth. Because of it, African states are never forced to acquire the organizational capacity to raise revenue internally.’ Thus, they do not have traditions to provide public services for their taxes. Many African countries gained independence under certain agreements with their European colonial powers. They did not establish effective control. Therefore, most of the African states are young and do not have any experience in managing the nation-state. It will take centuries to become a really powerful state. In fact, it is not blamed of the European colonial states that their former African colonies cannot cope with their problems. For instance, some African countries have violent conflicts, lasting from a month to over twenty years. Therefore, the United Nations Organisation forced to send some troops of peacemakers to secure a peaceful life in Africa. According to Goldsmith, ‘By 1998, some four million people may have lost their lives as a direct result of this political violence.’ The armed conflicts, the lack of discipline among the African officials, the low level of technical ability inspire Africans with mistrust. Therefore, the main problems of the African developing states are poverty and low-quality government.

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Therefore, the main task of the African developing countries is to improve the legislation, order, healthcare, and roads. It is necessary to establish democracy in all African countries to cope with various problems. Unfortunately, it takes a very long time and thousands of innocent people perished during various armed conflicts. Goldsmith thinks ‘African states have gained more capacity than they lost by taking aid.’ The further development of the former colonies depended on the development of European colonial power. As the United Kingdom was the most powerful state at that time, the British colonialism gave a more intensive development to its former colonies. As Lange, Mahoney, and van Hau state, ‘more extensive British colonialism introduced a rule of law, effective administration, and competitive markets, promoting development in the postcolonial period’ . In conclusion, Lange, Mahoney, and van Hau state that colonialism was ‘of decisive importance, triggering a reversal of fortunes in which more economically developed pre-colonial territories became less developed, and less economically developed areas became more developed’ . Thus, the authors state that it is necessary to take into consideration conditions in pre-colonial areas and the state of the colonizer to define how colonialism influenced the further development of the former colony.

At the same time, some scholars, such as Prakash, recognize that the British colonialism brought the European culture to colonies. Thus, Prakash recognizes that the Englishmen eliminated castes and cult of sati in India. On the other hand, Prakash states that British colonialism influenced Hindus n terms of turning them into British ‘in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.’ In 1991, the economic liberalization began in India. In the result, about 300 million people escaped poverty in 2009. Nowadays, India is among twenty of the most developed countries of the world. India took its high position because it refused from Marxist theories and introduced capitalist economic reforms. Meanwhile, Brazil, Russia, China, and India created the so-called economic block of BRIC. Although they have various unsolved problems, it is an example of new economic globalization. They decided to create this economic block for future cooperation. The total population of the BRIC countries is about 40 percent of the total population of the world. Moreover, they decided to establish a new world currency in order to be free from dollar and euro.

According to the abovementioned, the world is globalized. There are many various economic, political, military, and other international organizations. At the same time, globalization is not a continuation of the former colonization, because international organizations are established with the purpose of mutual benefits and cooperation. BRIC is a very problematic organization. For instance, there are territorial problems between Russia and China, as well as India and China. Moreover, Russia and China are totalitarian countries. They have internal religious and ethnic conflicts. Moreover, Russia conducts a policy of the restoration of the Soviet Union in terms of its former colonies. It established the so-called Custom Union consisting of Belarus and Kazakhstan. The major state is Russia. It restricted the sovereignty of the other two members forcing them to live under Russian laws. In this case, the Russian globalization is the continuation of the former Soviet colonialism. For instance, the whole custom duties are paid to Russia, irrespective of the origin of the goods.

The current international globalization is not a continuation of the colonization. The Europeans brought cultural, economic, and scientific progress to their colonies. Colonial people became more civilized. The European civilization and Christian morality were adopted as the standard virtues for the non-Western and non-Christian colonies. The Europeans educated ethnic peoples. Certainly, various former colonies had different economic developments. Nowadays, most developed countries have a civil society. It means that human rights are the main virtue in them. Therefore, international relations are created with the observation of human rights. Developing countries begin economic reforms with globalization. It means free labor and free movement of capital. India and China are two examples of successful economic reforms. Nowadays, they turned into powerful states from poor and weak countries. At the same time, countries with totalitarian and corrupt regimes are deemed to fail. They will be weak, irrespective of international aids. They will suffer heavy losses from long-termed armed conflicts. At the same time, various terrorist organizations emerge in them. As a rule, they are paid by other totalitarian regimes interested in seizing foreign territories. Therefore, globalization is the main resource for solving political, economic, cultural, scientific, and other problems. It is necessary to keep in mind that totalitarian regimes pose a danger to the world society. Therefore, such an international military organization as NATO defends a peaceful life in the world. Moreover, the United Nations Organisation does its best to suppress any armed conflicts in the world. As a result of globalization, people of the world become alike. Some cultural and ethnic traditions are lost. Many languages are dying. Many cultural and scientific international organizations are established to protect dying languages, cultural and ethnic traditions. At the same time, globalization improves international relations, solves economic, political, scientific, and cultural problems. Globalization provides technical progress, secures the exchange of knowledge, human resources, and technologies among countries. Furthermore, globalization solves the problems connected with the world financial crisis. Thus, the leading European economists developed a special program to help Greece, Italy and other countries to improve their economic conditions.

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