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Globalization and

International Relations
Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman
Professor, Dept. of
International Relations,
University of Dhaka
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Definitional Ambiguity
Since its earliest appearance in the
1960s, the term 'globalization has been
used in both popular and academic
literature to describe a process, a
condition, a system, a force, and an age
Given that these competing labels have
very
different
meanings,
their
indiscriminate usage is often obscure
and invites confusion
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Four Characteristics
First, globalization involves the creation of
new and the multiplication of existing
social networks and activities that
increasingly overcome traditional political,
economic, cultural, and geographical
boundaries
The second quality of globalization is
reflected in the expansion and the
stretching of social relations, activities,
and interdependencies
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Four Characteristics
Third,
globalization
involves
the
intensification and acceleration of social
exchanges and activities
Fourth, the creation, expansion, and
intensification of social interconnections
and interdependencies do not occur
merely on an objective, material level
Globalization processes also involve the
subjective plane of human consciousness
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Definition
Globalization
refers
to
a
multidimensional
set
of
social
processes that create, multiply,
stretch, and intensify worldwide
social
interdependencies
and
exchanges while at the same time
fostering in people a growing
awareness of deepening connections
between the local and the distant
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Confusion Prevails!
The ancient Buddhist parable of the
blind scholars and their encounter
with the elephant is apt!
Even those scholars who agree that
globalization is best thought of as a
singular process clash with each
other over which aspect of social life
constitutes the primary domain of the
phenomenon
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Confusion Prevails!
Some scholars argue that economic processes
lie at the core of globalization
Others privilege political, cultural, or ideological
aspects
Still others point to environmental processes as
the essence of globalization
Their collective mistake lies in their dogmatic
attempts
to
reduce
such
a
complex
phenomenon as globalization to a single
domain that corresponds to their own expertise
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
The
enhancement
of
worldwide
interdependence and the general growth
of awareness of deepening global
connections are gradual processes with
deep historical roots
The prehistoric period (10,000 BCE-3,500
BCE): Advanced forms of technology
capable
of
overcoming
existing
geographical and social obstacles were
largely absent
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
Enduring long-distance interactions never
materialized
It was only towards the end of this epoch
that centrally administered forms of
agriculture, religion, bureaucracy, and
warfare slowly emerged as the key agents
of intensifying modes of social exchange
that would involve a growing number of
societies in many regions of the world
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
The premodern period (3,500 BCE-1,500 CE):
the age of empires
All of these empires fostered the multiplication
and extension of long-distance communication
and the exchange of culture, technology,
commodities, and diseases
Most horrific manifestation of this exchange
was fateful 16th-century collision of the 'old'
and 'new' worlds, when the nasty germs of
European invaders killed an estimated 18
million Native Americans
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
The early modern period (1500-1750)
During these two centuries, Europe
and its social practices served as the
primary catalyst for globalization
By the early 1600s, national joint stock
companies like the Dutch and British
East India companies were founded for
the express purpose of setting up
profitable overseas trade posts
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
As these innovative corporations grew in
size and stature, they acquired the power
to regulate most intercontinental
economic transactions and place these
foreign regions under direct political rule
Related developments, such as the
Atlantic slave trade and forced population
transfers within the Americas, resulted in
the suffering and death of millions of nonEuropeans while greatly benefiting some
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
The
modern
period
(1750-1970):
remaining areas are brought under
European control
Confronted with stories of the 'distant'
and images of countless 'others',
Europeans and their descendants on
other continents took it upon themselves
to assume the role of the world's
guardians of universal law and morality
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
The volume of world trade increased
dramatically between 1850 and 1914
Guided by the activities of multinational
banks, capital and goods flowed across
the borders relatively freely as the
sterling-based gold standard made
possible the worldwide circulation of
leading national currencies like the
British pound and the Dutch gilder
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
Global pricing systems facilitated trade
in important commodities like grains,
cotton, and various metals
Brand name packaged goods like CocaCola drinks, Campbell soups, Singer
sewing machines, and Remington
typewriter made their first appearance
Appearance first full-blown transborder
commercial promotion campaigns
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Is it a New Phenomenon?
Innovations
in
transportation
were
complemented by the swift development
of communication technologies
The modern period also witnessed an
unprecedented population explosion
Popular immigration countries like the
United States of America, Canada, and
Australia took advantage of this boost in
productivity
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Globalization Today
Economic dimension of globalization
Refers to the intensification and stretching
of economic interrelations across the globe
Gigantic flows of capital and technology
have stimulated trade in goods and
services
Markets have extended their reach around
the world, in the process creating new
linkages among national economies
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Globalization today
Huge
transnational
corporations,
powerful
international
economic
institutions, and large regional trading
systems have emerged as the major
building blocs of the 21st century's
global economic order
Political globalization refers to the
intensification and expansion of
political interrelations across the globe
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Globalization today
These processes raise an important set of
political issues pertaining to the principle of
state sovereignty, the growing impact of
intergovernmental organizations, and the
future prospects for regional and global
governance
The debate between hyperglobalizers and
globalization skeptics about the viability of
the Westphalian state system
Issue of global governance
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Globalization today
Cultural
globalization
refers
to
the
intensification and expansion of cultural
flows across the globe
Does globalization make people around the
world more alike or more different?
Pessimistic hyperglobalizers' argue in
favour of the former
They suggest that we are not moving
towards a cultural rainbow that reflects the
diversity of the world's existing cultures
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Globalization today
Rather, we are witnessing the rise of
an increasingly homogenized popular
culture underwritten by a Western
'culture industry' based in New York,
Hollywood, London, and Milan
Sociologist George Ritzers
'McDonaldization
Benjamin Barbers McWorld vs. Jihad
Media, language and environment
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Challenges to globalization
In
spite
of
its
overwhelming
presence, globalization has its critics
One sentiment shared by these
diverse
social
forces
is
their
conviction that they must protect
themselves and others from the
negative
consequences
of
globalization
In
this
regard,
they
are
all
'protectionists' of some kind

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Challenges to globalization
We divide antiglobalist groups into two large
ideological camps
Particularist protectionists include groups who
blame globalization for most of the economic,
political, and cultural ills afflicting their home
countries or regions
Threatened by the slow erosion of old social
patterns, they denounce free trade, power of global
investors, neoliberal agenda of multinational
corporations, & Americanization of the world as
practices that have contributed to social and
economic woes
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Challenges to globalization
Fearing
the
loss
of
national
selfdetermination and the destruction of their
cultures, they pledge to protect their
traditional ways of life from those 'foreign
elements' they consider responsible for
globalization
Are more concerned with the well-being of
their own citizens than with the construction
of a more equitable international order
based on global solidarity
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Challenges to globalization
Universalist protectionists can be found in
progressive political parties dedicated to
establishing a more equitable relationship
between the global North and South
Include a growing number of nongovernmental
organizations
and
transnational networks concerned with the
protection of the environment, fair trade
and international labour issues, human
rights, and women's issues
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Challenges to globalization
Challenging the central claims of
globalism these groups point to the
possibility of constructing a new
international order based on a global
redistribution of wealth and power
Claim to be guided by the ideals of
equality and social justice for all
people in the world, not just the
citizens of their own countries
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Challenges to globalization
They accuse globalist elites of pushing
policies that are leading to greater global
inequality, high levels of unemployment,
environmental degradation, and the
demise of social welfare
Calling for a 'globalization from below'
favouring the marginalized and poor, they
seek to protect ordinary people all over
the world from a neoliberal 'globalization
from above'
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Future of globalization
Karl Polanyis reading on the rise of
European fascism
What does it mean for us?
Was 9-11 a harbinger of the future?
A human face to globalization?

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