MPUP 5301: Globalization, Social Problem and Policy. Lecture 1: History and Trend of Globalization. Prof. Wong Hung

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1 MPUP 5301: Globalization, Social Problem and Policy Lecture 1: History and Trend of Globalization Prof. Wong Hung

2 Globalization and its impacts The 20th Century witnessed the fastest rate of globalisation of the world economy in the history of capitalism. Most nations are now linked in a combined world system but with polarised and unequal development.

3 Super-state institution Power and authority of the transnational capital are increasing as a direct consequence of the rise of the power of super-state institution like the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. The admission of China to the WTO marked the end of the long resistance of China against joining the world capitalist system.

4 Impacts on people Accelerate individual nations to be incorporated more deeply in the world system in the 21st century. what globalisation will bring to most of the labour in the world is not an adequate and stable livelihood, but a life of poverty and uncertainty.

5 What is Globalization? Albrow (1990): to all those processes by which peoples of the world are incorporated in a single society, global society. These changes are incomplete. They are long in making and impacts on different locations, countries and individuals in a highly uneven manner. They have nevertheless increased in scope and intensity and recently this has been happening at an acceleration rate.

6 Cohen & Kennedy (2000) a set of transformations that are occurring more or less simultaneously. No single one of these is necessarily more significant than the others. Changing concepts of space and time An increasing volume of cultural interactions The commonality of problems facing all the world s inhabitants Growing interconnections and interdependencies A network of increasingly powerful transnational actors and organizations The synchronization of all the dimensions involved in globalization

7 Changing concepts of space and time Robertson (1992): the compression of the world. As shared forces and exchanges powerfully structure our lives so the world is becoming one place and one system. Harvey (1989): technical knowledge linked to economic changes make it possible to measure, divide and map the physical and temporal dimenstions of the world into universal, standardized and predictable units. E.g. without the geographical co-ordinates of longitude and latitude, travel is more difficult. The outcome of these ideas and discoveries time-space compression

8 Changing concepts of space and time We can accomplish far more things in any given unit of time and events crowd in upon as at an ever-greater speed. In relation to our experiences, the world not only appears to be contracting, but in really is shrinking. Time-space compression, facilitated by the electronic media, has put many of the world s inhabitants on the same stage and has brought their lives together for the first time. Relative strangers can constitute an environmental movement against polluting companies, share their media event at the same moment in time and across vast distance.

9 Increasing cultural interactions Culture is used by sociologist to depict all the modes of thought, behavior and artifacts that transmitted from generation to generation. In an everyday context, it refers to specific intellectual, artistic and aesthetic attainments in music, painting, literature, film and other forms of expression. Abstract knowledge remains constant and applicable in any context. It refers to impersonal, largely autonomous and universal (scientific) truths.

10 Increasing cultural interactions Through most of human history, culture and knowledge were acquired and reinforced in informal, everyday learning situations associated with close relationships in family, church and community life and their diffusion took place very slowly and in a fragmentary way. The cultural interaction arising from increased contact between peoples have gradually exposed all humans to the growing flows of cultural meaning and knowledge from other societies.

11 It is increasingly possible and necessary to know about other people s culture. The electronic mass media incorporate us into a single experience. We are made conscious that we live in pluralist, multicultural world. Nevertheless, western and especially US influences dominate the volume and character of cultural and knowledge flows.

12 Commonality of problems Interlaced in the fabric of globalization is the growing commonality of problems facing the nations and peoples of the world. Their perception of the world- social customs, religion Commonality belief and of problems national identities is constantly under assault. While startling visual images are experienced as collective shocks, there are more material reasons for our sense of empathy with other human beings. In our compressed and integrated globe our choices not only rebound on own lives, they directly affect the lives of others far away.

13 Commonality of problems We are unaware of this and do not intend our actions directly to harm distant strangers Certain global problems require globe solutions. Acting alone, government can no longer protect their borders, territories or the lives and well being of their citizen from a number of situation.

14 Growing interconnections and interdependencies Fast-expanding interconnections and interdependencies bind localities, countries, companies, social movements, professional and other groups, as well as individual citizens, into an ever more dense network of transnational exchanges and affiliations. Castells (1996) suggested that we live in a network society. These networks has burst across territorial borders, rupturing the cultural and economic self-sufficiency once experienced by nations. The drive is knowledge and information.

15 Societies have tended to spread outwards so as to merge and become coextensive with other societies. The once clear-cut separation between the sphere of national life and international sphere. A swelling number of powerful non-state actors were forming relationships and pursuing their own interests. The international system consisted of different layers of interaction and connections.

16 Transnational Actors and organizations There are different transnational agents whose actions have extended and intensified the interconnections across national borders since the WWII: Transnational corporations (TNCs)- most powerful agent: Their global power and reach half of the largest economies in the world are TNCs not countries Their key role in creating and interdependent world economy as each TNC superimposes its own global grid of integrated production lines and investment activities across countries and continents dictated by its own, not national, needs Their connection to world financial system, including the instantaneous computerized market for foreign currencies, stocks and commodities

17 International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) the rising ability of the supra-state actor to shape world affairs. It is because states cannot solve global problems alone These organization, however, take on lives of their own First began to be effective in the nineteenth century with growing need for rule and procedures in order to standardize cross-border transactions. E.g. League of Nations and United Nations (UN) established in the wake of the First and Second World War respectively.

18 International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) By early 1980s, according to Scholte (1993), there were 700 IGOs, which together convened approximately 5000 meetings a year Variety of functions: World Meteorological Organization, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization (WTO), International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)

19 International non-governmental organization (INGOs) INGOs are autonomous organizations not accountable to the governments although they may work with them at time. Particular INGOs have often been powerful forces in world affairs. E.g. peace, anti-slavery and labour organization collaborated extensively across national borders in the nineteenth century. The numbers of INGOs have grown fast since the 1950s. Today their activities encompass religious, business, professional, labour, political, green, women s, sport and leisure among others. E.g. Greenpeace, Red Cross, Oxfam & Amnesty International.

20 Most INGOs mobilize world opinion for their collective interest or for explicitly moral and political causes. This may involve placing direct pressure on governments or on various UN agencies. INGOs skillfully use the global media to focus wider public attention on their concerns. They hope individual citizens will respond by exerting pressure on governments, corporations and other interests. Action included: consumer boycotts, tax protests, demonstrations, occupations of environmentally endangered sites, or petition political leader.

21 Global Social Movements (GSMs) there is a great deal of overlap between the two description, particular INGOs are nested within more general global social movements: Most activist INGOs mobilize world opinion on political and moral issues, their campaigns sometimes mesh with the activities of GSMs. E.g. in 1992 UN s Earth Summit, 20,000 representatives from environmental and other INGOs held an alternative green festival in alliance with people associated with the world s stateless and Aboriginal people. The global media generally found thise unofficial festival more compelling than the official forum attended by governments and experts.

22 Synchronization of all dimensions All the dimension of globalization economic, technological, political, social and cultural appear to be coming together at the same time, each reinforcing and magnifying the impact of others In the economic sphere, governments have lost some of their power to regulate economies as host of largely autonomous agents like international banks, TNCs and currency markets have flourished in the ever more integrated world economy. WTO has taken on a life of their own and often compel recalcitrant government to adopt trade policies they acting against their particular national interest. The lure of the free market has drawn many more countries into its orbit. This has allowed money value penetrate every corner of the globe and most facets of social and cultural life.

23 in political life, citizens have become alienated from election, but many participate in political and social movements, both at national and global level. Culture in all its forms as consumer aspirations, pop or rock music, religion, values, ideologies has become the most recent addition to globalization. Transmission through visual images in the mass media, abstract knowledge or the social milieus created by varied interpersonal relations.

24 The End

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