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World. Countries. Globalization aspects

The term globalization describes the idea of one global world with United Nations. This is not a very big novelty, but with the help of new technologies it gains a big acceleration and becomes visible. Moreover, this change is so striking that some even suggest giving its name to a new historical page. Like all new things, globalization has negative and positive sides and there are ‘anti-globalists’ as well as ‘globalists’. First of all, this paper will take a brief look at the start of globalization. Then, economical definition will be discussed. Furthermore, it will look at political changes driven by globalization. Then, this paper will discuss issues touched by globalization such as environment, health and western culture. Finally, it will discuss to what extent globalization leads to one currency and language.

Globalization is a new term. It is new and as the most novelties is quite controversial. There is no one concept agreed of what globalization really means. Moreover, there are different opinions wherever it exists at all. Globalization is something that some of us fear of and look sceptically, others though, as for example, media or business people use it in every speech or article.

The date of birth of globalization is quite unclear as the term itself. Some argue, it began to develop with civilizations, trade, first journeys and move of nations. Other researchers point out Capitalism and say that these two things are associated deeply. Friedman (2000) argues, that the globalization that we now are analyzing started somewhere in 1914 with the I World War. The main impellent of it was significantly decreased prices of transport. Such inventions as steamship, car and coming system of railway enabled people to travel, communicate, trade and see other cultures easier, cheaper and quicker than ever before.
 Mostly agreed start of Globalization by most scholars is the end of the Cold War with the new page of world’s history and new communication and technologies age.

Economic globalization can be spotted in increasing trade between countries, international investments and flow of capitals. Goods can now move between the countries cheaply and very quickly, because of transport cost reduction and information technologies as it was mentioned before. Now, everyone who has a computer and knows how to use it can buy, for example, a new pair of shoes via eBay. This shows, that our world has shrank and the things that used to be a mystery once and undefined, now are all open to our exploitation. We can find the same chains of fast food restaurants as ‘McDonalds’ or ‘Burger King’ all over the world. What happens in one country’s economy is reflected in other countries, because they all are tied. The financial crisis in Russia or Brazil in 1998, for instance, had affect to the rest of the world (McCannon, 2001).

Proponents of this new trend argue that globalization is a tool in reducing world’s poverty. International trade leads to economic growth as well as growing standards of living and more people are able to choose from bigger variety of goods and services. For example, India as a consequence of its integration in global trade doubled its real GDP per capita in a period of 1980 and 2000. Moreover, China at the same period of time got more than 400% rise of real GDP per capita. In comparison, GDP per head of rich countries between 1990 and 2001 has increased by 1.7 %( Wolf, 2004). These examples show that the events in the world today are not increasing inequality between people, but works opposite way.

Moreover, by building new factories and opening new shops, restaurants and hotels in partner territories these new international companies create workplaces and reduce unemployment rate in these countries. Furthermore, more competitors in economy means that the winner is a consumer, because competing firms have to improve quality and reduce prices of their goods if they want to stay in business.

On the other hand, companies want to maximize their profit and minimize costs and broken barriers of trade enables them to do this. Transnational companies knowing the costs of production can now choose the areas where it is most beneficial to invest. Moreover, companies usually profit from cheaper labour and that their activities are not regulated strictly with laws and taxes. In 1990 attractive for investments were countries of Asia and Eastern Central Europe. Globalization created a new more complex and developed formula for successful multinational company. This new challenge called multinational companies to seek for more skilled labour and market-friendly government policies(Woods;2000).

Globalization has negative effects as well. It is argued that rich countries and their multinational companies gains the biggest benefits, when at the same time, the poor ones destitute. Arrival of most of these companies requires liquidation or transformation of laws that regulate investments, imports as well as protect local producers from cheaper goods coming from less developed countries. Therefore, the activities of local governments are restricted and transnational companies gain freedom to act. This leads to danger of loosing culture, national identity and even jobs( Schwartz, 2002).

Globalization touches politics in the same way as economics. It changes the countries making them less separate units as they used to be and tightening them and forcing them to become more dependent in the one global world.

This new phenomenon is changing world from its fundaments by changing the allocation of power. It is argued, that state is becoming immaterial (Heywood, 2000; 244). The nation-states and local governments that once used to control the life of entire country politically and economically are loosing their role. The changes in economical agenda brought changes in political agenda as well. Such global bodies as World Bank, World Trade Organization and such contracts as The General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade now get more and more power to control the states.
According to Hoogvelt, ( 2001; 148 citing Robert Cox) ‘the state becomes a vehicle for transmitting the global market discipline to the domestic economy’. Therefore, the state is not losing it role, just the role is changing as the whole world around.

On the other hand it has been argued that globalization makes states unequal partners. Woods (2000) argues that strong states such as United States get power to shape global economy and control their own integration in it. Weak states, by contrast, have less influence and choice in international relations and economy. Therefore, degree to which globalization on state role will be finally made mostly depends on the state itself.

New global society has faced with issues that require collective response and action. First of all, politics has now to look at environmental issues that are forcing the world and act quickly. No restrictions or laws will bring benefit to environment if other countries will not work towards the same purposes. For instance, the US law which intended to protect sea turtles was dismissed by WTO in 1998. On the other hand, The Earth Summit in 1992 was held Brazil, where biggest environmental problems of the world were discussed. Moreover, in 1997 in Japan The Keyoto Protocol on Climatic Change was passed in order to reduce Greenhouse Gas effects on Global warming. These examples show that globalization brings changes into environmental problems collective solutions.

Another important aspect of globalization is its affects to people across the world. New technologies allow people to reach each other quicker and cheaper than ever before. Television, radio, internet and mobile phones allow the spread of new ideas, news and trends instantly. At the era of globalization people in different parts of the world listen to the same music, watch the same films and even dress in the same fashion. Moreover, pizza, burgers and other fast foods are becoming widely spread and disgorge into our menu so deeply that we start to forget our national dishes. Some people argue that this American culture will have an enormous affect on different cultures by making more or less homogenous. For instance, McDonald’s chains openings in China and its marketing campaign lead to a changes into Chinese peoples traditional celebration of children birthdays. This shows negative side of globalization with a lost of identity and face of different countries.

Globalization and free migration of both people and goods brought a quick and free spread of such diseases as AIDS and Birds Flu and even obesity problem. New epoch which enables people in developed countries to shop, communicate and even to work not going out from home, the epoch which is famous for its French fries and burgers is a serious danger to healthy and fit future man.
On the other hand, it also brought a more effective and collective responses to these important to all population issues. More people are now informed through mass communication means about AIDS and how to protect themselves. Moreover, Birds Flu example showed that governments of countries look seriously to these new issues and try to inform people about them as well as to find global solutions by investing money into scientifical observations and vaccination manufacturing.

Furthermore, as most of relationships influenced by globalization changed, relation between state and its national currency has moved to different level as well. From early days of the nation-states national currency used to symbolize a sovereignty of a state. Moreover, national currency reflected historian roots of the country, its traditions and important events to this country’s citizens. With the integration of nation economies to the global one national currency and government relations have changes accordingly. In the entire world currency conversion, liberal open markets consolidated the role of dollar. Most of the currencies were and are tied down to dollar. Despite, decreased value it is still stays most popular currency. On the other hand, European Union countries are also seeking to have one currency and EURO is the one to change the national ones. By looking at this example, it can be seen that globalization leads to one unit even in currency question.

Finally, globalization keeps on popularizing its own language. English has become language of economics, politics, every business and even World Wide Web. According to The Economist (2001),  380 millions of people speak English as their first language and about 60% of the same amount as their second. Moreover, it is expected that till 2050 half of the world will be able to communicate in this language. The reason of this quick rise of English could also be find somewhere between ‘Globalization’ and ‘Americanization’ of  the world. People have always wanted to have one language in order to understand each other more efficiently and communicate more freely and the phenomenon of Globalization made this ‘ wish’ to come true.

To conclude, globalization is very colourful term. According to Friedman, (2000: ix) it ‘ is not simply a trend or a fad but is, rather an international system’. This system involves highly all aspects of our lives economically, politically, culturally and socially. The entire world is affected by this phenomenon and a little change in one layer of this across the board new phenomenon will be a cause of change in the entire worlds. Moreover, it has negative aspects in diminishing power of state and the symbol of currency or being the reason of quick spread of one culture and different health problems. On the other, hand it creates nicer, superior world, where countries acts collectively against worlds poverty and environmental issues, where people speak one language and use the same currency. Globalization is just something we can not escape as it touches all of us in all the spheres of our lives, we need to understand it and try to use it for whole world’s welfare.

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