May 15, 2011

Globalization; the era of unveil-ization

The contested-concept Globalization is an old used term; first used in 1897 and later in 1952, then it became a widespread term in 1960s. “Globalization refers to a multidimensional set of social process that create, multiply, stretch, and intensify worldwide social interdependencies and exchanges while at the same time fostering in people a growing awareness of deepening connection between the local and the distant “(Steger, 2003). Some say globalization appeared with the industrialization era in United Kingdom; others say it appeared mainly after the cold war, and the raise of United States as the only superpower in the world. Globalization especially in the last ten years affected every aspect of our life. Globalization has swept all secrets; everything have revealed through media and other related tools. Because of the interconnectedness between the nations; the cultural awareness increased between nations. Yet, the era of globalization started through economy, trade and direct foreign investment. And the necessity made states to open new overland and aerial roads, so that made transportation much easier. However globalization first started and expanded through economic factors. Afterwards, others term such as political, cultural mostly through technology and media.
Globalization or as some call it globalony is a multi-side term, economy is one of the main sides of it. Economic globalization has become a phenomenon in the last 30 years; it refers to the increasing interdependence of domestic economies throughout the world in a cross-border international economy which means integration between national economies that led to emergence of a single huge global marketplace instead of tiny domestic markets. The strong interdependence of main economies in the world which lead by giant power United States has become clearer when financial crisis took place in 2009. National economy is no longer an appropriate term to use. Financial crisis revealed how the national economics linked with each other, and how pure national economy became obsolete. Some may say that’s overblown standpoint, but a quick glance over some figures makes the picture even clearer. All countries in G20 went under recession at least for one year, except China, but it became a hurdle for the huge GDP expected growth for china as well. Countries in EU and Japan which strongly linked with US until the beginning of 2011 were facing mines GDP figures. That shows how globalization overlapped the national economies in global economy.
In our current world, economy highly linked with politics; that’s why global politics emerged after global economy. Global institutions such as United Nations officially represent this new term. But some alleged, it gripped by United States and its allies. Moreover, they believe we should say neo-imperialism instead of global politics. Yet, the twin tower bombing in 11th of September, 2001 was a turning point in global politics. Rising of Al-Qaida, the international radical Jihadist network, changed the notion of international security corporation and the whole political system. United States’ Invading both Afghanistan and Iraq paraphrased the concept in more pro-American tendency. The interconnectedness of the whole states in one global system makes dictators and autocrats in a big dilemma; strengthen powerful democratic countries’ hand over the world. The aftermath of Libya dictator’s crackdown is a very clear sign how local governments can’t treat their people however they can anymore. Powerful western and international military conglomerates such as NATO are preventing massacres nowadays. A lot of pundits believe that’s strengthening western-backed democracy and human rights in the less developed countries. The military corporation between states, the intervention of global powers to halt mass crackdowns, and the active than ever diplomatic movement between states show how running even local states became an international matter.
Ostensibly, devilishly, some say globalization doesn’t exist at all; it’s Americanization and westernization. They believe, it’s just western traditions and values that hit Islamic and eastern world. These standpoints fend off overreaction from radicals to anything that comes to Islamic states even the positive ones that contributed to build new human civilization. Those can’t or don’t want to see how some Islamic values are rooting in the west; those don’t want to believe that Islam’s growing as the world’s fastest growing religion is backing to globalization and the apparatus that invented through it. Ironically, Turkish traditions and values start to replace western ones in the Middle East which yet count as globalization. The viewership of Turkish TV shows in the Arab world overpass all before records, with more than 80 million viewership. Turkish food and culture is warmly welcomed in most Arabic, Islamic and even some western countries. That’s all count under the roof of globalization. So, globalization is a combination of local and distant that may come from whatever influential and powerful country regardless its orientation.
I remember when I read an article about the global influence of American fast-food Company McDonalds and how it shaped the way we eat in one hand. In the other hand, technological companies such as Apple and Microsoft re-shaped the whole style of our life. Cultural impact mainly speared through those giant companies and technology. Social networks such as FaceBook and Twitter are contributing of set upping western-backed capitalism and democracy in the world. The revolutions in the Arab world are very clear and fit examples. Other media networks such as Al-Jazeera and CNN and Human rights NGOs also contribute significantly. A clear example of the impact of technology and NGOs are the status quo in both Libya and Syria compared to what happen in 70s and 80s. In Syria for instance, in 1980s the autocratic ba’ath government at that time killed at least 20,000 people in a crackdown of anti-government uprising. However, now even though just 800 people killed compared to 20,000 in 1980s there is a very strong pressure on Syrian government to stop killing people otherwise facing international community. They started pushing though economic siege, then political pressure; that’s all because media and human rights NGOs have revealed everything, remained nothing secret.
As a result, one can see that the reality of globalization is inevitable. Furthermore, how all dimensions of globalization interconnected; when international community wants to pressure on a country it starts with threats through press and then economic siege then later military intervention. That shows how all dimensions interdependence. Moreover all allegations which believe globalization is a new invasion from western countries to re-invade Islamic states isn’t rigorous statement because Islam has become the fastest growing religion and some Islamic values speared in the west which is part of the inclusive process of globalization. Besides, through technology, media and sophisticated transportation the world became a small village that everyone can interact with each other easily. Yet, some less developed countries in Africa and Asia have engaged in the process of globalization actively because of conflicts and other reasons that led to lack of money, and that subsequently disconnected them with the global countries and the developing that rapidly happens in the world. At the end, what we arrived in the process of globalization is yet to arrive the peak of it. Nowadays, the balance of power linked to economy which is moveable and might change the balance of power in the future, so that subsequently will change that orientation of the globalization to Chinanization maybe!
Steger, Manfred. (2003). Globalization (a very short introduction). New York: Oxford.

Thıs article has been published on Middle East Youth:

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