Globalization greatly affects both domestic and international politics. There exist different views and ideas on the effects of this complex multifaceted concept on politics. The cross-border economic and technological activities instigated by international relations have resulted into political changes in international politics.
Globalization has created an environment for economic interaction among different states of the world. It has resulted into freer movement of goods, finances, and ideas across the different corners of the globe. Economists view globalization as a platform for equal economic growth in the world as it encourages fair distribution of resources. Political leaders, especially in the poor countries, oppose globalization on the grounds of preserving the national sovereignty of their states.
In social perspective, globalization is a phenomenon for enhancement of world social integration. For realists in general, globalization provides an opportunity for powerful nations to exploit the less powerful and poorest countries. In addition, politicians (in poor countries) view the phenomenon as the great perpetuator of hegemony in the world. Neoliberals and the proponents of globalization argue that, globalization is the means to liberalization of the new world order.
Other scholars treat globalization as an emerging form of imperialism, which is likely to ruin governance and the political leadership of the less powerful countries. Although there have been significant studies in politics and globalization, there exists very little work on its impact on peace and unity in the world. As argued in this paper, globalization in politics will result into more conflicts in the world.
Globalization in politics and the peace in the world
Globalization has led into loss of sovereignty in governments. Through globalization, people, goods, money, and ideas have become freer to move than they were before. The government’s control over people and their businesses has therefore reduced (Neil 2004, 123).
As a result, people from different states have migrated into nations with favourable trading policies. The high rates of immigration of people due to trade with little control by the government pose a great threat to the peace and unity in the future. First, with the freedom from the government to carry out businesses anywhere in the world, there is likelihood of exchange of illegal goods such as drugs and arms.
Such goods, especially drugs, enhance violent acts. Increase in such goods in a state whose sovereignty is low will lead to more people consuming the goods. Availability of drugs for instance, results into increased number of drug abusers within a country. On contemplation, this retrogressive trend subsequently increases the poverty levels since majority of drug abusers do not or are unable to work. Poverty has direct correlation with violence.
In fact, violence characterizes the poverty-stricken nations, with African countries serving exemplarily for this argument. Since the government does not have control in face of globalization, people may engage in violent means such as theft and looting to satisfy their needs. Secondly, the continued loss of sovereignty by most states in the world, due to globalization, may lead to loss of stability of security in the countries.
Globalization and the inability to control people may extend to the military forces such that, these forces enjoy freedom analogous to the people in the business world. This phenomenon will expose the state to internal and external attacks such as terrorism. Since globalization enhances freer mobility of people, it will be difficult to maintain security in such low sovereign states, which would degenerate into conflicts. Thirdly, loss of sovereignty encourages creation of illegal groups, which pose threat to the peace of the world.
Political competition within a less sovereign state will result into formation of such groups. In fact, majority of the gangs in the world are results of political competition. These groups further pose threat to the peace in the world. Therefore, through globalization, there is continued loss of sovereignty among states, which exposes nations to more conflicts. The conflicts may further result into violence and therefore destabilizing world peace.
Globalization enhances flow of information and ideas. The cross-border flow of economic activities has enhanced the transfer of information across different political states, which affects both the international and domestic politics in a number of ways. First, it influences people in different states to demand for transformation of political governance from their states.
According to Berger, globalization has enhanced the growth of international media coverage (2000, 47). As a result, it is now easy and cheap for information about the political activities of a particular country or region to flow to the rest of the world. Since the populace make decisions based on the reports from the media, the activities in other countries may instigate actions in other regions of the world.
The current unrest in the Muslim countries in Africa and Middle East originated from Tunisia. Given the media coverage, the situation in Tunisia received, other countries such as Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Venezuela, and Yemen became critical to their political leadership. This resulted into mass action to demand for political transformations in these countries.
Globalization therefore encourages political liberalism, which may further result into degradation of peace and unity. The political leadership of countries marred by mass actions such as Libya are reluctant to reformation and as a result, these governments initiate counter forces in order to calm the situations.
Subsequently, this results into conflicts between the activists and the government forces, which leads to violence. Secondly, the spread of information also results into exchange of political strategies among states or politicians. Because of globalization, politicians of different backgrounds, experience, and ideologies are able to mingle and exchange political ideas.
While some of the ideas may be for the good of the public, experience evidences that most of them concentrate on maintaining the political supremacy and self-interest of the politicians. Majority of the African countries face peace threats due to the strong positions held by their political leaders. Interestingly, such leaders remain applauded by their international counterparts even though they enjoy less support from their citizens.
Through the advice, which these leaders get during international meetings, such as the UN, Common Wealth and African Union conferences, they gain confidence to cling to power against the wish of majority, which is the founding principle of democracy. With this trend, the leadership in most African countries will continue to infringe democratic rights of the people and since globalization continues to promote the flow of ideas on ‘people’s liberalization’ in the world, more politically-instigated violent acts are likely to occur in future.
Globalization results into loss in community values including cultural and traditional values. Globalization encourages interaction of people of different social and cultural backgrounds. Cross-cultural adoption among people of different spheres of life has been vivid since the 20th century. Blend of cultures and traditions has therefore resulted into loss of the community values in different regions of the world.
Loss in community values has adverse effects on domestic politics of a country. Constitutional violation by the political leadership is the obvious effect of loss in community values. A constitution upholds the values of the community, which it governs. Therefore, political leadership’s disregard of these values implies a constitutional infringement. This may result into conflicts between those critical to the constitution and the values and the leadership.
Conflicts create tension and uncertainty among people and may lead to wars. Another significant impact of loss in community values to politics is the adoption of practices by the public, which threatens security and hence peace of a nation. Due to globalization, people adopt values of other communities at the expense of theirs. Such practices, which include drug abuse among others, encourage deviant behaviours among the people.
These behaviours threaten the political stability of the state as such people may involve in violent acts. A state, which does not uphold its community values, is subject to malpractices by the leaders. Corruption and dishonesty are among the malpractices experienced in such states. These practices compromise the governance of the state and could result into conflicts between the people and the leadership, thereby threatening peace and unity.
Through globalization, corrupt officials conceal their ‘ill-acquired’ properties and funds in other countries. Political theorists attribute the advanced forms of corruption in African countries to globalization. Generally, loss in community values results into loss in confidence among the citizens to their leaders and this may result into more conflicts and hence wars in future. Conflicts in the Muslim world are results of loss of values of Islam.
The influx of non-Muslims and the interaction between the region and other non-Muslim regions through trade and international relations has prompted the loss of Islamic values in those regions. The result has been the disregard of the Sharia law, which forms the basics for governance in the Islamic countries. The Egyptian and Libyan situations apparently illustrates the results of loss of community values to politics, peace, and unity of the world.
As previously mentioned, globalization encourages freer flow of goods. This has considerable impact on politics, especially when dangerous goods come into play. Trading in arms has become easier and convenient with the globalization and the loss of sovereignty in the states.
Due to international trade, militia gangs in Somali and other war-torn countries are able to acquire arms. With the freer trade in culmination with less government control of businesses and mobility of people, there is increased accessibility to guns and other arms. If this trend continues, more than 67% of the population in the world will own these arms in the next 3 years (McGrew 2001, 98).
Such statistics are alarming and indeed, indicates a threat to peace and unity. Increase in number of people owning guns and other forms of arms poses security threats in that, people will result into use of violence to resolve their disputes. With the increased armament, there is likelihood to increase in terrorism in the world. Terrorism creates tension and results into conflicts. The long lasting conflicts between the United States and the Middle East are results of terrorism.
Tension results from mistrust between the perceived terrorists and the target nations. In such conditions, there is likelihood of conflict, which results into violence and therefore destabilizing peace in the world. Countries with free flow of arms experience conflicts and are centres for prospective wars.
It further destabilizes the political order of these countries and may subsequently result into collapse of leadership and governments in such countries. Countries marred by political wars have readily available arms. The availability of these arms in most of the politically war-torn countries such as Somalia is a result of globalization. Through inter-border interactions, government rebels acquire weapons and arms to fight the government thereby causing political instability.
Countries with political instabilities pose threat to their security and that of their neighbours. Therefore, with the current trends in globalization, the world continues to experience spread of arms and growth in armament and the plausible prediction would be the increase in political instabilities in the world. As a result, globalization will perpetuate conflicts and therefore destabilize peace in the world.
Globalization enhances migration of people within the cross-border economies. This has considerable impact on the world politics and peace. Because of international trade, business people move freely to favourable regions (target) of their businesses, which results into increase in population in the target regions.
Population increase affects the politics within an economy in two ways: first, it presents a challenge to the political leadership with an extra responsibility to plan and provide for the increased citizens; and second, the political responsibility to control such populations is indeed a challenge. The opportunity provided by globalization for freer movement of people across different states is subject to exploitation by non-business people (McGrew 2001, 13).
The result will be strain in the budget of these states, as some of the immigrants are not involved in production or business and this trend results into poverty in the highly populated areas. For instance, majority of the poor population of the United States compose of the Southern Americans, most of which are immigrants. Poverty poses threat to peace and unity of a country.
The migration encouraged by globalization provides a mean for mobility of the terrorists in the world. Since people are free to move around, there is ease in spread and expansion of terrorism in the world. Through globalization, people of different nationalities are able to shift their originalities to other nationalities to become full citizens by right in the new countries.
Such individuals have political rights like any other citizen in that state; they can vie for political positions and get involved in decision-making of vital matters of the country and this transforms the domestic politics of countries as such people introduce novel strategies of political competition. The outcome of the transformation may however be conflict and tension among the competitors.
In fact, the Rwandan genocide was a result of conflict between the perceived immigrants, the Tutsis, and the ‘real’ citizens, Hutus. From the Rwandan case, it is imperative to point out that the growing immigration and changes in nationalities due to globalization may lead to replication of such violence in most countries, especially those with political contentions. The migration, as aforementioned, leads into loss in community values and as previously argued, loss in community values creates tension and hence conflicts.
Interrelationship, a result of globalization, enhances power struggle among nations. Globalization enhances interrelationship among different nations. The interrelations may be economic, social, or political. In whatever case, the member nations must collectively make decisions in the interrelationships.
However, it becomes difficult to ensure equal rights in decision-making for situations of rich-poor country relationship. The rich and powerful countries, especially the developed, tend to believe that their views supersede those of the poor and developing countries (Ian 2000, 169). For instance, European countries such as France and Britain enjoy voting rights in the UN unlike their African counterparts.
In the Common Wealth, Britain is the most powerful and major decision maker. Political critics impute the inequality to the rich-powerful dominance over the poor-weak countries. Such inequalities pose threat to the peace in the world. First, the poor countries perceive the inequality as a means of oppression by the powerful countries. Since globalization encourages liberalization and freedom, these countries protest against such oppression by the developed countries. The result is a continued tension among the rich and poor countries.
This tension may lead into conflicts and wars between the rich and poor countries. Therefore, the struggle for supremacy puts the world peace at stake. Secondly, the inequality among these nations results into imposition of policies to the poor countries by the rich nations. Some of the policies may be practically inapplicable in the politics of the developing countries; the policies may either enhance violence or interfere with the ‘order of politics’ in those countries. Political disorder creates anxiety among the citizens, which is a threat to peace.
The power struggle among the rich countries is another factor threatening the peace in the world. Some nations struggle to prove the most powerful over the others. The result is therefore that the decisions made in the international politics do not focus on improving the ‘world order’ rather than a revelation for power and influence by majority of the richest nations. This may lead into competition among these countries to prove their mighty.
Lessons of the 1990’s Cold War show that, competition for the mighty may lead to conflicts and wars; it was due to competition for ‘who is powerful’ that led to the infamous Cold War (conflicts) between the former Soviet Union and the United States. As long as globalization bears, power struggle among various nations will continue and the future peace of the world will remain uncertain.
Globalization enhances exchange and imposition of policies by the rich countries to the poor countries. Through the international relations and cross-border economic activities, countries are able to exchange policies. However, the exchange has resulted into imposition of policies to the weak nations by the powerful countries (Leo 2006, 500).
The colonization of most African, Asian, and South American countries by the European countries during and before the 19th century presents a lesson to the today’s historians and scholars on the intention of the rich and powerful countries to the poor nations. Analogous to the colonial times, the aim of the rich countries is to assimilate the developing countries into their policies.
It is important to note that such ‘imported policies’ cannot work in the indigenous countries. Instead, such policies transform the political situations into arenas of conflicts and such conflicts often result into violence. In addition, the imposition of policies results into loss of the sovereignty of the state, which further threatens future peace of the specific country. The contention in the rich-poor relationship is due to the imposition of policies to the poor countries by the rich countries.
The current increasing protests to the International Criminal Court by most of the African countries clearly illustrate the effect of policy imposition. Assimilation into other policies interferes with the legal framework of the indigenous countries, thereby contravening the rights of the citizens in these countries. In the face of globalization, people across the world have become resilient and sensitive to oppression. The result of imposition would therefore be mass actions and political unrest in these countries.
Although globalization encourages policy exchange among the rich and poor countries, the rich stresses on the adoption of theirs. To political critics, the imposition is a tool for oppression to the poor countries and its perpetuation presents the cause for prospective conflicts and wars. The imposition is another form of colonization in the 21st century, which is advancement of neo-colonialism.
Since developing countries would like to maintain their sovereignty and independence, such impositions receive wide oppositions from these countries. Probably, the opposition may be through mobilization of the public actions, which may interfere with the peace of these nations. Globalization enhances exchange and imposition of policies among various nations in the world and therefore, transforming the political situations of various countries. The transformation may create tension and thus conflicts.
According to international trade theory, globalization is a phenomenon that greatly alters the principles of politics, both the international and world politics. “It is a further development of a growing interdependence, which further transforms the principles of world politics” (Kapitoneko 2009, 589). Globalization achieves this through “bringing in non-state actors…and shifting their strategies from military and strategic to economic and social needs” (Kapitoneko 2009, 589). As discussed earlier in this paper, these factors have resulted into polarization of the borders of various states.
Furthermore, it has led to freer movement of goods and labour. Based on the second factor of shift on focus from military empowerment to economic and social expansion, it is clear that globalization focuses on economic efficiency at the expense of the military. Since the state engages in long-term co-operations in order to achieve the above strategies of globalization, it encourages more people to cross into their borders.
This poses great threat to the peace of the state. The opening of the borders for freer accessibility of the country by more people in the name of partners in cooperation provides an opportunity exploitable by people with bad intentions. In addition, since the states’ support to the military has greatly reduced, it becomes easier for such people to enter these states. Such people may be terrorists or other kinds of illegal gangs in the world.
The co-operation for economic expansion at the expense of security of the state simply exposes states to the attacks by such gangs. Further contemplation reveals that the diminishing focus on military and security in favour of economic growth through globalization will result into creation of more gang groups like Al Qaeda; a threat to the peace in the world and therefore cause political disarrays in the world.
The growth in interdependence due to globalization further makes some governments passive in decision-making. Interdependence promotes collective making of vital decisions and as a result, some states leave some decisions for advice from their international co-operation.
Based on the earlier argument, this may result into conflict. Again, due to perception of the rich and powerful countries on the poor states, some decisions may be biased and offensive to the rights of the citizens. Subsequently, this may result into tension and therefore conflicts. Therefore, by altering the principles of the world politics, globalization creates tension and a prospective for future conflicts and wars.
The movement of some states to the territories of others facilitated by globalization presents potential causes of conflicts. With the globalization and the international co-operation, states are freer to enter into other states and such entrances influence the politics of the both states in two ways: first, it transforms the politics of these states since the co-operation may involve influencing some key policies.
For instance, the entry of the United States into Iraqi government influenced the nation to persecute and execute the former president, Saddam Hussein. The entry may call for constitutional changes and thereby considerably changing the politics of such states. However, some entry of states into others may result into chaos.
Although, for instance, the American entry into Middle East in search of terrorists seemed justifiable, it resulted into resistance by majority of the people in that region. This further degenerated into conflict between the citizens and the US soldiers. The entry into other countries, accelerated by globalization, may lead to conflicts and wars. Secondly, the entry interferes with the ‘political order’ of the other nations.
When a country enters into the matters of another state, it disrupts the order of the ‘operation of political’ systems in that country. This disruption may be either because of the adjustments required for the issues raised by the other state or due to disorganization, which the entry brings into the other state. Entrance, which disrupts the policies of a state, also creates friction between the states and may result into conflicts.
The entrance is more detrimental when it comes into rich states entering into poor states. Critics perceive the entrance as “hegemony and a means to exploit the poor state” (Monbiot 2001, 45). Again, this results into conflict between the states. While liberals argue that the relationship between such states enhances checks and balances against the states’ governments, to critics, it is an opportunity by the powerful nations to exploit the weak states.
The political entrance of states into other states may influence the policies of governance of such states to infringe the rights of the citizens, thereby calling for unrest within those states. Political unrest is a prospective cause of future conflicts and wars and indicates the instability of peace in the future world.
The globalization effects on politics will result into increase in conflicts in the world. As argued in the preceding discussion, globalization has led to loss of state’s sovereignty in the world. The result of loss in sovereignty is the increased mobility of people, finances, ideas and goods, with little state’s control. The high rates of immigration of people due to trade with little control by the government, pose a great threat to the peace and unity in the future.
The freedom by the government to carry out businesses anywhere in the world increases the likelihood of exchange of illegal goods such as drugs and arms. Such goods, especially drugs, enhance violent acts. Increase in such goods in a state whose sovereignty is low, will lead to more people consuming those goods. High number of drug abusers within a state puts the peace and unity of a country at risk.
Globalization enhances flow of information and ideas. The cross-border flow of economic activities has enhanced the transfer of information across different political states. The information flow through the liberalized media sensitizes the public, which further enhances violent acts. Loss in community values has adverse effects on domestic politics of a country. Constitutional violation by the political leadership is the obvious effect of loss in community values.
A constitution upholds the values of the community, which it governs. Therefore, if the political leadership disregards these values, it implies a constitutional infringement, which may result into conflicts between those critical to the constitution and the values and the leadership. Trading in arms has become easier and convenient with the current globalization and the loss of sovereignty in various governments.
In the light of international trade, militia gangs in war-torn countries are able to acquire arms. With the freer trade in culmination with less government control of mobility of people, there is increased accessibility to guns and other arms. In making decisions in international relations, the rich and powerful countries, especially the developed, tend to believe that their views supersede those of their poor and developing countries and this creates tension among the nations thereby causing conflict.
The movement of some states to the territories of other states presents potential causes of future conflicts. With the globalization and the international co-operation, states are freer to enter into other states. This, as argued, further results into conflicts. It is therefore justifiable that globalization will promote conflicts in the world.
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