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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 254
Uli Locher

Globalization Sept.25.12 - Geography is destiny - Other argument: today’s differences are due to culture - Global integration - Interconnectedness of different countries - Objectively more communication - Perceive a universalism - Economic, social and political activity become stretched over regions, countries, and continents - Flows of goods, trade, and services are increased - Investing becomes easier - Speeding up of global interactions (transport, goods, trade, etc.) - Transportation of goods has become very cheap - Events in distant places impact us - Boundaries between global affairs become increasingly blurred - Free circulation of labor Effects of globalization: - Society is interdependent - National governments losing control? - Nation state does sign away some authority, they still have basic control of the institution - Trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA), accept some regulations - Always winners and losers Conditions for globalization to occur: - Need effective communication - Cheap transport - Apply international institution regulations - Universal currency and banking system - Legal system that makes contracts enforceable 3 views on globalization 1)Neo-Liberal: it supports the idea of a single global market and the removal of international barriers (which are characteristic of globalization). Their main argument is that compared to communism, capitalism has not "collapsed" and has actually brought economic growth. For instance, progress has been observed in the Millenium Development Goals. limitation: you can't know for sure whether economic growth occurred because or despite globalization. 2)Radical: globalization perpetuates the inequality between the rich elites and the poor. Globalization is a new form of imperialism which doesn't "unify" us. On the contrary, it exacerbates deprivation, violence and conflicts. Chomsky gave the example of the militarization of the American-Mexican border to show that we're actually less "open" than we were before (which is debatable). 3)New globalism. It recognizes that the geographic scope of trade has increased, that many parts of the world are now interconnected. However, the relationships are more complicated than a "rich vs poor" model. There are many in-betweens. And even those who are worse off (marginalized and depossessed people) are still less badly off than they were before. Neo-liberal view: - Market capitalism has triumphed - State socialism has collapsed - Emergence of a single global market, and that is a good thing - Many advantages to how a free market operates - social advantage: people will be better off - guarantees exchange of goods and services, more choice - import/export allows for a better economy and higher generated income for individuals - leads to many more exchanges - make other economies grow - volume and quality of things produced is greater - Development is happening because the major obstacles have been removed by way of globalization - Profit from international agreements - Identify your particular skills (i.e. prominent resource) – comparative advantage theory of economics - Poverty has gone down in the last few decades - Progress with the eight millennium goals (because of globalization, or despite what free markets have done?) Radical view: - Poor countries and populations vs. rich countries and populations - Deepening global inequality - Trade with capital flows make things worse because they allow for continued accumulation of privileges in rich countries - Today’s world in not more globalized than before - The new world is the triumph of global capitalism - More conflict, violence, and poverty due to free markets - This view is presented in a primitive way Chomsky’s views: Chomsky made early efforts to critically analyze globalization. He summarized the process with the phrase "old wine, new bottles," maintaining that the motive of the élites is the same as always: they seek to isolate the general population from important decision-making processes, the difference being that the centers of power are now transnational corporations and supranational banks. Chomsky argues that transnational corporate power is "developing its own governing institutions" reflective of their global reach.[19] According to Chomsky, a primary ploy has been the co-opting of the global economic institutions established at the end of World War II, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which have increasingly adhered to the "Washington Consensus", requiring developing countries to adhere to limits on spending and make structural adjustments that often involve cutbacks in social and welfare programs. IMF aid and loans are normally contingent upon such reforms. Chomsky claims that the construction of global institutions and agreements such as the World Trade Organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment constitute new ways of securing élite privileges while undermining democracy.[20] Chomsky believes that these austere and neoliberal measures ensure that poorer countries merely fulfill a service role by providing cheap labor, raw materials and investment opportunities for the developed world. Additionally, this means that corporations can threaten to relocate to poorer countries, and Chomsky sees this as a powerful weapon to keep workers in richer countries in line. Chomsky takes issue with the terms used in discourse on globalization, beginning with the term "globalization" itself, which he maintains refers to a corporate- sponsored economic integration rather than being a general term for things becoming international. He dislikes the term anti-globalization being used to describe what he regards as a movement for globalization of social and environmental justice. Chomsky understands what is popularly called "free trade" as a "mixture of liberalization and protection designed by the principal architects of policy in the service of their interests, which happen to be whatever they are in any particular period."[19] In his writings, Chomsky has drawn attention to globalization resistance movements. He described Zapatista defiance of NAFTA in his essay "The Zapatista Uprising." He also criticized the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, and reported on the activist efforts that led to its defeat. Chomsky's voice was an important part of the critics who provided the theoretical backbone for the disparate groups who united for the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in November 1999.[21] Transformationalist view: - Rejects neo and radical views - Globalization is not seen as a new form of imperialism - Not global market civilization - One global system - Global shift of power relations - Not true that the power holders of 40 years ago is now today’s power holders - Transformation going on - Complex configurations of the world - Individuals: 4 classes now (elites, middle class, marginal people, lower class) - Transformed the context of national development - Development is not just a thing of poor countries - Development is continuing from poor to rich countries - Domestic and international matters Is sustainable development possible in the era of globalization? - New international order has failed - Change away from bipolar relationship between east and west - Socialist dream has not worn out - Institutional unit promoting third world ideology, tried to give a unitary voice to poor countries against the rich - Non-alliance state movement - Various forms of achieving development and sustainable development - Developmental states have become an important concept (south Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.) but are much less talked about - The greater model today is not those states, but China Two Theoretical approaches to globalization: Jared Diamond: Environmental Determinism (movie at end of last class): Argument: concentrated on bio-ecological determinants Physical geography  particular resources of plants + animals (niche products – depend on ecological niche)  the development of these resources (EX: particular types of agriculture, animal use, etc.) determine and drive economic + political + societal development If similar temperatures, geography, etc. then species can migrate EX: migration in Eurasia – animals and plants can spread to EU b/c no significant change in climate zone – EU benefits! EX: Much of Africa and the Americas [ex. Alaska  Fuego] both N to S: so can’t species can’t easily migrate CONCLUSION: Great inequalities in development (resource endowment in EU (many available) + few available to, say, South America) Explained by video: “What are some countries poor?”) – The “cultural” explanation Extreme opposite point of view – today’s differences explained by culture Naïve video, yet, the ultimate “cultural explanation” Truths to the movie: Resource endowment explains nothing EX: Japan, Switzerland are rich, yet, few of their own resources, some countries have resources yet poor  need the institution + political system to profit from resources! Argument: very individualistic GLOBALIZATION: interconnectedness, global integrations, connectedness, sense of universalism, oneness BUT at the same time also perceive as powerlessness : Today, the world is so interconnected, people feel increasingly powerless: things that happen very far away (without any of our doing) can impact our lives Chronic insecurity b/c of scale and speed of change Dimensions of this process: st 1 Dimension: Economy stretched across regions and continents Social + political activities stretched across borders, regions, continents EX: Apple economy worldwide; people jailed from one country go work in another; the Dalai Lama jets around the world….. 2nd dimension: Intensification of trade, diversification, etc. Not a new concept: EX: shiploads of product to other countries  gross income for countries EX: spices from Orient THOUGH: Flows, goods, trades, services, capital/investment: greatly ↑↑ (how much shipped around the world) So easy to invest now – EX. Buying shares on the internet, etc. 3rd dimension: Speeding up of glob processes + actions (I think the 3 .. might be part of 2 nd point) Transportation of goods - becoming so cheap the larger to shipment, the cheaper the transportation of goods CONCLUSION: All of this has an ever depending impact on us  Events in distant places impact us here, the boundaries of dominance and global affairs become increasingly blurred Effects of this? Societies become enmeshed, interdependent The nation-state is signing away some authority National government sometimes less capable of affecting international exchanges Sometimes sign away own sovereignty (various trade agree – accepting regulations in agreements) ALTHOUGH , the basic large scale institution has not disappeared) Hurdles: regulations between countries – some things may be allowed in one country and not in the other. EX: regulations on pesticide - affects global trade Opportunities of globalization – not equal basis for everyone Always winners and losers EX) genetically transformed materials, like corn – if want to genetically change, then need to go with what’s regulated in the world, otherwise you lose. Winners = the industrial farm Loser = small family farms (because genetic various often only supported on large fields) Strangles out family farms – causes more conformity with national regulations Under what conditions can this actually work – this speeding up of trade, expansion, etc.? 5 Conditions for Globalization (according to Uli Locher): Effective communication: message received is exactly as sent, message is timely Colonial empire: messages got around, but long to be received, months Cheap transport: Without this, globalization cannot really happen Cheap: also means relatively safe transport International Institutions: Rules, norms – need to subscribe to these Don’t necessarily need to subscribe globally for everything (EX: minimum wage not global, therefore, sweatshop phenomena), BUT need some that are applied globally (EX. Metric system – standarnd measurements of weight) Need a universal currency + banking system (EX. US dollars often) Need a banking system that works Need a legal system that makes contracts enforceable (make sure what agreed upon actually carried out) Were forms of glob before, but nothing like today… THREE VIEWS OF GLOBALIZATION: The Neo-Liberal View: Market capitalism has triumphed, state socialism has collapsed Completion of a single global market – that’s a good thing! This is exactly what were supposed to have Many advantages to how free market operates: People will be better off when the market guarantees the exchange of goods + services(ppl with low salaries, overall, have more money) With a single global market: will need many more exchanges and will make overall economies grow (everybody profits, the volumes + quality of things produced increases) How development happening now – Links to Walt Rostow are obvious: The weaker nations: build on what you’re good at so free market will allow you to exchange what you have for what you don’t – so if produce peanuts, do that, shipload, then will get whatever need back ( in theory, perfect)! Factually: a lot of support this view: Poverty has dramatically declined in last few decades BUT: is this because of globalization, or despite what free markets have been doing to us? The Radical View: The essential categories in this analysis: rich/elites VS poor Emphasis: globalization deepens global inequalities Trade and capital flows make things worse - allow for the continued accumulation of privileges + advantages for the class of people who already have them Today’s world: not more globalized, actually less globalized in significant aspects The new world order is actually the triumph of global capitalism Globalization: more poverty, more deprivation, more conflict, more violence This view: In many ways, simple a
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