Globalization is a controversial issue which is discussed in many spheres, such as politics, economics, culture, social sciences. It is an obvious phenomenon of contemporary world: events happening in some part of the world could be known in another in a few seconds. We are watching TV translations from different countries sitting on a couch in our room. People travel around the globe knowing what they are going to see, where to eat and what to do in seemed to be unknown country. People in the most of the states wear the same clothes and eat the same food.
We all know that probably in every city we can find McDonalds or Subway, where we will not experience difficulties in ordering food, because we already know their menu. This is globalization from the point of view of the ordinary people and is seems to be a positive thing. But what concerns state as political unity, playing a role on international arena, globalization could be more controversial. And on my opinion it reduces role of state both at international as well as on the national scene.
Due to globalization new agents are coming into all spheres of life, including policy and economy, what makes it more complicated for government to control. Big corporations sometimes could play greater role on international arena then government. For example, Russian-Ukrainian gas disputes, which took place several years in a row at New Year’s eves. “These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries” (AndriyK 2010). There is no definition of state recognized by all and it is varies from author to author.
But what is more important is to determine what a sovereign state mean, because it is sovereignty to be threatened by globalization. And some authors think that there is no state without globalization. “A Sovereign state is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, independence from other states and powers, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states” (Anthony Appleyard, Blue-Haired Lawyer 2009). Sovereignty became a part of a state after Westphalia treaties of 1848.
And till now it remains a defining feature of a state, necessary for being a member of the most of international organizations and being capable to participate in equal international relations with other states. Recognition – is the thing which some territories and national unities ate striving for. Taiwan, Kosovo, Basque Country, Abkhazia and others are not considered as independent actors until they gain recognition of international community, which is connected with becoming a member of United Nations Organization.
Without it they couldn’t have equal political and economical relationships with other countries. For example, it has practically no sense to trade with Taiwan being in danger to lose such an important partner like Mainland China because its government do not accept any manifestation of independency of the island. Sovereignty is still important, but it has changed. On the one hand it is translated on supranational level, on the other hand – on local level. State is in the centre, linking point. Government controls state boundaries and all the territory; there is no other structure which supposed to do it.
Providing security is another crucial mission of a state. Only state has a legitimate monopoly on use of force, due to the theory of Max Weber. But “The ownership, control and sales of military services and equipment has moved out of the ambit of state control and given private actors important authority to decide over the use of force and to define security issues” (Leander 2004). Right of use of force is delegated to higher levels – to international organisations, like NATO, or to lower level – regional authorities and even private security agencies.
Government is necessary by controlling of economical development, providing social guaranties, maintenance of national unity and cultural heritage, everything that does not have commercial advantage. No one organisation, company or another state would take care of all citizens and their well-being. But due to globalization state can’t control all factors influencing on internal issues. International capital flows are uncontrollable, but they can change a lot. Some states are obviously dependent on foreign investments, because for them it is the only opportunity to develop country.
So, openness of national economies for international capital is one of the appearances of globalization. And it obviously diminishes the role of a state in this sphere. Like in theory of Adam Smith government becoming an observer on the market, but it still has the right to intervene in some emergency situations, which could threat well-being of a state. During the crisis of 2009, for instance, some leading companies in different countries were not able to cope with that situation by their own. So governments had to donate and invest money in them in order to save the market and economy.
Government in such moments is the only body that can help. Economical globalization is the most apparent one. Capital, labour recourses, goods, services are actively transfer trough and even above state’s boundaries. Biggest economical international organization is World Trade Organization, which includes 153 members. It works like a forum for its members, where they can discuss situation in world economy and produce rules for international trade, to settle disputes among themselves and find decision of some urgent problem. But it is not true global while there are some countries, such as Russia, still out.
Albeit WTO is playing a considerable role in international trade system, it doesn’t take some part of sovereignty from member-states. Decisions in organisations are taken on the principal of consensus, so even small countries have its voice. Although states cannot control all the flows of goods and capitals, but it is states that construct global economy. They set the rules of international trade and form external trade policy. “Economic globalization is, in other words, the result of policy decisions made by individual countries that allow global market forces to operate” (Guido Bertucci n.d. ). International market is also can be called global, because it is not a sum of national markets already.
Companies of one state produce goods in other states and sell in thirds. Customer market is also very global, mostly because of the internet shops – people can buy things from all parts of the world, but also because most tourists visiting other countries freely spend money there. Among Russian people living in Saint-Petersburg it is common frequently travel to Finland and buy there some goods and products, such as fish, alcohol, candies.
So finish responded to this phenomena doubling names in Russian and creating an opportunity to pay in some places with Russian ruble, while it is not legitimized by the government. TNCs mean a lot in nowadays global and national economies. They bring profits, which consist a part of national GDP, also they maintain global economy, providing employment on manufactures in developing countries. TNC sometimes bring national ideas together with their products. Everyone knows McDonalds, is a network of fast food restaurants all over the world.
But is much more than just a restaurant network, it becomes associated with Americanization of the world, which means translation of American life style, ideas and ideology. Another example is Google company. It fully reflects an principle of freedom of information. And devises, producing by Google are used in most of the states and on different levels. Google is connected with NASA and use US satellites for some tools as “google maps”. Transnational corporations based in many different states and they meet conditions of markets of these states, but they are not under control of these states.
Political globalization expressed in tenser and more numerous intergovernmental contacts that makes decision-making processes in countries more dependent on situation with a certain state. States seek for simplification of international relations, providing common rules and principles. Most contemporary political organisations were created in order to share opinions and produce decisions on some important issues among states. Most of them have Assemblies, Commissions and other Decision-making bodies, but in most cases their decisions are not obligatory for member-states.
Such organisations are: African Union, Arab League, Organisation of American States, Commonwealth of Independent States etc. Some tasks are passed from the state to these organizations, but they are still not as influential as member-states themselves. However there is an organization which has reached not only economical cooperation, but economical and political integration. It is European Union. Started with 6 states united to facilitate trade in steel and coal, over time alliance gained new members and expanded spheres of activity.
From 1951 EU took an unprecedented way – from free trade through a customs union and single internal market to economic and monetary union. Today Western Europe is integrated in such a degree that allows it to be perceived as a unit, as consolidated a new type of actor. Now, it includes 27 states, each of that has its representation in supranational bodies. Member-states deliver some sovereignty to upper level to make unity better integrated and to make it more efficient.
The role of states in EU differs depending on sphere, e. g.economical regulation is in most cases prerogative of EU bodies, but political is more in concern of states governments. It is the formation of a new type of political system to which the category of traditional sovereignty is not applied. Indeed, if we understand sovereignty as a final authority over a certain area, such power remains within the Member States, as the European Union does not have the right to legitimate violence, therefore, the final decision, e. g. secede from the Union, left after the state, in particular, its citizens.
Due to globalization state loses its role in some specific spheres, for example in atomic energy. International Atomic Energy Agency promotes cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy and monitors compliance of the Non-proliferation Treaty. Signing parties of Non-proliferation treaty of 1968 had to conclude a guarantee pact with IAEA. State, by signing this agreement ensured that no conduct researches in military orientation (The “Atoms for Peace” Agency n. d. ). On the one hand it is supposed to diminish role of a state and its sovereignty in atomic energy, because of emerging body of control.
But in the other hand, this organization has no rights to dictate conditions or punish is case of violating rules. But it is an organization under UN umbrella, so defaulter will deal with whole international community. Military sphere is also undergone globalization. And the most significant actor in this sphere is North Atlantic Treaty Organization. After collapse of Soviet Union, NATO has broadened its areas of interest. Eastern European states become new members and Russia now is more a partner then a rival. Such thefts occurred because of a new threat to global safety – global terrorism.
After terroristic attacks on 11 September 2001 a lot of states united in order to help the US in this struggle with emergent danger. Russia and some other countries agreed to open its air space for NATO air force transition. NATO example shows that state power diminishes in confrontation with global threats, and specified organizations authorised by member-states are coming on the scene. Some issues have initially global character and to be solved they need cooperation of all states. They are mostly ecological problems.
Global warming, air and water pollution, extinction of spices, renewal energy – they couldn’t be decided by one or two governments. Thus, states create organizations and committees dealing with these issues, working out solutions acceptable for all parties. Role of the one state fighting with such problems is almost insignificant. Nature is not separated from one country to another, so all states have to cooperate. And this issue depends not only on governments, but on every company, organization and citizen in particular. Role of a state diminishes seriously in some areas, and one of the most obvious one – is information.
In former times information belonged only to a narrow circle of people. The only meat of delivering was word of mouth. States secrets could be known exclusively from clerks close to royal court. It took too much time to learn about events from other parts of the world. Now we can get information of the event immediately after it has happen. And what is most important – we can see it uncensored, in original source, and form our own opinion on what has happened. And in some chances this opportunity could be a threat to state’s role.
Not all information in internet and television is reliable, but most of people are supposed to believe what they see, so some can use it in propaganda purposes, e. g. August War 2008 between Russia and Georgia. It was not only military skirmish of two counties, but an informational war of western states with Russia. Both sides broadcasted the same pictures and videos but accompanied by opposite meaning commentary. Government enhances its role providing patriotic programming, showing positive picture of state development and so on, but there are some state, which try to control sphere of information.
China is the only influential but non-liberal state, which has big effect on world economy, but do not support freedom of information. Television, radio and periodic are highly censored, there is no place for free expression of views. But what is most surprising, that government pretend to control Internet. China even had an agreement with Google that told that in ant search request concerning China policies, especially Taiwan and Tibet questions, official position of China should be reflected in first results. This was the condition of Google entering in Chinese Internet carefully guarded by the authorities.
But at the beginning of the year Google claimed to turn off its operation in China completely, if China wouldn’t renounce censorship on searching in web. “Demarche of the company agreed with the U. S. State Department, experts say” (Pukemov 2010). Globalization entails opportunities of freer movement among states. There are a lot of international agreements, liberalizing transferring among them. Some countries have visa-free regimes, some have simplified visa regimes, EU is free to move inside its borders with visa, residence permit or citizenship of any member-state.
Citizens of US even don’t need a visa to visit other countries. Thus government alone has limited power to control all travels of its citizens, but in cooperation with others it became more possible. But on the other hand states take more serious measures to defend its citizen: enhancing security control on the boarders and tightening emigrational legislation, what includes introducing new norms and devices on checkpoints, more careful monitoring of immigrants. Whilst tourism and short business visits encouraged, more long-term stay can face difficulties. It is especially noticeable on example of the US and EU.
The USA was founded by immigrants and was developing because of them, but over time government, egged on by public opinion, began to take measures to reduce immigration. Once it prohibited entrance of representatives of certain countries. Even now it’s quite complicated to get US visa, not to mention citizenship. European Union pursuing duplicitous policy of migration. Every citizen of European community has a right to travel freely inside its the total territory, but as latest example of France shows, some states do not want representatives of eastern members to live on their territory.
Such attitude is clear – old members have no desire to draw on themselves new economically and politically unstable ones. It is difficult on governmental level as well as on personal. This example shows that states are trying to preserve their role even within solid organization. Summarizing, globalization processes don’t go unnoticed. States participate in more and more international organizations, where they have to cooperate with one another and decide together on different issues.
Some contemporary challenges could not be solved by one state alone, everything become more interdependent and requires mutual response. Even the only monopoly that state had – on legitimized use of force – is now under question, because of existence of different military and defense organizations on international, national and even local level. States role in economy is most vulnerable one, especially in capitalistic liberalized markets. TNC becoming more powerful not only in economical sphere but also in political.
Thus, I can conclude, that globalization diminishes the role of a state. References AndriyK. “Russia–Ukraine gas disputes. ” Wikipedia. 11 25, 2010. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes (accessed 12 21, 2010). Anthony Appleyard, Blue-Haired Lawyer. “Sovereign state. ” Wikipedia. 07 14, 2009. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sovereign_state (accessed 11 2010). Leander, Anna. Globalisation and the State Monopoly. Odense, 7 2004. Pukemov, Konstantin. “Google освобождает Китай/ Google realeses China. ” gazeta. ru. 01 13, 2010.
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