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What Is Globalisation?

Written by: Sayantani Chatterjee (Banerjee) - Second Semester - Sarsuna Law College
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Globalization (or globalisation), although often described as the cause of much turbulence and change, is in fact the umbrella term for the collective effect, the change itself. Globalization (i.e. the aggregate change we observe in our factories, storefronts, indeed generally across our economies and lifestyles) is caused by four fundamental forms of capital movement throughout the global economy.

The four important capital flows are:
Human Capital (i.e. Immigration, Migration, Emigration, Deportation, etc.)
Financial Capital (i.e. Aid, Equity, Debt, Credit & Lending, etc.)
Resource Capital (i.e. Energy, Metals, Minerals, Lumber, etc.)
Power Capital (i.e. Security Forces, Alliances, Armed Forces, etc.)

Most of the stresses and complexities confronted in the general macro affairs of countries, communities, and the interactions between them, can be traced to these four flows. Connectivity available via cheaper telecommunications and modes of travel-- made more accessible to more people, facilitates these interactions at a rate unprecedented in history. Cultural and political frictions at all levels can thus be explained as arising from the difference in opinion between two or more parties about the origination, treatment, timing, ownership or value of one or more of the capital flows.

Meaning and debate:
The International Monetary Fund defines globalization as the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, free international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. Meanwhile, The International Forum on Globalization defines it as the present worldwide drive toward a globalized economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments. While notable critical theorists, such as Immanuel Wallerstein, emphasize that globalization cannot be understood separately from the historical development of the capitalist world-system the different definitions highlight the ensuing debate of the roles and relationships of government, corporations, and the individual in maximizing social welfare within the globalization paradigms. Nonetheless, it is clear that globalization has economic, political, cultural, and technological aspects that may be closely intertwined. Given that these aspects are key to an individual's quality of life, the social benefits and costs brought upon them by globalization generate strong debate.
The economic aspects stressed in globalization are trade, investment and migration. The globalization of trade entails that human beings have greater access to an array of goods and services never seen before in human history. From German cars, to Colombian coffee, from Chinese clothing, to Egyptian cotton, from American music to Indian software, human beings may be able to purchase a wide range of goods and services. The globalization of investment takes place through Foreign Direct Investment, where multinational companies directly invest assets in a foreign country, or by indirect investment where individuals and institutions purchase and sell financial assets of other countries. Free migration allows individuals to find employment in jurisdictions where there are labor shortages.

Critics of free trade also contend that it may lead to the destruction of a country's native industry, environment and/or a loss of jobs. Critics of international investment contend that by accepting these financial schemes a country loses its economic sovereignty and may be forced to set policies that are contrary to its citizen's interests or desires. Moreover, multinational companies that invest in a country may also acquire too much political and economic power in relation to its citizens. Finally, migration may lead to the exploitation of workers from a migrant country and the displacement of workers from a host country. Critics of globalization also contend that different economic systems that either augment or supplant globalization may maximize social welfare more efficiently and equitably.

The political aspects of globalization are evidenced when governments create international rules and institutions to deal with issues such as trade, human rights, and the environment. Among the new institutions and rules that have come to fruition as a result of globalization are the World Trade Organization, the Euro currency, the North American Free Trade Agreement, to name a few. Whether a government is to consciously open itself to cross-border links, is the central question of this aspect.

Social activist and non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace are also becoming more global in scope. Some of these organizations take issue with the economic and political aspects of globalization as they fear that economic interests either subvert the nation state in its ability to protect its citizens from economic exploitation, or support governments that violate the human rights of their citizens.

Cultural global ties also grow through globalization as news ideas and fashions through trade, travel and media move around the globe at lightning speed. Global brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike & Sony serve as common reference to consumers all over the World. An individual in China enjoys the same soft drink as an individual in Puerto Rico--at opposite ends of the globe. However, these ties may also cause strains: for example Western Ideas of freedom of expression may clash with Islamic views on Religious tolerance. And if not strains, critics contend this is really an imposition of cultural imperialism in order to preserve economic interests.

The other aspect of globalization is the revolutionary change in technology, particularly in transport and communication, which ostensibly creates a global village. In 1850 it took nearly a year to sail around the World. Now you can fly around the world in a day, send an email anywhere almost instantly, or be part of the 1.5 billion viewers watching the final match of the World Cup. Transportation costs have come down as result of technological advances that make foreign markets more accessible to trade. Tuna caught in the North Atlantic may be served the next day at a Sushi restaurant in Japan. Finally, billions of dollars in assets and currencies are exchanged daily around the globe by electronic means at virtually no cost. Globalization spreads everything.

Since the word has both technical and political meanings, different groups will have differing histories of "globalization". In general use within the field of economics and political economy, however, it is a history of increasing trade between nations based on stable institutions that allow firms in different nations to exchange goods and services with minimal friction.

The term "liberalization" came to mean the acceptance of the Neoclassical economic model which is based on the unimpeded flow of goods and services between economic jurisdictions. This led to specialization of nations in exports, and the pressure to end protective tariffs and other barriers to trade. The period of the gold standard and liberalization of the 19th century is often called "The First Era of Globalization". Based on the Pax Britannica and the exchange of goods in currencies pegged to specie, this era grew along with industrialization. The theoretical basis was David Ricardo's work on Comparative advantage and Say's Law of General equilibrium. In essence, it was argued that nations would trade effectively, and that any temporary disruptions in supply or demand would correct themselves automatically. The institution of the gold standard came in steps in major industrialized nations between approximately 1850 and 1880, though exactly when various nations were truly on the gold standard is contentiously debated.

Globalization in the era since World War II has been driven by trade negotiation rounds, originally under the auspices of GATT, which led to a series of agreements to remove restrictions on "free trade". The Uruguay round led to a treaty to create the World Trade Organization or WTO, to mediate trade disputes. Other bi- and trilateral trade agreements, including sections of Europe's Maastricht Treaty and the North American Free Trade Agreement have also been signed in pursuit of the goal of reducing tariffs and barriers to trade.

Nature and existence of globalization:

There is much academic discussion about whether globalization is a real phenomenon or only an analytical artifact (a myth). Although the term is widespread, many authors argue that the characteristics attributed to globalization have already been seen at other moments in history. Also, many note that such features, including the increase in international trade and the greater role of multinational corporations, are not as d Some authors prefer the term internationalization rather than globalization. In internationalization, the role of the state and the importance of nations are greater, while globalization in its complete form eliminates nation states. So, they argue that the frontiers of countries, in a broad sense, are far from being dissolved, and therefore this globalization process is not happening, and probably will not happen, considering that in world history, internationalization never turned into globalization (the European Union and NAFTA are yet to prove their case).

Some maintain that globalization is an imagined geography; that is, a political tool of ruling neo-liberalists, who are attempting to use certain images and discourses of world politics to justify their political agendas. Writers of books such as No Logo claim that by presenting a picture of a globalized world, the Bretton Woods institutions can demand that countries open up their economies to liberalization under Structural Adjustment Programmes that encourage governments to fund privatization programmes, ahead of welfare and public services.

Globalization / internationalisation has become identified with a number of trends, most of which may have developed since World War II. These include greater international movement of commodities, money, information, and people; and the development of technology, organizations, legal systems, and infrastructures to allow this movement. The actual existence of some of these trends is debated.

* Increase in international trade at a much faster rate than the growth in the world economy
* Increase in international flow of capital including foreign direct investment
* Creation of international agreements leading to organizations like the WTO and OPEC
* Development of global financial systems
* Increased role of international organizations such as WTO, WIPO, IMF that deal with international transactions
* Increase of economic practices like outsourcing, by multinational corporations

* Greater international cultural exchange,
* Spreading of multiculturalism, and better individual access to cultural diversity, for example through the export of Hollywood and Bollywood movies. However, the imported culture can easily supplant the local culture, causing reduction in diversity through hybridization or even assimilation. The most prominent form of this is Westernization, but Sinicization of cultures also takes place.
* Greater international travel and tourism
* Greater immigration, including illegal immigration
* Spread of local foods such as pizza, Chinese and Indian food/Pakistani Food to other countries (often adapted to local taste)
* World-wide Fads and Pop Culture such as Pokemon, Sudoku, Numa Numa, Origami, Idol series, YouTube, MySpace, and many others.
* Increasing usage of foriegn phrases. Example... "Amigo" and "Adios" are Spanish terms many non-speaking spanish people in the US understand, Most * Americans understand some French, Spanish or Japanese without actually knowing the language.

# Development of a global telecommunications infrastructure and greater transborder data flow, using such technologies as the Internet, communication satellites and telephones

# Increase in the number of standards applied globally; e.g. copyright laws and patents

# Formation or development of a set of universal values

# The push by many advocates for an international criminal court and international justice movements (see the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice respectively).

# It is often argued that even terrorism has undergone globalization, with attacks in foreign countries that have no direct relation with the own country.

Barriers to international trade have been considerably lowered since World War II through international agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Particular initiatives carried out as a result of GATT and the WTO, for which GATT is the foundation, have included:
# Promotion of free trade
Of goods:
* Reduction or elimination of tariffs; construction of free trade zones with small or no tariffs
* Reduced transportation costs, especially from development of containerization for ocean shipping.
Of capital:
* reduction or elimination of capital controls
* Reduction, elimination, or harmonization of subsidies for local businesses

# Intellectual property restrictions
* Harmonization of intellectual property laws across nations (generally speaking, with more restrictions)
* Supranational recognition of intellectual property restrictions (e.g. patents granted by China would be recognized in the US)


Critics of the economic aspects of globalization contend that it is not, as its proponents tend to imply, an inexorable process that flows naturally from the economic needs of everyone. The critics typically emphasize that globalization is a process that is mediated according to elite imperatives, and typically raise the possibility of alternative global institutions and policies, which they believe address the moral claims of poor and working classes throughout the globe, as well as environmental concerns in a more equitable way. In terms of the controversial global migration issue, disputes revolve around both its causes, whether and to what extent it is voluntary or involuntary, necessary or unnecessary Increase in international flow of capital including foreign direct investment Critics of the economic aspects of globalization contend that it is not, as its proponents tend to imply, an inexorable process that flows naturally from the economic needs of everyone. The critics typically emphasize that globalization is a process that is mediated according to elite imperatives, and typically raise the possibility of alternative global institutions and policies, which they believe address the moral claims of poor and working classes throughout the globe, as well as environmental concerns in a more equitable way. In terms of the controversial global migration issue, disputes revolve around both its causes, whether and to what extent it is voluntary or involuntary, necessary or unnecessary; and its effects, whether beneficial, or socially and environmentally costly. Proponents tend to see migration simply as a process whereby white and blue collar workers may go from one country to another to provide their services, while critics tend to emphasize negative causes such as economic, political, and environmental insecurity, and cite as one notable effect, the link between migration and the enormous growth of urban slums in developing countries. According to "The Challenge of Slums," a 2003 UN-Habitat report, "the cyclical nature of capitalism, increased demand for skilled versus unskilled labour, and the negative effects of globalisation "in particular, global economic booms and busts that ratchet up inequality and distribute new wealth unevenly" contribute to the enormous growth of slums.

Various aspects of globalization are seen as harmful by public-interest activists as well as strong state nationalists. This movement has no unified name. "Anti-globalization" is the media's preferred term; it can lead to some confusion, as activists typically oppose certain aspects or forms of globalization, not globalization per se. Activists themselves, for example Noam Chomsky, have said that this name is meaningless as the aim of the movement is to globalize justice. Indeed, the global justice movement is a common name. Many activists also unite under the slogan "another world is possible", which has given rise to names such as altermondialisme in French.

Economic arguments by fair trade theorists claim that unrestricted free trade benefits those with more financial leverage (i.e. the rich) at the expense of the poor. Many "anti-globalization" activists see globalization as the promotion of a corporatist agenda, which is intent on constricting the freedoms of individuals in the name of profit. Some "anti-globalization" groups argue that globalization is necessarily imperialistic, is one of the driving reasons behind the Iraq war and is forcing savings to flow into the United States rather than developing nations; it can therefore be said that "globalization" is another term for a form of Americanization, as it is believed by some observers that the United States could be one of the few countries (if not the only one) to truly profit from globalization.

Some argue that globalization imposes credit-based economics, resulting in unsustainable growth of debt and debt crises. The financial crises in Southeast Asia, that began in the relatively small, debt-ridden economy of Thailand but quickly spread to Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and eventually was felt all around the world, demonstrated the new risks and volatility in rapidly changing globalized markets. The IMF's subsequent 'bailout' money came with conditions of political change (i.e. government spending limits) attached and came to be viewed by critics as undermining national sovereignty in neo-colonialist fashion. Anti-Globalization activists pointed to the meltdowns as proof of the high human cost of the indiscriminate global economy.

The main opposition is to unfettered globalization (neoliberal; laissez-faire capitalism), guided by governments and what are claimed to be quasi-governments (such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) that are supposedly not held responsible to the populations that they govern and instead respond mostly to the interests of corporations. Many conferences between trade and finance ministers of the core globalizing nations have been met with large, and occasionally violent, protests from opponents of "corporate globalism".

Some "anti-globalization" activists object to the fact that the current "globalization" globalizes money and corporations, but not people and unions. This can be seen in the strict immigration controls in nearly all countries, and the lack of labour rights in many countries in the developing world.

Another more conservative camp opposed to globalization is state-centric nationalists who fear globalization is displacing the role of nations in global politics and point to NGOs as encroaching upon the power of individual nations. Some advocates of this warrant for anti-globalization are Pat Buchanan and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The movement is very broad, including church groups, national liberation factions, left-wing parties, environmentalists, peasant unionists, anti-racism groups, anarchists, those in support of relocalization and others. Most are reformist, (arguing for a more humane form of capitalism) while others are more revolutionary (arguing for a more humane system than capitalism). Many have decried the lack of unity and direction in the movement, but some such as Noam Chomsky have claimed that this lack of centralization may in fact be a strength.

Protests by the global justice movement have forced high-level international meetings away from the major cities where they used to be held, into remote locations where protest is impractical.

Pro-globalization (globalism):

Supporters of democratic globalization can be labelled pro-globalists. They consider that the first phase of globalization, which was market-oriented, should be completed by a phase of building global political institutions representing the will of world citizens. The difference with other globalists is that they do not define in advance any ideology to orient this will, which should be left to the free choice of those citizens via a democratic process.

Supporters of free trade point out that economic theories of comparative advantage suggest that free trade leads to a more efficient allocation of resources, with all countries involved in the trade benefiting. In general, this leads to lower prices, more employment and higher output.

Libertarians and other proponents of laissez-faire capitalism say higher degrees of political and economic freedom in the form of democracy and capitalism in the developed world are both ends in themselves and also produce higher levels of material wealth. They see globalization as the beneficial spread of liberty and capitalism.

Critics argue that the anti-globalization movement uses anecdotal evidence to support their view and that worldwide statistics instead strongly support globalization:
# the percentage of people in developing countries living below US$1 (adjusted for inflation and purchasing power) per day has halved in only twenty years, although some critics argue that more detailed variables measuring poverty should instead be studied.
# Life expectancy has almost doubled in the developing world since WWII and is starting to close the gap to the developed world where the improvement has been smaller. Child mortality has decreased in every developing region of the world. Income inequality for the world as a whole is diminishing.
# Democracy has increased dramatically from almost no nation with universal suffrage in 1900 to 62.5% of all nations in 2000.
# The proportion of the world's population living in countries where per-capita food supplies are less than 2,200 calories (9,200 kilojoules) per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s.
# Between 1950 and 1999, global literacy increased from 52% to 81% of the world. Women made up much of the gap: Female literacy as a percentage of male literacy has increased from 59% in 1970 to 80% in 2000.
# The percentage of children in the labor force has fallen from 24% in 1960 to 10% in 2000.
# There are similar trends for electric power, cars, radios, and telephones per capita, as well as the proportion of the population with access to clean water.

However, some of these improvements may not be due to globalization, or may be possible without the current form of globalization or its negative consequences, to which the global justice movement objects.

Some pro-capitalists are also critical of the World Bank and the IMF, arguing that they are corrupt bureaucracies controlled and financed by states, not corporations. Many loans have been given to dictators who never carried out promised reforms, instead leaving the common people to pay the debts later. They thus see too little capitalism, not too much. They also note that some of the resistance to globalization comes from special interest groups with conflicting interests, like Western world unions. However, there are also many anti-capitalist who are against the World Bank and the IMF because they believe they are too capitalist and only in interests for profit.

Others, such as Senator Douglas Roche, O.C., simply view globalization as inevitable and advocate creating institutions such as a directly-elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to exercise oversight over unelected international bodies.

Other uses:
"Globalization" can mean:
# Globalism, if the concept is reduced to its economic aspects, can be said to contrast with economic nationalism and protectionism. It is related to laissez-faire capitalism and neoliberalism.

# It shares a number of characteristics with internationalization and is often used interchangeably, although some prefer to use globalization to emphasize the erosion of the nation-state or national boundaries.

# Making connections between places on a global scale. Today, more and more places around the world are connected to each other in ways that were previously unimaginable. In geography, this process is known as complex connectivity, where more and more places are being connected in more and more ways.

Appadurai identified five types of global connectivity:

# Ethnoscapes: movements of people, including tourists, immigrants, refugees, and business travellers.
# Financescapes: global flows of money, often driven by interconnected currency markets, stock exchanges, and commodity markets.
# Ideoscapes: the global spread of ideas and political ideologies. For example, Green Peace has become a worldwide environmental movement.
# Mediascapes: the global distribution of media images that appear on our computer screens, in newspapers, television, and radio.
# Technoscapes: the movement of technologies around the globe. For example, the Green Revolution in rice cultivation introduced western farming practices into many developing countries.

Although Appadurai's taxonomy is highly contestable, it does serve to show that globalization is much more than economics on a global scale.
In its cultural form, globalization has been a label used to identify attempts to erode the national cultures of Europe, and subsume them into a global culture whose members will be much easier to manipulate through mass media and controlled governments. In this context, massive legal or illegal immigration has been allowed, mainly in European countries.

The formation of a global village closer contact between different parts of the world, with increasing possibilities of personal exchange, mutual understanding and friendship between "world citizens", and creation of a global civilization.

Economic globalization there are four aspects to economic globalization, referring to four different flows across boundaries, namely flows of goods/services, i.e. 'free trade' (or at least freer trade), flows of people (migration), of capital, and of technology. A consequence of economic globalization is increasing relations among members of an industry in different parts of the world (globalization of an industry), with a corresponding erosion of national sovereignty in the economic sphere. The IMF defines globalization as the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, freer international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology (IMF, World Economic Outlook, May, 1997). The World Bank defines globalization as the "Freedom and ability of individuals and firms to initiate voluntary economic transactions with residents of other countries".

In the field of management, globalization is a marketing or strategy term that refers to the emergence of international markets for consumer goods characterized by similar customer needs and tastes enabling, for example, selling the same cars or soaps or foods with similar ad campaigns to people in different cultures. This usage is contrasted with internationalization which describes the activities of multinational companies dealing across borders in either financial instruments, commodities, or products that are extensively tailored to local markets. Globalization also means cross-border management activities or development processes to adapt to the emergence of a globalized market or to seek and realize benefit from economies of scale or scope or from cross-border learning among different country-based organizations.

In the field of software, globalization is a technical term that combines the development processes of internationalization and localization.
Many, such as participants in the World Social Forum, use the term "corporate globalization" or "global corporatization" to highlight the impact of multinational corporations and the use of legal and financial means to circumvent local laws and standards, in order to leverage the labor and services of unequally-developed regions against each other.

The spread of capitalism from developed to developing nations.
"The concept of globalisation refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole" - Benedikt Kiesenhofer

Measurement of globalization:

To what extent a nation-state or culture is globalized in a particular year has until most recently been measured employing simple proxies like flows of trade, migration, or foreign direct investment. A more sophisticated approach to measuring globalization is the recent index calculated by the Swiss think tank KOF. The index measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, and political. In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to actual economic flows, economic restrictions, data on personal contact, data on information flows, and data on cultural proximity is calculated. Data are available on a yearly basis for 122 countries. According to the index, the world's most globalized country is the USA, followed by Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg. The least globalized countries according to the KOF-index are Togo, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Global Falsehoods: How the World Bank and the UNDP Distort the Figures on Global Poverty:

According to Professor Michel Chossudovsky ,until the 1998 financial meltdown ("black September" 1998), the World economy was said to be booming under the impetus of the "free market" reforms. Without debate or discussion, so-called "sound macro-economic policies" (meaning the gamut of budgetary austerity, deregulation, downsizing and privatisation) continue to be heralded as the key to economic success and poverty alleviation. In turn, both the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have asserted authoritatively that economic growth in the late 20th Century has contributed to a reduction in the levels of World poverty. According to the UNDP, "the progress in reducing poverty over the 20th century is remarkable and unprecedented... The key indicators of human development have advanced strongly."

The Devastating Impacts of Macro-economic Reform are casually denied:

The increasing levels of global poverty resulting from macro-economic reform are casually denied by G7 governments and international institutions (including the World Bank and the IMF); social realities are concealed, official statistics are manipulated, economic concepts are turned upside down.

The World Bank framework deliberately departs from all established concepts and procedures (eg. by the US Bureau of Census or the United Nations) for measuring poverty. It consists in arbitrarily setting a "poverty threshold" at one dollar a day per capita. It then proceeds (without even measuring) to deciding that population groups with a per capita income "above one dollar a day" are "non-poor".

The World Bank "methodology" conveniently reduces recorded poverty without the need for collecting country-level data. This "subjective" and biased assessment is carried out irrespective of actual conditions at the country level. The one dollar a day procedure is absurd: the evidence amply confirms that population groups with per capita incomes of 2, 3 or even 5 dollars a day remain poverty stricken (ie. unable to meet basic expenditures of food, clothing, shelter, health and education).

Authoritative" World Bank Numbers:

These authoritative World Bank numbers are those which everybody quotes, --ie. 1.3 billion people below the poverty line. But nobody seems to have bothered to examine how the World Bank arrives at these figures.

The data is then tabulated in glossy tables with "forecasts" of declining levels of global poverty into the 21st Century. These World Bank "forecasts" of poverty are based on an assumed rate of growth of per capita income, --ie. growth of the latter implies pari passu a corresponding lowering of the levels of poverty. Its a numerical game!

The UNDP Framework:

While the UNDP Human Development Group has in previous years provided the international community with a critical assessment of key issues of global development, the 1997 Human Development Report devoted to the eradication of poverty broadly conveys a similar viewpoint to that heralded by the Bretton Woods institutions. The UNDP's "human poverty index" (HPI) is based on "the most basic dimensions of deprivation: a short life span, lack of basic education and lack of access to public and private resources".

Based on the above criteria, the UNDP Human Development Group comes up with estimates of human poverty which are totally inconsistent with country-level realties. The HPI for Colombia, Mexico or Thailand, for instance, is of order of 10-11 percent (see Table 1). The UNDP measurements point to "achievements" in poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and India which are totally at odds with country-level data.

The human poverty estimates put forth by the UNDP portray an even more distorted and misleading pattern than those of the World Bank). For instance, only 10.9 percent of Mexico's population are categorised by the UNDP as "poor". Yet this estimate contradicts the situation observed in Mexico since the mid-1980s: collapse in social services, impoverishment of small farmers and the massive decline in real earnings triggered by successive currency devaluations. A recent OECD study confirms unequivocally the mounting tide of poverty in Mexico since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Double Standards in the "Scientific" Measurement of Poverty:

"Double standards" prevail in the measurement of poverty: the World Bank's one dollar a day criterion applies only to the "developing countries". Both the Bank and the UNDP fail to acknowledge the existence of poverty in Western Europe and North America. Moreover, the one dollar a day criterion is in overt contradiction with established methodologies used by Western governments and intergovernmental organisations to define and measure poverty in the "developed countries".

In the West, the methods for measuring poverty have been based on minimum levels of household spending required to meet essential expenditures on food, clothing, shelter, health and education. In the United States, for instance, the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the 1960s had set a "poverty threshold " which consisted of "the cost of a minimum adequate diet multiplied by three to allow for other expenses". This measurement was based on a broad consensus within the US Administration.

Conversely, if the US Bureau of Census methodology (based on the cost of meeting a minimum diet) were applied to the developing countries, the overwhelming majority of the population would be categorised as "poor". While this exercise of using "Western standards" and definitions has not been applied in a systematic fashion, it should be noted that with the deregulation of commodity markets, retail prices of essential consumer goods are not appreciably lower than in the US or Western Europe. The cost of living in many Third World cities is higher than in the United States.

Moreover, household budget surveys for several Latin American countries suggest that at least sixty percent of the population the region does not meet minimum calorie and protein requirements. In Peru, for instance, following the 1990 IMF sponsored "Fujishock", 83 percent of the Peruvian population according to household census data were unable to meet minimum daily calorie and protein requirements. The prevailing situation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is more serious where a majority of the population suffer from chronic undernourishment.

The investigation on poverty by both organizations take official statistics at face value. It is largely an "office based exercise" conducted in Washington and New York with few insights or awareness of "what is happening in the field". The 1997 UNDP Report points to a decline of one third to a half in child mortality in selected countries of Sub-Saharan despite the slide in State expenditures and income levels. What it fails to mention, however, is that the closing down of health clinics and the massive lay-offs of health professionals (often replaced by semi-illiterate health volunteers) responsible for compiling mortality data has resulted in a de facto decline in recorded mortality. The IMF-World Bank sponsored macro-economic reforms have also led to a collapse in the process of data collection.

Table 1
Selected Developing Countries Country Poverty Level
(percent of the population below the poverty line)
Trinidad and Tobago 4.1
Mexico 10.9
Thailand 11.7
Colombia 10.7
Philippines 17.7
Jordan 10.9
Nicaragua 27.2
Jamaica 12.1
Iraq 30.7
Rwanda 37.9
Papua New Guinea 32.0
Nigeria 41.6
Zimbabwe 17.3
Source: Human Development Report 1997, table 1.1, p. 21

Table 2
Countries Country Poverty Level
(percent of the population below the poverty line)
United States (1996)* 13.7
Canada (1995)** 17.8
United Kingdom (1993)*** 20.0
Italy (1993)*** 17.0
Germany (1993)*** 13.0
France (1993)*** 17.0
*US Bureau of Census,
** Centre for International Statistics, Canadian Council on Social Development
***European Information Service.

Beyond globalism and antiglobalism:

This essay has aimed to refute many of the arguments put forward by the anti-globalization movement and has tried to show that globalism is not a reactionary plot by powerful sharks but the revolutionary activity of many small fish, navigating the oceans and freely communicating with each other.
The arguments of the anti-globalization movement lead us back into the crushing embrace of Big Brother the nation state, which has never been the defender of the local community and the protector of the individual person.

The "think globally act locally" message has been turned upside down by the anti-globalizers who act globally (from Seattle to Prague, from Gothenburg to Genova) while thinking along very narrow and short-term lines. The main focus should not be on the MacDonald's outlets of this world but on the MacArthur (the generals) and the McCarthy (the politicians); otherwise they will always prevail with their nefarious interventions even after hamburgers and fast food have gone out of fashion.

Globalism is, for many people, the only way to escape political oppression, economic poverty, cultural alienation. However, even this grand vision of emancipation and progress connected to globalism does not represent the core of the matter, being still full of limitations and distortions linked to a discourse based on globalism versus antiglobalism.

The real issue is not globalization vs. anti-globalization but liberation vs. subjection, especially with reference to the nation state with its protected cohort of monopolistic producers and parasitic consumers (the bureaucracy, the army, etc.).What is at stake is not globalism or localism but freedom and nothing else than freedom.

We do not need to pile up data or write long treatises to show that freedom is a human value and servitude is not, that the earth belongs to humankind for the care of present and future generations and is not the closed territorial racket of national rulers and their corrupt or credulous appendages.

For this reason, whenever and wherever a debate on globalization takes place, after listening carefully to the various positions and arguments put forward and having worked out in our mind all the possible implications, we should sincerely ask ourselves: where is freedom? who is really advocating freedom? how can we better develop freedom?
According to the answers we should know where we stand.

Terrorism and Globalisation:

According to the E-journal. ISSN 1505-1161. October 2002 by Asta Maskaliunaite, already from the 1970s terrorism has been considered one of the global problems, and, actually, almost all the states of the world have experienced terrorist attacks in the last three decades. Although the tactics resembling terrorism is traced as early as the Jewish struggle against the Roman empire, it is the end of the 1960s that marks the beginning of the contemporary terrorist activities, an era of what has been called age of terrorism. Several events of that time influenced both the increasing usage of terrorist tactics in attempt to influence the political agenda and the appearance of the word terrorism in the everyday language, especially in the media. These events: death of Che Guevara in 1967, which showed the shortcomings of guerrilla warfare, the student uprisings of the 1968 having a similar influence on the view of impact of such type of revolts and the Six Day War of June 1967 that gave an impetus for an increasing use of the term terrorism by the Western media.

The debate about the impacts of the terrorist network on the development of globalization is much more controversial. In this sphere two main conflicting ideas can be distinguished: there are authors who claim that terrorism would slow down globalization processes and there are ones who argue exactly the opposite that it would speed up the processes of integration worldwide. The arguments for the strengthening of globalization received even more credibility because of the events that followed the September 11 attacks and the rhetoric that president Bush’s administration adopted after them. Enhancing the free trade was one of the main arguments of this rhetoric. In fact the processes of globalization seemed to advance after these events as United States received a possibility to both assert its leadership and transfer the blame over the world recession on the works of terrorists.

Such optimistic views, however, can hardly be sustained in the view of the current events. While it is rather clear that the processes of economic globalization will not halt, the form it takes is far from the one that has been dreamed of by the various activists of global civil society organizations. Hence, it is very doubtful that the terrorist attacks and the need to respond to the terrorist threat would greatly enhance the creation and development of the global civil society.

Various debates about the mutual impact of terrorism and globalization show the multifaceted relationship between the two phenomena. Summarizing briefly the arguments exposed so far it could be said that globalization provides means for the global terrorism by its technological advances; it also gives causes for such a terrorism primarily by creating great discrepancies in the economic conditions in various countries of the world. While analyzing the relationship between globalization and causes of terrorism, it is also perceived as a resistance to the domination of the United States in the world. The world itself, in words of Baudrillard, resists domination. These arguments lead are connected with the idea that terrorism became truly a global actor, which is confirmed by the fact that such organizations as al Qaeda achieve truly global dimensions. It uses global networks and advances causes that are deeply connected with the way the politics of the world function.

On the other hand, the analysts who promote the idea that because of the threat of terrorism the process of globalization will be just advanced also have important arguments. The process of globalization does not seem to have stopped and the form of it is not much different from the one experienced before the September 11th attacks either. To the contrary, the assertion of hegemony by United States has recently reached rather impressive dimensions. The world is gathered around the United States in its fight against terrorism, which also means the affirmation of its dominant position in the world.

However, contrary to the more optimistic views of the global civil society activists and some social scientists, there is not much multilateralism and mutual cooperation between the states and societies to be seen. In this sense, the process of globalization was not advanced by the terrorist attacks and no sense of a need of multilateral cooperation between the countries for countering the threat of terrorism was created.

As a final point, it could be argued that terrorism has an effect on globalization, but exactly a reverse one than intended, that instead of weakening the position of hegemonic power, it actually reinforces it. Hence, again, it could be argued that we are spinning in some kind of vicious circle where the shape of globalization, which we witness, engenders terrorism and terrorism itself enforces exactly this kind of globalization based on a hegemony of the United States.

Author’s Note:
I have tried to put forward my humble effort in dealing with the particular concept of Globalisation. If I have committed any mistakes , I beg to be forgiven as it is only an endeavour. I am indebted to the various authors from the Internet from whom I have taken the various concepts and references, a list of which is given below in the footnote. I am also indebted to Sri Ashis Mallick, Teacher- in -Charge , and all the Professors of Sarsuna Law College ( Professors Kana Mukherjee, Anindita Adhikari, Sumana Roychowdhury, Atashi Roy Khaskel, Ishtiaque Ahmed and Surekha Somabalan) for helping and encouraging me in writing this article.

1.see, for example, Weinberg, Davis. 1989. Introduction to Political Terrorism. New York, p.19
2.Laqueur, Walter. 1987. The Age of Terrorism. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
3.see, for example, Guelke, Adrian. 1995. The age of terrorism and the international political system. London: I.B.Tauris, p.2-3
4.Laclau, Mouffe. 1985. Hegemony and socialist strategy : towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso.
5.Schmid, Jongman. 1988. Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories, and literature. Amsterdam: North Holland, Transaction Books, p.28
6.Crenshaw Martha. 1983. "Reflections on the Effects of Terrorism" in Crenshaw, Martha, ed. Terrorism, Legitimacy and Power. The Consequences of Political Violence. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press., p.2
7."... we know intuitively that this is a revolution and that that is only a riot, but we could not say what riot and revolution are; we will speak of them without really knowing them. Could we define them? That would be arbitrary or impossible. (Veyne, Paul. 1984. Writing history: an essay on epistemology. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, p.132).
8.Chomsky, Noam. 2001. "September 11th and Its Aftermath: Where is the World Heading?" in
9.Scholte, Jan Aart. 2000. Globalization: a critical introduction. New York: St.Martin’s Press. p.44-46
11. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report, 1997, New York, 1997, p. 2.)
12. For a methodological review on the measurement of poverty see Jan Drewnowski, The Level of living Index, United Nations Institute for Social Research and Development (UNRISD), Geneva, 1965. See also the extensive research on poverty thresholds conducted by the US Bureau of the Census.
13. See World Bank, World Development Report, 1990, Washington DC, 1990.
14. See World Development Report, 1997, table 9.2, chapter 9.
15. Ibid., chapter 9, table 9.2.
16. Ibid., p. 5.

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