Twenty percent of the world’s population consumes more than 80 percent of the earth’s resources, while the other 80 percent consume less than 20 percent, (Norberg 2003). Anti globalist argue that globalisation has contributed to poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. But before we get to that we must ask ourselves what exactly is globalisation? It can be described as the increased interconnectedness of people and accessible movement of imports, exports, cultures, religions, ideologies, the list is endless. “It appears to be ‘a global shift’; that is, a world being moulded, by economic and technological forces, into a shared economic and political arena”, (Held and McGrew, 1999)
The WTOs is closely aligned to globalisation as its function is to govern trading between nation states. However it only protects the interest of developed countries such as the USA, European Union and Multinational corporations, it does so by neglecting the demands of poorer countries as they have less power to negotiate.Firstly, developed countries are able to demand high protection of their agriculture while developing countries are somewhat forced to open their markets . Secondly, developing countries are discriminated against as they face higher tariffs while developed countries continue to block imports, (Khor,2001)
Critics of globalisation have argued that globalisation has contributed to the uneven distribution of wealth.There is little evidence to prove that world trade has filtered down to the poor within the developing countries (Hopper, 2003). This may be the case , however we must consider other factors such as corruption and the lack of good governance. Other reasons being fhat some underdeveloped countries are just simply excluded from the perks of globalisation. According to Nayyar and Stiglitz( 2003)economic inequalities increased between and within states due to contemporary globalisation. A result of this generates a wider gap between the rich and poor , in countries such as Brazil.
Globalisation has increased the presence of Transnational Corporations in host countries which has helped lift those in poorer areas out of poverty by providing employment, therefore substantially contributing to the GDP of poorer countries. They also bring access to credit markets and introduce new technologies, (Lodge, and Wilson, 2006). However they have been known to take advantage as they have the economic power to do so. Governments rely on their presence therefore accept the exploitation. However Williams and O’brien 2013) argue that Transnational corporations have limited power because when firms encounter economic or political power they quickly turn to their home states for protection.
Globalisation has spread democratic ideas across the world, Economy Watch (2010). The widespread and enforcement of many treaties, policies and declarations are due to globalisation. This has placed a great importance on fighting against injustice and inequality. “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Furthermore globalisation has not only made these views the norm but has put a great strain on leaders of countries to act accordingly or face imprisonment, sanctions or military action, for example the imprisonment of Charles Taylor former president of Liberia.
According to former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, arguing against globalisation is like arguing against the laws of gravity. How far would you agree with this statement?
By Hufan Jama
Crossette, B. (2000) UN: Globalization Tops Agenda for World Leaders at Millenium Summit, Available at: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=589 (Accessed: 29th November).
Economy Watch (2010) Advantages of Globalization, Available at: http://www.economywatch.com/economics-theory/globalization/advantages.html (Accessed: 20th November 2014).
Held, D., Mcgrew, A., Perraton, J. and Goldblatt, D. (1999) Global Transformations, 1st edn., UK, Cambridge : Polity Press.
Hopper, P. (2012) Understanding Development, 1st edn., Cambridge : Polity Press.
Khor, A. (2001) Rethinking Globalization: Critical Issues and Policy Choices, 1st edn., United Kingdom: Zedd Books Ltd.
Lodge, G.C., Wilson, C. (2006) A Corporate Solution to Global Poverty: How Multinationals Can Help the Poor and Invigorate Their Own Legitimacy, 1st edn., United Kingdom: Princeton University Press.
O’Brien, R. and Williams, M. (2013) Robert O’Brien, Marc Williams, 4th edn., England : Palgrave Mcmillian.