Globalization, Social Closeness and Sustainable Development
Globalization, also known as global integration, is the process of integration and interaction among nations, individuals, and businesses worldwide. Since the late 18th century, globalization has accelerated owing to advancements in communication and transportation technologies. There are two general types of globalization: open and closed. The open globalization is also called the globalization of markets, while the close-to-closed type is the integration of different nation-states.
Open globalization is characterized by greater equality in income and wealth, technological advances, international trade, and liberalization of foreign markets. For instance, trade between South Korea and China became open after the Korean War. This was facilitated by opening up of the ports of Wenchuan and Chongqing. The financial exchanges between Japan and China increased and there were significant liberalization measures during the period of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO). These open globalization processes have facilitated globalization, leading to its major effects on the global economy.
However, globalization has some disadvantages. One of these is a possible decrease in national income due to globalization. Another is the decrease in cultural exchanges and employment that can result from technological advances in one country causing unemployment in other countries. Furthermore, globalization can lead to political fragmentation and social division, resulting to political powerlessness as well. This can make globalization seem inefficient and ineffective as a means for economic growth.
On the other hand, cultural globalization is characterized by the vast changes that have occurred over the past half century. A global phenomenon like cultural globalization is characterized by the existence of widespread transnationalization. In this case, different regions of the world have developed similar norms and practices such as dress codes, music, cuisine, and cultures. These different cultural aspects also contributed to the evolution of the world economy. In fact, many of these norms have been deeply affected by globalization and the impact it has had on the international trade system.
Some of the most significant negative effects globalization has had on the global economy are discussed below. First, it increased the gap between developed and developing economies, creating a growing gap between the rich and the poor. Second, because of cultural globalization, there has been a decline in international intellectual property protection, resulting in the theft of intellectual property by some countries, particularly those in the Third World. Third, because of cultural globalization, multinational corporations have been encouraged to move their investments outside of the United States and other first world countries, undermining the ability of the United States and other developed countries to keep foreign investments and credit flowing freely.
These negative effects of globalization were widely discussed at the forum hosted by the World Future Council. Participants brought forth various scenarios and solutions to counteract globalization, including the adoption of policies aimed at promoting sustainable development. These policies are designed to counter the negative effects of globalization, preserving what is already in place and increasing on-going international cooperation to fight climate change and promote sustainable development. Such strategies include the following: promoting transparent and inclusive global trade, increasing the transparency of financial exchanges and reducing regulations that restrict the freedom of entry for small and medium sized businesses, promoting multilateral action to combat transnational crime and terrorism and improving the quality of the environment.