Basic Course 4:
Resulting Problems of Globalisation
affects us all indirectly. Clarifying this aspect and the wide-ranging
significance of the topic is one of the aims of this basic course. As a part of
this, a rational evaluation of the opportunities and risks, which set themselves
apart from the current vilification or hymns of praise, play a core role.
dynamics of globalisation are driven by economic forces, but its most
important consequences can be seen in politics" (Klaus Müller).
phrases, which need to be queried and analysed, are also to be found in the
debate concerning the resulting problems of globalisation. The diagram presents
a selection of these catch phrases, which can be added to without problem,
depending on the situation and the main points of emphasis. Current newspaper
reports or Internet content encountered almost daily may provide a good starting
point to this section.
important aspect when querying these catch phrases can be found in Basic
dimensions of globalisation, where the question is asked concerning which
aspects of the various dimensions are a part of globalisation (intersections)
and which are not. At the same time, it is worth asking which partial aspects of
the resulting problems referred to can be ascribed to globalisation, and which
other causes are decisive.
Hence, in the area of social politics perhaps, numerous different analyses exist
which question the strict chain of causes represented by 'globalisation >
location competition > social dumping', and attempt to clarify the extent to
which the amount of leeway available to the nation state in social politics is
actually restricted by globalisation processes.
on the Resulting Problems
The frequently quoted maxim that the nation states are too small for the large
problems, and too large for the small ones originates from a paper written by
Daniel Bell in the 80s. Global problems such as the greenhouse effect are just
as difficult to solve within the framework of the single state as local problems
are in education.
The result: an erosion of the nation state. It does not disappear, or become
superfluous, as many commentaries suggest, but simply erodes. Additional levels
to solving the problem both above and below the level of the nation state are
added to the picture. The former fixed limitations of territory of state, state
power and the nation state is becoming more permeable. No more, but certainly no
less lies at the foundation of the comment concerning the 'erosion at the
nation state', which is particularly far advanced in Europe in the form of
the EU. Here, the states have abdicated their central competencies up to and
including sovereignty of currency to a new, supranational organisation.
These phenomena are altogether nothing new - they have been in discussion since
the 70s under banner of interdependence - however, the processes have
accelerated, and reached new dimensions in quality and quantity. This is what is
new in globalisation.
This also applies to the same extent to the other aspects referred to in the
diagram. Environmental destruction already existed prior to globalisation,
just as unwarranted distribution did. But these problems are becoming
more serious due to globalisation. What has in the meantime become a
considerable movement amongst globalisation critics is heavily indicative of
section on "ATTAC" on separate page).
other hand, globalisation creates the framework for encountering global problems
at a suitable, namely global level.
Reducing social benefits in order to reduce payroll fringe costs to increase
competitive ability in global location competition is seen a pure necessity,
above all by industry, whereas the trade unions warn of the dangers of 'social
It remains undisputed that a worker in India earns less than in Europe, and that
this will remain so in the foreseeable future. This provides business with
considerable potential for threatening to migrate to 'low wage countries'. But
this apparently clear correlation does not stand up to
more precise analysis. Decisions on locations are not made on the basis
of wage costs alone. Other factors, such as the standard of education, or market
presence also play a prominent role.
Globalisation does not mean that it is possible to manufacture products easily
anywhere in the world. However, globalisation can be used as an argument or the
bottom line for threatening migration.
[Author: Ragnar Müller]
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