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I am author of the books Political Internet(Routledge, 2017), Intimate Speakers ( Fingerprint! 2017), has finished the typescript of three books—first, on Internet and sexuality; second, on the negative impacts of social media; and third, a novel—and is presently working on a narrative non-fiction with the working title Lovescape: Why India is afraid of love.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Globalization places limits on state autonomy and national sovereignty. Discuss?

It was Mark Twain who said "I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one” When you have numerous ideas and extensive information, the challenge is always determining what is pertinent and essential to impart the right message to where it should reach. This is a vital skill that Globalization has different meanings to different people. Some analysts prefer to use the more specific term “international economic integration” thereby focusing on the economic and financial aspects. On the other hand, globalization has reached into political, social and cultural dimensions. Modern States need to deal with all dimensions.
1. Internationalization of trade, finance and investment has put greater limits on the ability of State as monopoly of physical control and podium of supreme power.
2. Rapid advance of technology has made new dimension to security and geography that gave new challenges to the State and its ability as sole manager of the affairs of its subjects.
3. Dissemination of political paradigms has also made new modus operandi to think about social world. for instances people began to think about world and globe I new parameters such as global village, borderless world that became more problematic to idea of State.
Furthermore, globalization is being used to promote certain values, behaviours and standards in a number of key areas: political, socio-economic, and environmental and that of security systems. A wide variety of values and systems of democracy, such as citizens exercising their basic political right of electing their own Governments, are increasingly becoming the global standards in the political arena.
In addition, the emergence of new social movements with both local and transnational influence has pit greater stress on State power and its ability to handle issues that are beyond its borders and jurisdiction.
Standardization of the world’s security Systems. Considerable experience has been obtained in peacemaking activities through the United Nations, and some standardization has been reached in process and logistic areas. Besides the United Nations system, other modalities, such as multilateral forces organized by individual Member States, have been successful. Also, regional security mechanisms, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have had some success.
Internationalization of cross-border Problems. Many problems has been situated in an arena that has become quite difficult for State to manage by its own. For instances border issues, Terrorist problems etc has attained some kind of cross-border dimension for which State alone are not stake holders.
Formidable shifts of power from sovereign States to technologically advanced global elites and private multinational interests. Driven by modern technology, transportation, telecommunications, education and economic liberalization, globalization has the potential to transform the way in which organizations and people operate, cooperate and interface. Specifically, elites from all countries can be said to share some “globalized” values. On the other hand, disadvantaged groups within societies, and some societies as a whole, especially in developing countries, are excluded from the fruits of globalization. These excluded citizens cannot reap the benefits of the advanced information age and accelerated world trade. The more globalized States are transforming their decision-making processes so as to render them inclusive, participatory and democratic. On the other hand, for marginalized countries, globalization may contribute to a further shift of power and decision-making away from those concerned with national well-being and into the hands of unaccountable elites.
Impact of globalization: the private sector, civil society and the State
A. The private sector
Globalization is largely private sector-driven. It represents a shift in the locus of decision-making not only from the nation State to transnational actors but also from national Governments to the private sector. Economic liberalization includes financial sector deregulation, foreign exchange decontrol and freedom of trade, and goes hand-in-hand with globalization. Globalization presents entrepreneurs and corporations with unlimited opportunities to participate in economic activities in national, regional and global contexts. The opening up of economic opportunities allows the movement of foreign capital, technology and management, largely from transnational corporations to host country entrepreneurs and corporations. As national economies open up, mergers between businesses from different countries and outright purchases or investment in the equity of businesses in one country by owners from other countries are becoming more and more common. This involvement puts private sector organizations at centre stage, and also requires them to meet certain levels of performance in terms of the quality, standards and timeliness of their business activity. This competitive market pressure upon business leaders, executives and workers, especially in developing countries, urges high standards of organization, training and discipline if they are to run their operations successfully. In some countries, there is lacking a full understanding and appreciation of these business imperatives by the other key sectors in society including government regulatory and financial agencies, labour organizations, media and training institutions. In many developing countries, an enabling framework does not exist. Instead, policy instability, inconsistent or inadequate implementation of policies, lack of support from political parties and leaders for private sector businesses, poor, law and order situations and inadequate physical infrastructures discourage emerging private sector businesses in developing countries.
Civil society
Broadly speaking, civil society covers all organizations and groups not specifically governmental or income-generating. Civil society organizations can be characterized as a network of groups organized around special interests such as advocacy and offering services to the poor and disadvantaged (credit, health, education, training, housing, legal protection and so forth); providing support to the victims of human rights abuses and preventing future abuses; protecting environment and natural resources from all kinds of pollution and degradations; and promoting the interests of labour. Popularly known as non-governmental organizations or NGOs these groups include all local and externally financed private charitable, social service, developmental and professional organizations. In the United States, there are over 2 million such groups. In the decade since communism collapsed, the Russian Federation has witnessed the formation of 65,000 independent organizations dealing with a full range of issues. In Bangladesh, there are about 10,000 non-governmental organizations at work. Global non-governmental organizations are also expanding in number and scope. Four decades ago, there were fewer than 1,000 non-governmental organizations operating in about three countries. Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the United Nations reports almost 30,000 non-governmental organizations operating internationally
The State
Globalization impacts heavily on the State — its policies, institutions and functionaries. Major disruptions occur for many individuals and groups; and as the State is no longer the sole authority for protecting and promoting the interests of the poor and disadvantaged, other social, economic and political institutions are beginning to take responsibility for dealing with some of those disruptions in society.
Globalization is a journey. But it is a journey toward an unreachable destination -- "the globalized world." A "globalized" economy could be defined as one in which neither distance nor national borders impede economic transactions. This would be a world where the costs of transport and communications were zero and the barriers created by differing national jurisdictions had vanished. Needless to say, we do not live in anything even close to such a world. And since many of the things we transport (including ourselves) are physical, we never will.
Let us examine what has been traditionally associated with the concept state
Sovereignty. The world’s 190-plus states now co-exist with a larger number of powerful non-sovereign and at least partly (and often largely) independent actors, ranging from corporations to non-government organisations (NGOs), from terrorist groups to drug cartels, from regional and global institutions to banks and private equity funds. The sovereign state is influenced by them (for better and for worse) as much as it is able to influence them. The near monopoly of power once enjoyed by sovereign entities is being eroded.
As a result, new mechanisms are needed for regional and global governance that include actors other than states. This is not to argue that Microsoft, Amnesty International, or Goldman Sachs be given seats in the United Nations General Assembly, but it does mean including representatives of such organisations in regional and global deliberations when they have the capacity to affect whether and how regional and global challenges are met. Moreover, states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the international system is to function.
This is already taking place in the trade realm. Governments agree to accept the rulings of the World Trade Organisation because on balance they benefit from an international trading order, even if a particular decision requires that they alter a practice that is their sovereign right to carry out.
All of this suggests that sovereignty must be redefined if states are to cope with globalisation. Globalisation thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker. States would be wise to weaken sovereignty in order to protect themselves, because they cannot insulate themselves from what goes on elsewhere. Sovereignty is no longer a sanctuary.
Population. Popultion has been another layer that distinguishes State from all other organization and make it more supreme and unique. But now the idea of population has come to new parameters where even State promotes people from other societies to migrate to its territory. Canada is an example.
Government. The idea of government has come to greater change in its meaning, activities and dimensions. Government now aday is one among many forms of organization that can serve citizen. For instances many NGO, Civil society groups, philanthropy even MNCs has greater financial and other potentialities which even many modern government lack.
The territorial structures and compartments which have, for the past few hundred years, formed a basic component of the state system are experiencing structural change. The impact of globalisation and the changing nature of the world political order have raised major questions concerning the role of the nation state and the way in which territory continues to define the spatial extent of sovereignty. Notions of a “borderless world” and political “deterritorialization” are seen as signalling a new world order in which the territorial component in world affairs is of much reduced significance.  Political deterritorialisation .It is unbelievable that our culture,land,space conception etc are fast chaning since we have access to computer.
Borderless world
As the Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman has traveled to the four corners of the globe, interviewing people from all walks of contemporary life – Brazilian peasants in the Amazon rain forest, new entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Islamic students in Teheran, and the financial wizards on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. Now Friedman has drawn on his years on the road to produce an engrossing and original look at the new international system that, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today: globalization.
His argument can be summarized quite simply. Globalization is not just a phenomenon and not just a passing trend. It is the international system that replaced the Cold War system. Globalization is the integration of capital, technology, and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and, to some degree, a global village. You cannot understand the morning news or know where to invest your money or think about where the world is going unless you understand this new system, which is influencing the domestic policies and international relations of virtually every country in the world today. And once you do understand the world as Friedman explains it, you'll never look at it quite the same way again.
With vivid stories and a set of original terms and concepts, Friedman shows us how to see this new system. He dramatizes the conflict of "the Lexus and the olive tree" – the tension between the globalization system and ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition, and community. He also details the powerful backlash that globalization produces among those who feel brutalized by it, and he spells out what we all need to do to keep this system in balance. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great drama of the globalization era, and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book.
One of the contested aspects of globalization and State debate concerns its geographical aspect and especially whether globalization is rendering the significance of location, territory power and place redundant and irrelevant. Several writers have argued that globalization—especially as driven by the revolution in information and communications technologies (ICT)—marks the ‘end of geography’ (O'Brien, 1992), O'Brien R. Global Financial Integration: The End of Geography. London: Pinter; 1992. the onset of the ‘death of distance’ (Cairncross, 1997), Cairncross F. The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives. London: Orion Publishing; 1997.the emergence of a ‘borderless world’ (Ohmae, 1995), Ohmae K. The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in an Interdependent Economy. New York: Harper Business; 1995of ‘de-territorialization’ or ‘supra-territorialisation’ (Scholte, 2000)Scholte JA. Globalization. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan; 2000 and the ‘vanishing of distance’ (Reich, 2001).Reich R. The Future of Success: Work and Life in the New Economy. London: William Heinemann; 2001. The most provocative—certainly the most colourful—of these claims is Thomas Friedman's recent pronouncement that as a consequence of globalization, ‘the world is flat’ (Friedman, 2006). Friedman T. The World is Flat. London: Penguin Books; 2006.He contends that the ICT revolution, the deregulation of markets by states and increasing economic integration have contributed to a marked time–space compression of economic processes. The alleged result is that there is no longer any ‘friction of distance’ in economic relationships.
In short what we understand as State in its modern form does not exist altogether in contemporary age. The works of many scholars being cited are testimony to the fact that a great deal of literature has begun to surface in academic and popular circles that defy State as a powerful, autonomous and sovereign institution now a day. Many modern notions and paraphernalia that are traditionally thought to constitute the State have begun to undergo transformation. Now State has began to metamorphose in to new forms such as hollow State, Virtual State etc. Sovereignty, security, territory, geography,  population, power, and a plenty of variables by which State has been defined as the sole source of autonomy and national sovereign has a greater extent seems being challenged with the rise and emergence of globalization. Globalization has altered the very meaning of State.

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