G L O B A L I Z A T I O N

AND THE NATION STATE

 

 

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WHERE DO WE STAND NOW ?

AN OVERVIEW

Man, at the dawn of the 21st century, has created a new world for himself. The future is now full of hopes, worries, uncertainties, dreams and thrills.

The revolutionary developments in the fields of communication and transportation, in addition to other developments brought on by science and technology, have transformed the world, making it a smaller place.

Mankind has the world virtually in the palm of its hand. We are now in a position where we have a much broader outlook. Mankind has become global in all of his deeds.

So where do we go from here? What is to happen from this point onwards?

Bipolarization, namely East versus West and North versus South, has in large part lost its significance. The world will become a place where borders no longer exist.

We will come face to face with a world where changes come at the speed of light and where events that unfold take place on several planes at the same time.

This will be an altogether different world and generations that follow will be confronted with the task of both shaping and administering such a world.

In order to better understand what I have just stated, let us go back in history a little.

There are enormous differences between the state of the world at the beginning of the 20th century and the state of the world at the end of it.

Grand technological discoveries such as the telescope, microscope, steam, electricity, telephone, television, jet engine, nuclear energy, satellites and the Internet have brought about developments which were previously unimaginable.

With these developments, the world has been divided into two: strong, rich and developed counties with powerful weapons, on the one hand, and countries that live under very harsh circumstances on the other.

It is largely Europe that has been the centre of the all the developments that have taken place in the last two centuries. 

Westphalia, which gave birth to the concept of equal sovereign states, was followed by the French Revolution. This, in turn, was succeeded by "nations," and "nation-states" comprised of free citizens.

In addition to science and technology, there have also been major advances in the areas of education, health and industrialization.

Two horrific wars, the first beginning in 1914 and the second in 1939 erupted in Europe. These wars resulted in the loss of millions of lives, disintegration of empires, the end of colonialism and the birth of independent states. Then came . ideological conflict. It started once again in Europe and later spread to other countries of the world.

There was fascism. There was communism. And there was democracy, which was left in a situation where it had no choice but to defend itself.

It is a well-known fact that ideological conflicts rest on issues such as how nations are to be governed, how development is to be brought about and how wealth is to be achieved.

The United Nations, which was founded in 1945, has made significant contributions to the preservation of world peace and to the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Founded by around 50 countries, the United Nations now has 190 members.

WORK TOGETHER, LIVE TOGETHER !!

"Work together, live together" is the motto of the United Nations.

The United Nations, on the one hand, works to preserve world peace and, on the other, deals with other problems that confront humanity.

Member states of the United Nations, by accepting its system, have in fact come to possess certain common principles of governance.

In the period that followed World War II, it was once again impossible to arrive at world peace. Ideological conflicts and related debates simply did not cease.

The fact that nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles were capable of destroying the entire world, brought on a different kind of nightmare. This period, called "the Cold War," lasted for 45 years.

The Soviet State System, which was based on Marxist ideology, started to crumble with the fall of the Berlin Wall and finally collapsed with the concepts of "Glasnost" and "Perestroika."

As of 1989, new political circumstances and a new political geography came into being.

The Soviet influence in Central and Eastern Europe, in the Balkans, in the Baltics, in the Caucasus and in Central Asia ceased to exist and "Independent States" were born.

All of these States, including the Russian Federation, have adopted "market economies" as opposed to "Marxist economies" and have opted for "democratic rule" instead of "communist rule."

Moreover, from the beginning of the 1980s, effectiveness and productivity, came to top all other administrative criteria, irrespective of the type of rule.

Throughout the period extending from Adam Smith to Marx and Keynes, either some or all of economic activity, if not entirely, has been in the hands or the control of the State.

With Hayek and Friedman, it was once again back to Adam Smith. To them, the role of the State in the economy was to be completely changed. To them, the State should have nothing to do with economic activity. The economy should be left to the individuals, the markets should regulate themselves with their own dynamics, and there should be competition. This way, effectiveness and productivity will be achieved.

The aim is to utilize scarce resources for the benefit of mankind, without any going to waste.

It is not possible for a state that is involved in economic activity to govern properly and to be free from corruption and waste.

This is called market economy and there will be a transition from international to universal law.

Democracy, human rights and the market economy are the new guides of mankind.

Better governance is one of today's foremost topics.

Development and overcoming poverty have become global issues.

 

COMMON AWARENESS, COMMON STANCE

The United Nations, especially with the various conferences and meetings that it has organized in the last tens years, has been very instrumental in creating a common awareness of problems that concern the entire human race. It has also been pivotal in the adoption of a common stance with respect to such problems.

Meetings organized by the United Nations on issues such as children's rights, struggle against poverty, rapid population growth, protection of the environment, housing and settlement and on issues concerning women are significant in demonstrating how much the whole of humanity is being embraced.

How nation-states ought to reconcile independence and sovereignty with solidarity, coexistence and cooperation has evolved over time.

Regional institutions such as the EU in Europe, NAFTA in North America, MERCOSUR in Latin America and ASEAN and APEC in the Far East remain operational. And organizations such as WTO, OECD, BSEC and the OIC can be added to the list.

People, at the beginning of the 21st century, are engaged in a genuine effort to preserve world peace, to protect the Earth and to alleviate poverty.This is what "globalization" is.

The European Union is an indispensable model for global cooperation.

People who have lived through the horrors of World War II have united around the motto, "Europe should unite and there ought to be no more wars."

The Common Market, which was set up by six countries in 1957, has developed in the last 45 years. Firstly, it has become an economic union of 15 countries with a single market, a common currency and a customs union. It has also established unity in law. Most recently, it has focused on political unity.

Between most of the member states, borders no longer exist.

Currently, the questions of governance and enlargement are being debated. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a European Union of 28 states including the 12 countries and Turkland, who have applied, is forming.

 

PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

The general outlook at the beginning of the 21st century is not very bright and world states have become aware of cross-border problems.

The world population, which was 2 billion at the beginning of the last century, reached 6 billion at the end of it.

The human being is the most dangerous threat to the Earth. He is threatening to deplete the Earth of its rich natural resources and this would be the end of everything. These resources are already insufficient to feed the hungry billions even today.

The root of all of these problems is population growth. Migration, the ever-crowding of cities and even terrorism are all results of rapid population growth.

The world today faces the problem of poverty. Per capita GNP of 70 countries are less than it was 20 years ago. A billion people survive on less than $1 a day. Half of the world population earns less than $2 a day.

A significant portion of the world population has no access to education and medical services. Terrorism, drugs, smuggling, contagious diseases are among the common problems of humanity.

This is the age of information. Correct. However, how will it be the age of "prosperity, peace and stability?" How will prosperity for all be achieved? This is the main problem!The only hope is to fully embrace democracy, human rights and the market economy.

The United Nations conference on "Sustainable Development and Combating Poverty" which will be held in Johannesburg in September, will deal with one of the major topics of global concern.

World Economic Forum that was held in New York and the Social Forum, which convened in Porto Allegro, have brought new dimensions to the on going debate.

The question of whether "to grow or to share" is still on the agenda. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, says in a statement that: "The poor are not the victims of globalization. The problem rather is: They haven't been involved in the global market, but remained outside of it."

Robert wade, one of the members of the London School of Economics says: "Global income inequality has become widespread during the last 20 years. It is not enough to defend globalization. There is the need for international institutions to integrate more with the world economy."

British International Development Minister Claire Short says: "Globalization will bring a huge wealth. This, in turn, can be used to reduce the worldwide poverty and to remedy global scale injustice"

James C. Bennett says: "I believe that the reason of globalization will win the battle at the end. All nations will succeed to pass forward to democracy and market economy. However, this process will take generations."The opinions of the World Bank on this issue are as follows: "Globalization has helped in many developing nations to lower poverty. But, in order to improve the living conditions in the poorest countries, measures like increasing trade, creating an environment conducive for investment, improving educational and health services, helping more of the rich countries to help the poor ones and debt relief should be taken.

 

THE AFTERMATH OF WWII

The motto after the World War II was "peace and stability cannot be separated."

We know that the remedy for reducing poverty and bringing about prosperity is sustainable development.

The suitable environment for eliminating poverty should be created both at national and global levels.

At the national level, protectionism will come to an end as the market economy takes hold.

The period of resource wasting through industrial subsidizations behind tariffs is over.

 

WHAT SHOULD NATION STATES DO ?

Primary things that a nation state should do are:

1. Making the private sector the engine of economic growth.

2. Keeping inflation rate low.

3. Attaining price stability.

4. Reducing state bureaucracy.

5. Running a budget that is in equilibrium, even if a surplus is not generated.

6. Getting rid of quotas and local monopolies.

7. Increasing exports.

8. Privatization of public owned industries and public economic institutions.

9. Liberalization of capital markets.

10. Making the currency convertible.

11. Eliminating state enterprises in the economy in order to increase domestic competition as much as possible.

12. Reducing public malpractice, subsidies and bribery as much as we can.

13. Opening up banking and telecommunication systems for competition and private ownership.

 

A GLOBAL VILLAGE

The World Is Really Turning Into A "Global Village."

What kind of a century will this new century be? What will be the characteristics of the Global World?

It is possible to make virtual journeys via infinite information highways to the most remote places of the world; accordingly, a massive change has taken place in all the fields from economics to politics, from culture to science.

The whole world has turned into a big market thanks to the Internet. The dimensions that the global market will take in the 21st century will be extremely striking.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Head of the U.S. Patent Department told the then U.S. President: "everything that can be invented has already been invented. Close down the Patents department." 4.5 million inventions have been made since then.

Robert Millikan, the Nobel Prize Winner in Physics in 1923, cut it short by saying: "Man has no possibility of making use of the power of the atom" We all know what has happened since then. Taking into consideration these examples, one could easily conjecture that the enormous developments in science and technology will continue.

The invention of new vaccines in the field of medicine and transplantations, the profound improvements in genetics, the increase in the average life span, new inventions concerning the human brain will continue and humanity will come across many good news.

Democracy will continue to spread and to strengthen on a global level.

New codes of conduct and values will appear in every area from economics to politics, from culture to education.

The state will be rebuilt according to the needs of the century, thereby gaining a structure that allows it to enact at a level closest to its citizens.

The power and the activity of the civil society will also increase giving a new dimensions to participation. There will be a transition from representative to participatory democracy.

Electronic working environment will turn the world into a single market that operates for 24 hours, the concepts of time and place will lose their meaning, and firms of all sizes will be able to do business on a global level.

What matters will no longer be the origin of the firms, but rather where they produce thereby providing employment and welfare.

 

A GLOBAL MARKET

The development of the global market will make the international finance system an integrated whole; the transparency in public administration and the struggle against malpractice will attain a cross-border characteristic and great importance.

The wealth of the nations will be judged by the qualities of their human resources. Therefore, the democratization of the processes of gaining access to information and of using information will become very important.

Health care and education will become public services which should be provided to the whole of humanity.

The conscience of space and the planet will develop and the collective efforts against the pollution of the environment will strengthen.

Communication and transportation will become cheaper thanks to the developments in technology; circulation of goods, services and capital on a global level will become faster.

The international economic and political relations will mainly consist of the additions of regional groupings to each other. The countries left outside these groupings will be marginalized.

The most significant result of all these developments will be that no country or state will have the standards of its own in politics, economy or human rights. No state will be able to claim "I do what I like, I solve my problems in my own way. And that interests no one." We are at a point where national security is attained by collective security arrangement.

 

WHERE DO WE GO NOW?

In the globalized world, it is of great importance to take the necessary timely precautions in order to ease an economic crisis before it causes great harm to the world economy. The world talks about the idea of forming a new finance architecture for the 21st century.

The 20th century witnessed periods when the belief in democracy weakened or faded by the apprehensions for food or security.

The greatest danger facing the globalizing world is also the same. This world should not be a world of "the most wealthy" and the "most deprived." The fear of unemployment and the profound income inequalities brought about by globalization can only be eliminated by policies and precautions which take the human factor as its focus. In that respect, a new and important role should be played by the nation states. Only those states who perform this duty and take the necessary precautions can take the benefit of the opportunities created by globalization.

Globalization is not an ideology, but a concrete and dynamic phenomenon gaining new dimensions every day.

Being against such a dynamic concrete phenomenon does not stop the process from developing. The process will go on. Besides the new opportunities and better living conditions provided by the globalization, those who lose their jobs because of this process, those who fear the weakening of local traditions and national conscience, those who see the environment under threat and the possibility of social and political turmoil in some countries constitute the painful points about globalization.

For overcoming these difficulties, the duty of the states and of the people is to be well aware of the circumstances of the globalizing world, to adapt to these circumstances and to find a good place in this new order. I believe that qualified human resources equipped with a good education can overcome the above-mentioned difficulties.

A world is sought which is more beautiful, greener, more peaceful, healthier, more secure and one in which the people get a fairer share of the world's wealth.

Working enthusiastically to achieve such a goal, which is for the benefit of all, is the prerequisite for the humanity for realizing this goal. The world of today is better than that of yesterday. The world of tomorrow should be better that of today. It should be a world in which the whole humanity lives happily. But this necessitates cooperation and collaboration.

 

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