GLOBALIZATION: “A THREAT TO THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE”?

As a central concept in the present day international scenario, GLOBALIZATION is hard to define. Still, scholars have made attempts to provide a basic understanding of the concept. Globalization is a significant factor in competitive world that integrate and mobilize cultural values of people at the global level. In the age of rapid technical progression, many countries are unified and transformed due to the process of globalization. The concept has got inextricably linked with the process of transformation touching upon every aspect of SOCIAL, POLITICAL, and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT around the globe. It can be seen as a process by which the POPULATION of the world is increasingly bonded into a single society. GLOBALIZATION has a huge impact on cultural, social, monetary, political, economic, and communal life of countries. But, WHAT IS THIS GLOBALIZATION? HOW IT HAS IMPACTED RHE THE WORLD? HOW HAS IT IMPACTED US? THE PEOPLE IN THE SOCIETY?

Well, In Broader sense, the term “GLOBALIZATION” means combination of economies and societies through cross country flows of information, technology, ideas, goods, services, capital, finance, and people. In the SOCIAL front, globalization signifies closer interaction of people and homogenisation of culture and values and the world being transformed into a “GLOBAL VILLAGE”. POLITICALLY, it refers to the complex networks of global governance and shared Political values resulting in the development of a tendency towards homogenisation of global Political culture. ECONOMICALLY, it is manifested in the form of LIBERALISATION tendencies, privatisation, deregulation leading to a FREE MARKET REGIME.

The term GLOBALIZATION encompasses various aspects including expanded international trade, telecommunications, monetary co-ordination, multinational corporations, cultural exchanges of new types and scales, migration, and refugee flows, and relations between the world’s rich and poor countries. Globalization is marked by LIBERALISATION, PRIVATIZATION, FREE TRADE, DEREGULATION OF TARIFF BARRIERS, INTERNATIONALISATION OF NATIONAL ECONOMIES, GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF CAPITAL, INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY. Therefore, Globalization signifies: * Opening up of national economies to foreign capital, foreign direct investment and foreign technologies. * Efforts of integrating national economies with the global economy. * Free trade, meaning free flow of trade and removal of tariff and trade barriers, protective regimes including granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. * PRIVATIZATION is the key to LIBERALISATION which means less and less control of state over ownership of means of production and distribution. * Globalized social movements have resulted in global civic activism and range from movements for human rights, women’s issues, Greenpeace and other environmental movements to HIV/AIDS.

“GLOBALIZATION AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE”. The WESTPHALIAN MODEL OF STATE SYSTEM has come under the threats of Globalization. Though the states, still surviving, exercise their power and authority in certain respects, but the core of the WESTPHALIAN MODEL, that is, the CONCEPT OF SOVEREIGNTY, has deeply undermined in a fast globalizing world. The concept of sovereignty pertains to a specific reference, to a specific territory where governments exercise absolute authority. But the FORCES OF GLOBALIZATION have rendered the territorial limits useless. In other words, there has been a deterritorialization of the world. The state in a globalizing world has to work along with the forces which are not under its control even such as surveillance by global governance agencies, nationalism, global ecological problems, satellite communications, electronic money transfers, multinational companies, migration, information flows, technology transfers and most importantly, nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Scholars have pointed out that the concept of ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY was developed under conditions of relatively low level of interdependence among the states. However, the complex level of interdependence with large flow of capital, labour, technology and information across borders has now emerged within the changing patterns of SOVEREIGNTY and its meaning and conditionally are continuously changing in a FAST GLOBALIZING WORLD.

The GLOBAL GOVERNANCE SYSTEM has also limited the STATE SOVEREIGNTY. In several fields, Ranging from conflict management, to human rights and environmental movements more than the state it is now the agencies such as THE UNITED NATIONS, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF), the WTO, the WORLD BANK, and various regional arrangements have significant roles to play.

Global Social Movements have also now come to undermine the SOVEREIGNTY OF STATES. These Social Movements to some extent succeed in bringing about changes in the policies of the states.

Hence, it might seem that under such circumstances, Globalization has really brought an end to state sovereignty. But, experiences show that STATES do continue to be the most powerful actors and, in times of turbulence, such as global economic crisis states have again reaffirmed their authority as ultimately it is the governments who are providing bailout packages for the financial institutions in their respective countries.

“In no way have STATES become less SIGNIFICANT”.