The Globalization Process Impact on the State and the State System at Regional and Global Levels
Globalization is a multifaceted occurrence which has been defined differently by debaters and no consistent definition has been agreed upon (Weiss, 1). Eventually, they have come up with the conclusion that several definitions can be used to describe this phenomenon. Some of the criteria that have been used to define globalization include westernization, internationalization, deterritorialization, and liberalization (About.Com, 2013). Using the internationalization criterion, globalization has been defined as a process which makes nation states powerless making them seem unimportant. For instance, when nation state’s power to manage its economy is reduced, this is considered globalization.
The contemporary political world has undergone significant transformation especially with the creation of modern nation states. Governments have also been institutionalized leading to the creation of regional or global governance (Dean, 1998). This has been stimulated mainly by the need to have a common approach in solving global or regional issues; for example the World Trade Organization (WTO) was formed in order to provide a homogeneous framework of controlling trade among member countries (Held & McGrew, 1999). WTO is an example of an inter-state system which has promoted global trade and hence globalization.
As more regional and global networks continue to be formed, governments have become less independent as there is a higher authority in the organization where they are members (Held & McGrew, 1999). Indeed this has formed the major component of contemporary politics. Country’s political space has been interfered with since it is no longer within the national territory and as such the government cannot be referred to the sole determinant of its fate or that of its citizens. This however does not imply that internationalization has eclipsed the political freedom of countries; it simply suggests that a country can no longer act without causing some cross border attention (Held & McGrew, 1999). It does not suggest a decline in the state’s power of its freedom.
The transformation of national politics has been mistaken for diminution of state power over its political fate but in real sense, the transformation has only changed the conditions in which national politics are exercised (Dean, 1998). The reorganization of the state market to fit in the global market by the international or regional organization means that a state is forced to function as guided by the framework used in the organization. This way the state has no power over the economy. However, this does not translate into erosion of a state power over its economy; it is just a transformation of the market condition.
Similarly, other domains such as matters of environment, health and politics are exercised as guided by the framework in an international organization in order to have central governance which makes operations easy to coordinate (Dean, 1998). Under such developments, terms such as diminution, erosion, or decline of power should not be used although it may be argued that previously before a state joins an international organization, it had full control over its development. This apparent structural change in the powers of a state over certain domains and in particular political domain has no weakening or disrespect of a state sovereignty whatsoever but it is just an ideology of a modern state.
There could be reasons for doubting that contemporary politics do not eclipse a state autonomy in its political matters. It is important also to note that in spite of any negativity that may rise from the contemporary structure of politics, the main theme of internationalization is to strength network. A close assessment of globalization from any sense of its definition indicates that it does not always have a uniform impact on states. The impact of globalization depends on the position a particular state takes in the development domains such as the global market and politics (Held & McGrew, 1999).
The kind of influence that globalization may be said to have on a state politics is that of an expanded scope or the capacity of political activities (Weiss, 6). Through the expanded network there has been extraordinary influence on how states approach their issues and this has especially affected decision-making in political matters of national politics. This implies that the kind of impact that globalization may have on national politics is only through the introduction of new ways of handling issues but does not forcefully bring an end to the old ways (Weiss, 6). This however also implies that with it come challenges in the structure of the modern political world.
With globalization in mind, it is clear that the political space of a state is no longer limited to the borders of the state. This has resulted to creation of political communities which are made of several states across the world. The political communities are bound by uniform regulations of politics; this means that a state exclusively determine cases for their citizens but with an international influence. This situation has been referred to as ‘an overlapping communities of fate’ (Held & McGrew, 1999) meaning different state affairs are bound together and they help each other in generating solutions to emerging problems. Political communities therefore have an intention of coming up with diverse ways of facing challenges affecting all or some of the member communities. In this context, togetherness triumphs over control of fate of the member communities. It is an indication of an open world unlike the previous closed world where a state would struggle alone to solve its own challenges such as war and famine.