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1. Positive and negative impact of globalization processes
Today, a concept is becoming increasingly popular in the world scientific community, according to which all the people are the citizens of one global society that consists of a number of local societies of individual countries. This concept simplifies the consideration of the globalization processes, which in this case turn into the usual social transformations in the global society.
The main consequence of globalization is the international division of labor, migration (and, as a rule, concentration) of capital of human and industrial resources throughout the world, standardization of legislation, economic and technological processes, as well as convergence and fusion of cultures of different countries. As a result of globalization, the world becomes more connected and more dependent on all its subjects (Soleymani 2010, pp. 104-110; Keohane 2002). It causes an increase of both the number of common problems for groups of countries, and the number and types of integrating subjects. According to Szeman (2003, p.94) “Globalization is the moment of mass, migration, muticulturalism, and cosmopolitanism”.
Globalization is closely linked with the process of centralization of control subjects. In politics, globalization means weakening of national states, it changes and reduces their sovereignty. On the one hand, it happens because modern states delegate increasingly more authorities to influential international organizations such as UNO, WTO, EU, NATO, IMF, and World Bank. On the other hand, due to reduction of government intervention in the economy and tax cuts the political power of enterprises increases (especially of large transnational corporations) (Hays 2009, pp. 17-24; Keohane 2002). Easier migration of people and the free movement of capital abroad also decrease the power of states over their citizens.
The interdependence of the economies of different countries increased immeasurably in comparison with the integration (Keohane 2002, p.15). The increasing globalization of the economy reflects in the sharp increase of scales and rates of capital movement, in the faster growth of international trade if compared with GDP growth, in the emergence of 24-hour working global financial markets. The information systems created over the past decades raised the movement ability of financial capital, which contains, at least potentially, the ability to destroy sustainable economic systems (Castells 2000).
Globalization of the economy is a complex and contradictory process. On the one hand, it facilitates economic interaction between states, creates the conditions for countries to access the advanced achievements of mankind, saves resources, and promotes global progress. On the other hand, globalization has negative consequences: setting a peripheral model of the economy, loss of resources for countries outside the “golden billion”, ruin of small businesses, spreading of global competition to the weak countries, declining living standards, etc. (Hays 2009, pp. 17-24; Giddens 2000).
In general, the costs and benefits of globalization are extremely unevenly distributed among the participants. Increase of productivity, reduction of costs, growth of income and wealth at one pole is achieved at the cost of increasing uncertainty, risk, inequality, and poverty on the other. Individual countries cannot afford to separate from the world market system without paying a high price. At the same time, globalization inevitably strengthens the role of national governments in the domestic economics and in interaction with the outside world. This makes it possible to reduce vulnerability and minimize the social costs associated with globalization, to reach agreement with international capital in terms of achieving a more equitable distribution of gains from trade, foreign investment and other transactions.
Cultural globalization is characterized by convergence of business and consumer culture among different countries and the growth of international communication. On the one hand, this leads to the popularization of certain types of national culture around the world (Regev 2007, pp. 125-28). On the other hand, the popular international cultural phenomena may displace national ones or make them international. Many perceive this as a loss of national cultural values and fight for the revival of national culture (Langman 2003, pp. 223-30; Ossewaarde 2007, pp. 170-79).
Modern movies are released simultaneously in many countries around the world; books are translated and became popular among readers from different countries. Enormous role in cultural globalization is played by the ubiquitous Internet (Castells 2000). In addition, international tourism is becoming increasingly widespread.
In 19 out of 25 countries, most respondents reported the expecting benefits from the expansion of globalization. The highest support was recorded in the Netherlands, where 87% of respondents expressed pro-globalist views, followed by Venezuela (82%), India (79%) and Qatar (78%). In Argentina and Turkey, which are experiencing serious financial troubles, the respondents showed the most negative attitudes towards globalization. According to WEF, from a total of 25 000 respondents, six out of ten believed globalization to be positive, while one in five considered it negative (Soleymani 2010, pp. 109-113).
Globalization is often equated with Americanization due to the increase of US influence in the world in the 20th century. Hollywood produces most of the movies for worldwide distribution. The USA is the home of global corporations: Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi and many others. McDonald’s because of its prevalence in the world has become a symbol of globalization (Szeman 2003, p.101-5). Comparing prices for BigMac in different countries, The Economist examines the purchasing power of different currencies (Big Mac Index). Other countries also contribute to globalization. For example, one of the symbols of globalization – IKEA – appeared in Sweden; the popular instant messaging service ICQ was first released in Israel, and the well-known software for IP-telephony Skype was developed by Estonian programmers (Regev 2007, pp. 129-33).