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The complex process of globalization, which has been gaining speed for thousands of years, is irreversible through many aspects. The global economy is integrated to the extent that the stakes are too high for everybody. The optimism of millions in Asia and in the fastest growing economies (Ireland, the former socialist bloc, Africa and Latin America), and the desire of ordinary citizens not to miss their chance in the conditions of open economy – that’s the reality of the globalized world (Ghani & Anand 2009, pp.19-23). But the flip side of it is the disturbance of American and European middle class, grinding poverty and despair of those who stayed behind (Giddens 2000). The question is whether anxiety and fear will prevail over optimism or not, and whether they will turn the world back, for another dark period of isolation.
Never before, since the formation of the Western alliance in 1949, the international balance of power has undergone such major changes. Among the issues that have appeared on the agenda in recent years are the emergence of new powers in Asia, the new balance of power in Eurasia, the Middle East problem and transatlantic moves, new challenges to the traditional forms of statehood and the general feeling of insecurity, including the threat of terrorism (Giddens 2000). The scale and speed of changes caused by globalization, regardless of the nature of these changes, will be a characteristic feature in the next 15 years.
The appearance of China and India, as well as other countries such as Brazil and Indonesia, as the new actors on the world scene is possible. The basis of anticipated rapid growth of economic and political power of these countries lies in the combination of sustained strong economic growth, increasing military power and huge population. According to projections, by 2020 the GNP of China will exceed the GNP of the developed Western powers separately; excluding the U.S. India’s GDP will also surpass the GNP of European economies (Soleymani 2010).
With the appearance of newcomers on the world stage, the picture of the world will radically change by 2020, which will in future contribute to the annihilation of the usual characteristics of East and West, North and South, affiliated and non-aligned, developed and developing countries. Traditional geographic groupings will no longer share old values in international relations. A world divided by states, and the world of mega-cities of telecommunications, trade and financial flows will exist in parallel. The fight for the allies will be more open, and the unions themselves will lose their traditional strength.
We view globalization as the growing increase of interdependence in the flow of information, technology, capital, goods, services and people throughout the world, as an overarching “mega-trend” significant influencing the formation of the major trends in the world. However, the future of globalization is ambiguous, till states and independent players, including private companies and nongovernmental organizations, will fight for the right to define its contours. Thus, if the era of globalization doesn’t end with the collapse as a result of a catastrophic war and global crisis, we can suppose that the world economy is likely to expect continued impressive growth by 80% in the next 10 years, while the average income per person will get approximately 50% higher (Soleymani 2010).
Most countries around the world – both developed and developing – will benefit from the participation in global economic processes; and Asia, having the fastest-growing consumer markets, a growing number of companies that have become truly global players, and growing scientific and technological potential, will be capable of succeeding Western countries in the role of the region with the most dynamic economy (Dator & Seo 2004, pp. 33-35; Ghani & Anand 2009, pp.19-23).
In the international context, states should advocate for the mitigation of the adverse effects of inequality, asymmetry in the interdependence. This calls for more fair and democratic rules of the game in international relations. The role of individual countries must be viewed from the perspective of the external opportunities and challenges arising from the emergence of new areas of relationships due to the globally integrated production, TNC, various types of capital movements, more close relationships in trade with goods and services, and cross-national information flows. In general, cooperation between countries and international organizations could be useful for solving a number of global issues, including management of globally integrated capital markets, trade information services, as well as the labor market, cultural heritage and tourism.
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