Chapter II GLOBALIZATION AND ITS THEORIESGlobalizationplays an important role in the enhancement of international relations. Sinceglobalization is a constantly evolving and ongoing process, it is difficult toformulate an exact definition for it. It is not concentrated in a single regionor a single field and hence there are many theories out of it.
World System Theory World system theory is not just a theory, but anapproach to social analysis and social change developed, among others byProfessor Immanuel Wallerstein. It explains about the ‘capitalist worldeconomy’ as a “total social system’. Wallerstein first defined world systemtheory as a’ multicultural territorial division of labour in which theproduction and exchange of basic goods and raw materials is necessary for theeveryday life of its inhabitants.” Wallerstein explains two types of elements in this theory. One is spatialand the other is temporal.
In spatial dimension he explains about the differenteconomical role of regions. He defines three different categories in thespatial dimension of world system theory. Core, Semi-periphery andPeriphery into which all regions of theworld can be placed. The core regions (countries like England and France) aremost the benefited. Core exploits peripheral and semi-peripheral countries. Theperipheral countries lacked strong governance and are controlled by otherstates. Core exploited them by practising unequal trade relation.
Poland andLatin America sets an example for this. In Poland, the king lost power due tothe unbalanced trade to Europe. In Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguesedestroyed indigenous authority and replaced them with weak forces which areunder the control of these countries.
Between the two extremes lie the semi-periphery which acts as bufferzone between the core and the periphery. This region didn’t benefit as much ascore or periphery. It had a weak capitalist economy. The division of region isdue to the unequal exchange of goods and service. Dependency theorists hasdefined a relation of “unequal exchange” in which the rich countries make traderelation with poor, in which the rich is benefited by the effort of poor andthe poor has no profit out of it. Technology- which enhances wealth and power,is the prime factor that determines the position of a country into differentregions.
The core consists of developed countries and less developed countriesconstitutes the periphery. Thetemporal features of world system theory are cyclical rhythm, secular trend,contradiction and crisis. Cyclical rhythm is the tendency of capital system togo through recurrent period of expansion and construction. Secular trend is thelong term expansion of economy. Contradiction is beneficial for the actor ofshort term and non beneficial for long term actors. TheDependency Theory doesn’t have place for the developing countries, and henceworld system theory was formulated.
This gave a place for developing countriesin between the core and the periphery, called semi-periphery.Worldpolity Theory Worldpolity theory is also referred to as world society theory. The objectives ofthis theory were to interpret global relations, structures and practises. Thistheory view world system as a social system with a cultural framework calledworld polity.
A polity is a “system of” creating value through the collectiveconferral of authority.( J W Meyer). This system is constituted by a set ofrules. Actors in the system are “entities constructed and motivated byenveloping frames. (John Boli & George M Thomas) .
The world politycontains no single actor or institution. Thelate nineteenth century was a period of intense world polity. After 1945, worldculture flourished due to the work of different international organizations.WorldCulture Theory “Globalization intensifies the consciousness of the world as a whole.” (RolandRobertson).
Robertson was one of the first to study globalization. He seesglobalization as the compression of human community and individuals alltogether. Globalization, in a way, is linked with the destruction of culturalidentities by mixing the culture of one country with others. Along with trade,culture is also being exchanged. This creates a mixed culture and theoristsbelieve that this is the starting of cultural globalization.
Robertson marksfour main actors of globalization:· National Society(within the framework of individual states)· Social System· The Individual· HumanityThese for actors correspond to the four forms ofconsciousness:· Socialization· Internationalization· Individualization· The appearanceof global human consciousness