DEMOCRACY AND GLOBALIZATION:- UNDERSTANDING A RELATION BETWEEN THEM
Globalization is inevitable in the modern era
It has been rightly said, “Globalization is inevitable in the modern era”. Its shadow can be seen in all the countries, be it developed, developing or a underdeveloped. It is very difficult to define the term Globalization, it has been given different interpretations by different authors. To some authors, Globalizations is a process by which different Nations trade with each other, while according to others, it creates interdependence of one nation on another.
One of the most apt definitions to the term Globalization is, the process or the phenomena, by which one Nation interacts with another in relation to business transactions. This includes setting up of offices by a Company registered in one Country into another Country. Also, in a broad outlook to the term, this also includes the import and export transactions two nations have with each other. The ambit of the term, does not stop here, it further goes on to include exchange of cultures amongst the nations.
There are studies to suggest that the Globalization started after the end of Cold war era, but in a deep analysis of the History, it may be said that the Globalization started as soon as the modes of transport were discovered particularly the waterways. The discovery of waterways allowed the merchants and traders of one Country to move to another Country for the purpose of trades. If a particular reference to India is taken, there were many merchants who came to India only for the purpose of trade especially spices.
Factors of Globalization
Some of the factors which accelerate Globalization are
- Availability of labor:- A Company always seeks to have a skilled labor at a low cost. This motivates the Company to move out of the boundaries of its Nation to a place where it finds cheap labor.
- Resources:- To start any task, the most important requirement is the resources and capital. The Company sets up its offices and manufacturing units where it finds resources which are affordable and abundant. A Company desiring to use wood as a resource would prefer to install a unit in a Country having thick forest cover.
- Favorable Government Policies:- To set up a new undertaking, requires complying with the various rules, laws and regulations already enforced in the Country and to further be at par with the amendments made to these laws. If the Government policies are pro-industry, it becomes a motivating factor for the Company to have its office in such a Country.
The term Democracy essentially means a “Government for the people and by the people”. It is where the eligible voters cast their vote and elects a Government of their choice. The most important feature of the Democratic form of Government is, the Head of the State is not a hereditary post. This essentially means, if the Government does not perform well in its tenure, they might face the consequences in the very next election.
Another important point for this type of Government is the policy of the Government changes with the Change in Power, that is, the new elected Government has its own vision to work for the Nation, and in doing so, the existing policies and laws are amended and are brought in consonance with the visions.
Impacts of Globalization on Democracy
Globalization is connecting the world effecting democracies in its own ways.
Citizens from one country can move to another, to seek better job opportunities at the same time Companies can establish offices in various countries which eventually creates jobs in the recipient country. With this inter-country movement, there is an exchange of cultures and mindsets which results in positive and negative impacts.
Positive impacts on Democracy
- With the exchange in culture, the new ways of living are also introduced. The citizens of the nation are able to cope up with what is going around the world. Since in a Democracy where the people have the choice of changing the Government, the Government works proactively for the benefits of its people.
- Due to Globalization, we are able to use the products of different brands. This would not have been possible if there was no trade amongst Nations. The Government to keep its citizens protected brings in regulations and laws which on one hand benefits its citizens and provides ease of doing business, also on another hand it ensures that the interest of its people is not affected.
- Another important impact is the Government in order to increase its trade and hence the revenue is entering into various agreements and conventions at the International level. These in turn have the effect of an increase in trade, commerce, and effective resolution of disputes.
Negative impacts of Globalization on Democracy
As it is rightly said that a coin has two faces, when we flip the coin, we see the other side of the story. Though it is true that Globalization has positive implications on the Democracy but it also has some negative impressions.
- It is not always true that a Democratic nation signs any International treaty or convention with its complete acceptance, sometimes the Government is forced to act under the pressure of the Global forces. To increase its business, the Government is forced to accept the already written treaties and apply them on their local laws.
- We cannot deny the fact, that all the countries have some uniqueness in their culture. The people of a Nation are known for its characteristics. But due to Globalization, the exchange of cultures sometimes disrupts the original culture amd values. No two cultures can mix completely, there always remain a gap between them.
- A major issue any Democracy faces due to Globalization, is the availability of products and services at a much lower price than its homegrown products and services. It is a general tendency of every individual, to find out a product with the maximum feature at a minimum price. Multinational brands do their publicity in such a way, that the local industries lose their markets.
This further indirectly effects the Government and its revenue.
In the words of Former US President Bill Clinton, Globalization gives this generation an opportunity to earn more economy and in this era of Globalization no one would be left behind. This is true to the effect that, Globalization is having a plethora of positive effects, it brings more and more opportunities with itself.
Here if we note what was once said by Kofi Anan, that the fruits of Globalization should be shared by all. It here means that Globalization should benefit all and not some. It is a known fact, that at time the Companies just in order to gain more profits move into malpractices, which is against the basics tenants of the concept of Globalization. Further sometimes one country tries dominate the other country due to its dependency.
Anything can have both positive and negative implications, it is for the recipient to understand in what sense it is given the interpretation. This is also true to the concept of Globalization.
Vipul Gaur is a young Law Educator and Lawyer