UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATION STUDIES
POL 402: DEMOCRATIC THEORY AND PRACTICE
QUESTION: IS DEMOCRACY SUSTAINALBE FOR GLOBALIZATION?
NAME: THATO MOOKODI
STUDENT ID: 201503057
LECTURER: KEAOLEBOGA DIPOGISO
The world that people live in is connected through a global network that brings together countries that have different rules and regulations, culture and practices and historical background therefore through advanced technology and modern communication lines things such as trade among different countries has become relatively easy and effective. Many scholars have then continued to argue that with the growing changes of globalization the democratic situations of countries consider “Democratic” is at threat furthermore, scholars have also argued that countries that are more developed and have greatly taped into the global market at large are not necessarily considered democratic; So are countries turning into globalization at the expanse of their democracy nature?
This essay serves to answer the question “Is democracy sustainable in the era of globalization?” by firstly, defining key terms such as the term democracy and globalization, discuss the concept of democracy and analyze the democracy concept in Botswana and the pros and cons of being a democratic state, critically discuss the ideal of globalization in terms its advantages and disadvantages and finally, give reference of China; A country with a big economy but is not democratic and state if globalization a threat to democracy?
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The term democracy is defined and interpreted by many people in different ways but the common and most popular definition for democracy is, “Government of the people or Government of the majority CITATION Pau08 l 1033 (Backer & Raveloson, 2008).” This means that with democracy it always starts from the people, it’s the people that choose who should be in government and it’s the people that give power to leaders to deal with the operations of the country for them and this may be making laws keeping in mind the interest of the people or the majority. A democratic state is governed by laws and the protection of fundamental human rights because its main aim is to provide what people want. According to Backer and Raveloson, a democratic sphere the development of human rights is possible given the fact that the population itself can draw up laws within the rule CITATION Pau08 l 1033 (Backer & Raveloson, 2008). Botswana is one of the countries considered democratic because the country holds free and fair elections; the people elect representatives to parliament to represent their wants and interest.
“Globalization is the process of global economies, political and cultural integration. It has made the world a small village; the boarders between countries have been broken between countries CITATION Fai13 l 1033 (Hamdi, 2013).” Furthermore, globalization brings countries together, countries that are different for a common purpose either for goods trading or for technological advancement. Globalization has managed to connect the world and opened a new demission where countries share policies and try to have influence over one another.
In addition, globalization may occur because of international relations as a result of countries interacting with one another through policies. Foreign policies bring together nations as these policies influence trade amongst them, foreign direct investments and cultural exchanges. In addition, International Relation is the relation among states based on principles of their foreign policy agreements CITATION Rum12 l 2057 (Basu, 2012). International relations among states bring states together and create trade relationships and policies.
“Sovereignty state” and the state understands and its able to fully express its national interest, Therefore to define national sovereignty it can simple be referred to as absolute independence of the state CITATION drd86 l 1033 (drd Vlad Alexanda, Nicu- Razvan, 1986). Furthermore, sovereignty as independence of the state simple means within the sphere of its international relations primarily involves carrying out own its foreign and domestic policy according to its own will without the interference of external powers in the internal affairs of another state. It is very important for state to highlight the importance of sovereignty because in cases where states work together and there is a dependency, the less developing state suffer at the hands of the more economically developing state simple because there is a dependency.
Furthermore, a state’s national interest may be put on hold because the state does not “practice” their sovereignty as it allows for control from other states at the expense of its national interest. The concept of national interest is referred to as, ” Self- interest of nations, how states envision their defence and protection of power beyond their borders, in this regard traditionally, national interest has been divided in those interest that states consider core or vital and these may be security.” CITATION Jea08 l 1033 (Jean-Marc Colcaud, 2008). Additionally, with accordance to Morgenthau, National interest implies protection of a nation state physical, cultural, political identity against the encroachment by other nation states CITATION Han49 l 1033 (Margenthau, 1949).
A GLOBALIZED WORLD
“Globalization can be defined as a process associated with increasing economic openness, growing economic interdependence, and deepening economic integration in the world economy- CITATION Dee15 l 1033 (Nayyar, 2015)”
Globalization has played a significant role on nations as this has enabled easy trade among countries worldwide, as this is described by T.N Srinivasan as, “the process of the dismantling of state-created barriers to trade, and the economic, social and political responses to such dismantling CITATION Sri02 l 1033 (Srinivasan, 2002) .” furthermore, the process of globalization has resulted in many benefits as well as drawbacks because even though globalization is associated with massive economic growth, countries place their sovereignty and national interest at risk which can observed in developing countries such as South Africa and Botswana.
Referencing to Forbs magazine, supporters of globalization argue that it has the potential to make the world a better place to live in and solve some of the problems many countries may face which include unemployment and poverty CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015) thus with economic globalization in developing countries it is beneficial to the nation because,
The country is able to create jobs for the local people CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015). “The global integration of economies under neoliberal policy regimes has had a fundamental impact on employment worldwide” CITATION Jam10 l 1033 (Heintz, 2010) therefore through industrialization countries are able to create employment for their people thus, Countries like Japan have been a principals of success stories in the industrialized world over the past 20 years for the country has been able to stabilize the unemployment rate CITATION Stu87 l 1033 (Weiner, 1987). The reduction of unemployment in the countries through globalization results in improved standards of living and improved economy.
To boot up, through economic globalization in developing countries globalization has resulted in the development of better and improved transport and communications lines for the trade of goods and services. “Transport substantially supports international economic relations and plays a fundamental role in creating a world network of exchange of goods in the transfer of capital goods among countries. A modern and efficient transport system is the reason why large corporations are able to quickly react to the world market needs and use many modern methods of delivering large goods within a short time” CITATION Ale08 l 1033 (Aleksandra Ko?lak, 2008).
Furthermore, through economic globalization brings about competition among firms worldwide. Generally, competition drives prices down CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015) therefore; global competition also keeps domestic businesses to constantly come up with new innovative and improved quality of products CITATION Mur03 l 1033 (Weidenbaum, 2003).
Lastly, the advantages of economic globalization on developing countries results in the introduction of new products to the country. According to Mike Collins, through globalization there is now a worldwide market for companies and consumers to have access to products from different countries CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015) thus this means customers have different variety of goods or services to choose from as this leads to wider product market as the country will be able to meet the different consumer demands.
DRAWBACKS OF GLOBALIZATION
Globalization may have outstanding advantages on the global economy and beneficial for majority of people but, through globalization in developing countries there has been shortcomings that have resulted from economic globalization and these include,
Increased inequality among citizens, this has greatly affected many citizens as a result of economic globalization. According to an American philosopher John Rawls, inequality among citizen is as a result of Injustice therefore with reference to his book, Justice cannot be derived by undesirable forms of government in which greater pleasure of majority is achieved by neglecting the rights and interests of the minority CITATION Joh71 l 1033 (Rawls, 1971); this means that all must be able to benefit from economic growth and the minority groups interest must be met too. Inequality has become a global compliant about globalization because the rich get richer while making the non-rich poorer CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015).
Technological growth resulted from globalization may result to lose of jobs or the loss of Jobs may also transferred to lower countries CITATION Mik15 l 1033 (Collins, 2015) as a result of cheap labour. Developed countries such as China provide other countries to produce in China because of the cheap labour therefore, this reduces unemployment in China but increases unemployment of the origin country of the company but the profits of the company are taken back home.
Economic growth is brought about trade therefore trade has impact on the environment thus globalization and new technologies attract people to big cities thus urbanization puts pressure on the environment thus leading to major environmental problem CITATION Pro16 l 1033 (Karata?, 2016). In addition, urban environmental problems are threats to people’s wellbeing and causes damage to the physical environment however, strict laws and policies can be effective in reducing activities that affect the environment but changing people’s attitudes towards environment may be of great importance to help reduce the troubles of economic globalization CITATION Pro16 l 1033 (Karata?, 2016).
DEMOCRACY IN A STATE
As mentioned before democracy is simple government for the people. It is through free and fair elections that the population selects representatives to make decisions on their behalf. This type of system favors majority and at times minority groups may not have representatives. Furthermore, over the past 52 years a country like Botswana has been praised for having a transparent government or a good government system. The analyses is based on the fact that the country has proven to be a peaceful nation with outstanding economic growth, never the less, as the world changes and moving to a globalized form, does democracy prove to be enough for a country such as Botswana for example.
A case where a state “gives away” their sovereignty to other states simple because of its relation with another state is seen by South Africa and China; According to the Guardian newspaper, South Africa blocked Dalai Lama’s visit to please China; “South Africa is a member of BRICS, the international organization of leading emerging market countries, along with Brazil, Russia, India and China.” As a BRICS partner with the Chinese, we must view our relationship with them as equal subordinates- Stevens Mokgalapa (Democratic Alliance party’s deputy spokesman on international relations and co-operation. “We call on the government to show our foreign policy is made in South Africa and not made in China.” CITATION Xan11 l 1033 (Rice, 2011).
According to Andrew Heywood democratic societies tend to be peaceful and stable because democracy is dependent on open debate, persuasive and compromise as people with opposing views are encouraged to live with their opponent in a peaceful manner; he goes on to say that democracy encourages political participation from the people through elections and that democratic rule allows for accountability CITATION And13 l 1033 (Heywood, 2013).
DEMOCRACY AND GLOBALIZATION: CAN DEMOCRACY SUSTAIN GLOBALIZATION
There may be a link between globalization and democracy but the relationship is not easily distinguished, this is because democracy involves people at a selective place while globalization encompasses the world at large. It becomes difficult to link the two concepts especially if one concept comes from ideologies such as Liberalism (Democracy).
Botswana’s ability to tap into the global market through their diamonds has connected the country to the world trade market. “The economy is heavily dependent on the diamond-mining sector which accounts for almost a third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). During 2006-2007, the mining sector accounts for 75% of national exports earnings CITATION Les17 l 1033 (Sekwati, 2017).” Further the democratic nature of Botswana has promoted good quality governances that other country worldwide are trusting to trade with Botswana and has resulted in the country being one of the most stable economy in the Africa.
In addition, not all democratic states are as a result of globalization. Countries in Africa are known for having elections for normally one leader but countries mirrored to be democratic have failed to establish their economies with the exception of China because globalization is associated with capitalism and China is known as a communist nation. Ana Swanson from the Washington Post highlighted that China in practice is a capitalist, yet the communist party still rules CITATION Ana15 l 1033 (Swanson, 2015).
Trade with other countries for China has grown massively than its economy; this shows an extensive growth in openness over the past three decades. In 1977 China accounted for only 0.6% of world trade, a share that by 2000 had increased to 3.7% which resulted in China becoming the 7th world largest trading economy CITATION Nic03 l 1033 (R.Lardy, 2003). China’s trade performance continued to be strong till today; for example, Botswana enjoys revenue received from China through its trade of diamonds; it was reported that the trade volume between China and Botswana in 2006 reached $62 million, given the fact that China is the largest diamond consumer in Asia, with a domestic purchase of $2.5 billion of diamonds between China and Botswana. This might argue that non democratic may also have big economies and China is a good example while the United States is democratic also has proven outstanding economic growth.
Democracy is important for the purpose of pushing people’s interest while globalization benefits the country. The two concepts can be related and connected to one another but because the world is progressing and moving towards a much more global network, many scholars have gone to argue that a democracy state of nature may not be able to sustain globalization because the world is becoming advanced and modernized. Therefore however a country chooses to run their country to some extent its plays a role on its development because China has communist nature but managed to have one of the fastest growing economies and while the United States of America is very liberal, it’s one of the most developed countries in the world.
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