Globalization Has Greatly Weakened the Traditional Way Essay

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Globalization has greatly weakened the traditional way in which governments functioned. The ever increasing economic integration has had an impact on the autonomy and power of existing national governments and given greater access to other non-state political and economic actors. (Steger, 2004)

Every human order in the past has lived off a shared image of the world view that served to plant the feet of its members tightly in time and space. Yet none actually ever dreamt of linking together the oceans and continents and the people who lived in them. Each of these individual world views only emerged after military defeats suffered in modern Europe. These world views included global acquisition of territory, resources and subjects in the name of empires and the will to unite the world through fascism and Marxism. They indeed left permanent marks on the lives of people, institutions and systems but they failed to accomplish their mission. A new world view was born from among these and it is significantly different from any of the previous orders. This new world view was termed as the 'Global Civil Society'. (Herkenrath, 2007) (Edwards, 2009)

The concept of a "Civil Society" refers to any social space where individuals or groups of individuals take certain actions in order to promote their values and interests. These individuals or groups of individuals are not affiliated to any state or market-based economic structure. When they act to advocate they do not seek any political power or profit, it is only in sake of what they believe in. Though civil societies consist of individuals or groups of individuals, they my also comprise of institutions such as registered charities, churches, non-governmental organizations, independent media or self-help groups. These organizations or entities interact with one another at different levels and with varying degrees of formality and influence. Civil societies have almost always been linked to peace. Though they may not be a solution to war, they do address and debate over issues that lead to such a state. They are often seen as bodies that mediate between private spheres and public authority. (Scholte, 1999)

In the twentieth century, the term "Global Civil Society" was coined. Civil society could no longer be confined to the territorial state and thus was extended to become the global civil society. This term reflects a new reality, one where globalization and civil society and fused together and has become a source or agent of global interconnectedness. Now individuals and groups of individuals can interact and communicate with one another across borders and the factors that identify them are no longer the state or nation, but they are those values that they share that bring them closer. Location, borders and distance no longer have an impact on they way people think. A global civil society allows for individuals to apply holistic approaches to global challenges, unlike the states who are more concerned with their own spheres of influence. (Herkenrath, 2007)

Global civil society is different from transnational civil society and international social movements. The latter two only describe a loose collaboration of individuals and groups or institutions from different states united on grounds of common values of goals. In contrast, in a global civil society, action takes place in the whole world assuming it to be a single social space. Global civil societies require that there is complete global citizenship. This means that there should be an existence of a global structure of governance which has global justice, global laws and enforcement of those laws, global rights and global responsibilities for all its citizens. This would mean that a global economy, a market without any borders be created. (Eberly, 2008)

Global civil society encompasses in itself the addressing of Trans world issues by civics. It involves trans border communication and works on the basis of supra territorial solidarity. These characteristics of the global civil society go hand in hand with one another. (Keane, 2003)

When it comes to defining the term global civil society, it is often difficult to determine whether to define it normatively or empirically. Proponents of the global civil society often like to refer to it normatively. They assert that this concept is about bringing human equality in an increasingly unjust world. (Edwards,2009)

Global civil society has three dimensions:

The empirical phenomena of globalized social relations

Mobilizing, formative force

Social actors on the global level

The first two dimensions give us an ideal typical connotation of what global civil society is. The ideal typical comprises of the empirical-analytical and the normative- mobilizing aspects. Social, economic, cultural, political and legal practises that lead to interconnectedness are built upon the empirical aspects of the global civil society. On the other hand, the framework which outlines the principles of solidarity, justice, peace, tolerance and non-violence on a global scale come under the normative aspects. (Keane, 2003)

The normative perspective of a global civil society is important because it recognizes and acknowledges what social movements do. It also keeps into consideration the initiatives made by civics and the efforts that are made by the networks are considered to be manifestations in the name of global civil society. (Scholte, 1999)

Empirical theorists claim that the most important trend since the end of the cold war was obviously the development of the concept of the global civil society. It led to new ways of doing politics and helped establish political and moral communities. In 1909 the number of international NGO's was only close to 200. However in the late 1990's it increased to almost 29000. This decade also saw a rise in the number of non-state actors registered NGO's in the industrialised north grew to 3000. The south also showed an impressive increase in the number of NGO's. Non-state actors are credited to helping the development of several international policies such as the abolition of slavery, women's and workers rights, rights of minorities etc. (Eberly, 2008)

Global civil societies play a very important role in today's world which has ever changing dynamics. They ensure that justice and order issue are played out on a global level and thus they want that any domestic issue is internationalised and vice versa. This is bought about by the boomerang effect. This effect erodes any boundaries within which citizens are confined to as they are allowed to join networks which allow them to voice their opinions and in some cases even influence and bring about alterations in state policies. When citizens join a transnational network, they start off a process which constructs a global identity common to all. Power of information and ideas in bought about. Information is used sufficiently and effectively across the globe through various technology and telecommunication means such as social networking websites for example Facebook and Twitter and other online streaming websites such as YouTube. NGO's also promote similar ideas. In the year 1997, almost 1000 NGO's signed a petition through the internet for a specific cause which in this case was to ban land mines. (Storrar, 2011)

When it comes to global issues, global civil societies are considered to be apolitical. This is the case because they can gather and position themselves against the state but not in armed opposition. They spread morals and ethics in the arena of international politics. They help in the formulation of government policies. Global governance ties nations to transnational characters through agreements and treaties based on public support from the global civil societies. Global civil societies have a large say in the way states and institutions portray themselves globally. (Chandler, 2004)

What we call a community used to be limited to only face-to-face interaction with people who were present in the same physical space in the past. People had little need for long distance communication as they lived very close to one another. People did not know what went on beyond the radius of twenty miles from where they lived. (Eberly, 2008)

Today, however, communication technologies have sown together the world into an electronic web. Dialogue is not restricted to a specific geographic place. Fax machines, telephones, newspapers, international publications and computers have enabled relationships to be maintained over vast distances and time. Communication is distributed through space and we have all as a result become a part of a global civil society. (Dean, Anderson & Lovink, 2006) (Castells, 2008)

A new global community has emerged in the past couple of decades that had led to the development in the field of international relations. Global civil society, the part of our lives that is inundated by the government of market has emerged. Previously due to the lack of available technology the actors of a global civil society were unable to interact well with one another, but now NGO's and other citizen advocacy groups have successfully been able to interact not only among themselves but also with the UN and other world forums. (Dean, Anderson & Lovink, 2006)

In the past most societies lacked their own channels of communication. The societies were powerless and speechless.…[continue]

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