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Globalization on Human Security
The study is supposed to evaluate whether globalization is a force that contributes to or enhances human security or is it a force that has contributed to human insecurities. The study is important so that we can determine whether globalization is the key to future human security especially in the developing world. The study will explore security from a human perspective as opposed to the state perspective and to illustrate this perspective I will be drawing on case material from Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the objective to generate a debate on how globalization impact human security. This case study makes for an informative reading if human security is affected positively or negatively by globalization
To start off, it is important we ask ourselves; what is globalization? Is it inevitable or irreversible? Globalization has come to mean so many things to different people and so it is a term that cannot fit one standard definition. However in general terms, we can refer to globalization as the trend towards countries joining together economically, through education, society and politics, and not viewing themselves though their national identity but as part of the world as a whole. Globalization is here to stay. (2004) argues that globalization is an inevitable phenomenon in human history that is bringing the world closer through the exchange of goods and products, information, knowledge and culture.
Over the last few years, the pace of global integration has become more dramatic because of unprecedented advancements in technology, communications, science, transport, and industry.
However it is not progressing evenly. Some countries are becoming quickly globalised than others. People of all nations are integrated together, especially through a common medium like the economy or the internet. It is easier to go anywhere in the world within even a day and even to reach any part of the world though telephone or internet. As economies and societies integrate our world becomes small.
I would like to point out in this study that globalization has impacted human security especially in developing countries both in positive and negative ways. But what we are to find out in this study is whether the positive impacts outweigh the negative or are the negative impacts out to do the positive impacts?
Human security is concerned with security of individuals rather than the state. Just to get a vivid picture of what human security is and to make a clear distinction with national security, we will define the term human security. Kaldor (2007) says, in simple term we can say it is the freedom individuals have from violence which is caused by a combination of threats, associated with war, genocide, and the displacement of populations.
Human security has in the recent times received increased attention with debates and discussions moving away from national security and towards greater emphasis on human security. This notion recognizes the importance of placing human beings and not states at the center of security concerns (Crowley, 2007). In the past security has been defined primarily in terms of the security of the state. It is also worthy to notice that security is in two terms, that is physical security and security from fear and want, which is security from torture, arbitrary arrest and the right to a decent material existence.
Developing countries and for this study, we will be focusing on PNG we note that developing countries have greater human security concerns than the developed countries. Maybe it is because the developing countries are more predisposed to human insecurity than it is the case with the developed countries. Human security holds that a people -- centered view of security is necessary for national, regional and global stability.
And so the big question we ask ourselves is; how does globalization impact human security both in the positive and negative ways. Before we make an analytical commentary on this using Papua New Guinea (PNG), we will first explore the background of PNG for better understanding of the country's political, social and economic status.
Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world's second largest island. This is a country that is among one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth. As a matter of fact the country has over 850 indigenous languages, with a population leading to 7 million. The countries' annual population growth rate stands at 2.0% (2010)
Majority of its population live in the rural with only 18% of its people living in the urban centers that are characterized with few or no facilities of modern life. Papua New Guinea is one of the least explored, culturally and geographically. It is said that the country has many undiscovered species of plants and animals which exists in the interior of Papua New Guinea. The terrain is mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills.
In the mountain interior there are many tribes who are said to have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world. These tribes depend on a non-monetarised economy dependent on subsistence agriculture. A very small portion of the land can sustain cash crops, including coffee and cocoa. Abundant rainforests provide the raw material for a logging industry, which is owned by Malaysian-owned companies. Conservation groups have criticized the social and environmental impact of the activity. The country's boast of mineral deposits such as gold, copper and nickel- but exploitation of these minerals is difficult and made slow due to the extensive and difficult terrain and poor infrastructure make exploitation slow. Its main export is gold, petroleum, copper, coffee, palm, oil, logs.
Papua New Guinea got its independence in 1975 from Australia. It remains a commonwealth realm of Her Majesty Elizabeth 1, Queen of Papua New Guinea. Many of its people live in abject poverty with about one third of the population living on less than U.S.$1.25 per day. The country has strong ties with its Southern neighbor, Australia, which administered the territory until independence in 1975. The country has adopted the use of technology, for instance the internet and by June 2009, there were 120,000 internet users. The study will start with looking at the negative effects before moving to the positive effects.
PNG is a county that is compounded by abject poverty just like other developing countries. When globalization started developing a decade ago there were hopes that it would help such at least reduce income inequalities among countries especially in the developing world. However this did not materialize and countries like PNG have continued ravaging in poverty as they are exploited by developed countries who continue to develop. It is therefore true to point out that globalization has negatively contributed to human insecurity by compounding inequities of power and resources.
Kay, (1997) argues that power is positioned in global social formations and expressed through global networks rather than through territorially-based states. PNG has not been in place to tap from the global power to and it is because of this that PNG had to deal with separatists forces of its own without the intervention of the international community for nine long years. In the event up to 20,000 people were killed as the rest of the world watched and the conflict only ended in1997. So, did globalization exert its power to divert a war that lasted nine years? No, it in fact contributed because it watched as the events unfolded.
PNG experiences with wars and unrest within its borders, has placed it in a disposing situation for insecurity. The Separatist struggle in the neighboring Indonesian province of Papua prompted the flight of thousands of Papuans into PNG from mid 1980s onward to which up to today many of them remain living in the region. Globalization has created easy immigration into other countries territories a situation that has created refuges and also asylums that are a security threat to the individuals of the country. This is what happened with PNG which had to tolerate influx of Papuans from Indonesian to settle in their land which is a human security concern.
Globalization is supposed to bring hopes of growth and the alleviation of poverty. (Battersby & Siracusa, 2009) At least countries are interdependent on one another, and there is easy movement of goods and trade and investment. However even after a decade of its existence and of a rapidly growing globalization, alleviation of poverty especially in developing countries has remained a dream. PNG is in extreme poverty, with no facilities of modern life despite the fact it produces oil, cocoa, steel, etc.
Foreign direct investment in PNG has not increased significantly with globalization. PNG integration into the global market has not led to growth and has led to greater exposure to volatile international markets. Free trade in PNG have a comparative advantage, remains a future hope impeded by the tremendous agricultural subsidies awarded by developed countries like U.S. And EU.
And so what happens in such a case? Such a country is likely to feel cheated by the developed countries; instead…[continue]
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