GLOBALIZATION AND ITS THEORIES
plays an important role in the enhancement of international relations. Since
globalization is a constantly evolving and ongoing process, it is difficult to
formulate an exact definition for it. It is not concentrated in a single region
or a single field and hence there are many theories out of it.
World System Theory
World system theory is not just a theory, but an
approach to social analysis and social change developed, among others by
Professor Immanuel Wallerstein. It explains about the ‘capitalist world
economy’ as a “total social system’. Wallerstein first defined world system
theory as a’ multicultural territorial division of labour in which the
production and exchange of basic goods and raw materials is necessary for the
everyday life of its inhabitants.”
Wallerstein explains two types of elements in this theory. One is spatial
and the other is temporal. In spatial dimension he explains about the different
economical role of regions. He defines three different categories in the
spatial dimension of world system theory. Core, Semi-periphery and
Periphery into which all regions of the
world can be placed. The core regions (countries like England and France) are
most the benefited. Core exploits peripheral and semi-peripheral countries. The
peripheral countries lacked strong governance and are controlled by other
states. Core exploited them by practising unequal trade relation. Poland and
Latin America sets an example for this. In Poland, the king lost power due to
the unbalanced trade to Europe. In Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguese
destroyed indigenous authority and replaced them with weak forces which are
under the control of these countries.
Between the two extremes lie the semi-periphery which acts as buffer
zone between the core and the periphery. This region didn’t benefit as much as
core or periphery. It had a weak capitalist economy. The division of region is
due to the unequal exchange of goods and service. Dependency theorists has
defined a relation of “unequal exchange” in which the rich countries make trade
relation with poor, in which the rich is benefited by the effort of poor and
the 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 different
regions. The core consists of developed countries and less developed countries
constitutes the periphery.
temporal features of world system theory are cyclical rhythm, secular trend,
contradiction and crisis. Cyclical rhythm is the tendency of capital system to
go through recurrent period of expansion and construction. Secular trend is the
long term expansion of economy. Contradiction is beneficial for the actor of
short term and non beneficial for long term actors.
Dependency Theory doesn’t have place for the developing countries, and hence
world system theory was formulated. This gave a place for developing countries
in between the core and the periphery, called semi-periphery.
polity theory is also referred to as world society theory. The objectives of
this theory were to interpret global relations, structures and practises. This
theory view world system as a social system with a cultural framework called
world polity. A polity is a “system of” creating value through the collective
conferral of authority.( J W Meyer). This system is constituted by a set of
rules. Actors in the system are “entities constructed and motivated by
enveloping frames. (John Boli & George M Thomas) . The world polity
contains no single actor or institution.
late nineteenth century was a period of intense world polity. After 1945, world
culture flourished due to the work of different international organizations.
“Globalization intensifies the consciousness of the world as a whole.” (Roland
Robertson). Robertson was one of the first to study globalization. He sees
globalization as the compression of human community and individuals all
together. Globalization, in a way, is linked with the destruction of cultural
identities by mixing the culture of one country with others. Along with trade,
culture is also being exchanged. This creates a mixed culture and theorists
believe that this is the starting of cultural globalization.
four main actors of globalization:
(within the framework of individual states)
These for actors correspond to the four forms of
of global human consciousness