Other Side of Globalization
By Dr Arvind Kumar
Detriments of globalization outnumber benefits. This is the recurring theme of the just published book The Dark Side of Globalization, edited by Jorge Heine and Ramesh Thakur. The process of globalization may not have brought ‘the end of history’ to a defining conclusion, it has brought “the end of geography” closer through the intensified exchange of goods, services, capital, technology, ideas, information, legal systems and people. For many, globalization is both desirable and irreversible, having underwritten a rising standard of living throughout the world. Others recoil from it as the soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the back of rampant consumerism. The editors contend that globalization has also let loose the forces of ‘uncivil society’ and accelerated the transnational flows of terrorism, human and drug trafficking, organized crime, piracy, and pandemic diseases.
Globalization is not uncontrolled. The movement of people remains tightly restricted. The flow of capital is highly asymmetrical. The benefits and costs of linking and delinking are unequally distributed. Industrialized countries are mutually interdependent. Developing countries, largely independent in economic relations with one another, are highly dependent on industrialized countries. Brazil, China and India are starting to change this equation.The deepening of poverty and inequality has implications for social and political stability among and within states. Inequitable global rules on trade and finance produce asymmetrical effects on rich and poor countries. Collaboration among actors at all levels is required to soften the harsh edges of globalization and shrink its dark side into extinction.