Free «Analytical Paper: Globalization, Transnational Corporations, and the Future of Global Governance» Essay Sample

In the article titled Globalization, transnational corporations, and the future of global governance (2008), Kobrin assesses the development and changing face of globalization, the role of multinational corporations in the global economic landscape, and the continuous inclusion of MNC and transnational entities in global governance. Several points come out clearly in this assessment. Kobrin (2008) asserts that globalization still continues to be on an ongoing process of social and political integration. Secondly, he asserts that the future of global governance lies in the construction of legal structures to support more socio-political integration. Kobrin (2008) supports his ideas by drawing from past events, such as the treaties on intellectual property, which were spearheaded by IPC, and creation of global organizations, such as WTO. While this analytical article agrees with the view that globalization is an ongoing process, it also seeks to prove that socio-political integration, as discussed by Kobrin (2008), only provides the means to socio-political dominance of the developing and underdeveloped nations by the economically empowered nations in Europe and the US.

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In its simplest definition, globalization describes the continuous integration and interaction of state economies, political, and social-cultural fronts. It results to and from interchange of ideas, views, products, and cultural values. That is not to mean that globalization does not result into problems as there are many issues that result from it including political interference and other risks, such as cybercrime. These issues transcend the national borders, and the lack of harmonized global laws makes the mitigation of these problems a difficult task to execute. Fortunately, the states have realized this problem, and that is why there is the need to form harmonized laws to regulate the manner, in which globalization takes place. Kobrin (2008) was of the view that creation of global societies is the avenue that most promises to end the problems that get associated with globalization. However, the manner, in which this global society gets interpreted by those who have the power and authority, provides more problems than advantages.

In one of his statements Kobrin (2008) explained that the world stands in the midst of deep-seated reorganization of the world economy and global political arena. This is the process that Kobrin (2008) terms as transition from the state-based jurisdictions to the transnational or rather the post-Westphalian order. While Kobrin (2008) decorates this transition as a development from the mediaeval to a modern era, this analytical paper asserts that transition is just but a process of asserting the theory of a new world order as advanced by the catholic church and supported by the United States and the Eurozone. The transition takes the form of creation of umbrella organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Intellectual Property Committee (IPC), and the International Criminal Court (ICC), to mention a few. These organizations get created and ruled by the nations with the economic and technology but meant to rule over the nations and countries that are either developing or underdeveloped by ensuring that such nations become signatories to global treaties and statutes.

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One of the arguments that Kobrin (2008) puts forth is that the state-centric system of governance that globalization seeks to solve is its anarchic nature in that the fragmentation of state authorities does not work well with globalization. While this is true, Kobrin (2008) missed out the point that globalization still remains a complex issue and as such, the integration of political laws should be approached in a more considerate manner. The United States, for instance, has been on the forefront fighting for what it terms as ‘globalization and integration of political laws’ to guide globalization. What the nation terms as political laws, which are meant to tackle the problem of fragmentation, is the concept of new world order, through which it seeks to create laws that will help it have dominion over other nations. Notably, the concept of NWO comes into the light every time there is a global problem, such as the last global financial crisis, or the case with terrorism activities affecting the United States. When the United States suffers, it is only then an umbrella law comes up with good example being the law on terrorism that was crafted during the reign of President Bush, and the Basel III laws that came to light after the last global financial crisis. As much as these laws attempt to deal with global problems (terrorism and financial markets problems), their timing happens to be problematic and it is for this reason that the NWO’s views of globalization breed anarchic results.

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Kobrin (2008) also observed the increasing importance of multinational corporations in the global politics. He revealed the MNCs are increasing gaining the power to influence many policies globally including but not limited to property rights. Additionally, Kobrin (2008) noted that MNCs now revere the country of residence just as much as they revere the domicile. Sharing the similar view, Scherer and Palazzo (2011) noted that the face of NGO’s involvement in global politics and global governance is drastically changing with NGOs gaining more authority and power to influence decisions and policies of sovereign states. What the scholars did not clearly bring out is the fact that MNCs and NGOs are at times used by political leaders to drive certain changes that the political leaders would otherwise not want to be engaged in directly. One way, through which MNCs and NGOs influence the global political landscape, is through pushing for policies that they deem beneficial to their states and failure to have changes effected end up in sanctions and other threats for the nation in question. Allegedly, organizations, such as USAID and UKAID, have been involved in sagas meant to cement the position of mother countries in the host countries with the majority of affected countries being in Africa and South America. This creates the picture of world, in which the enforcement of global laws and a global society happens not through the direct hand of political leaders but through organizational leaders with political leaders being the underdogs.

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Kobrin’s (2008) expression that the state used to be the essential and basic element that held politics is clear and because there was territorially confined space, where democracy was struggled for and reforms of constitution from the government took place. There was also the nurturing of social unity. International politics were composed of interactions of the states as the governments involved together with the international community were made up of discrete border to border activities. Only the state interests were the public international concerns, which included at least the interstate range, the public field, and jurisdiction of domination that were the most coterminous areas of interest. All those are changing, according to Kobrin (2008). The world economy and politics are on evolution to a worldwide order, which is only comparable to the changeover from the out-of-date era to the modern era, as was in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Kobrin (2008) further argues that the transformation led to the problems of economic control by any state. There was division of political jurisdiction, dissemination of the distinction between the public and private domains, and eventually, there was a change in the composition and nature of geographic space. Emergence of non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations, and even the World Trade Organization, took place so as to indicate the transformation that led to non-state centric foundations, and these organizations were to act as significant international players in world politics. The distinction between public and private domains no longer exists; the one between the law and regulation from politics has broken down, and lastly, the one from the market and economic activities is nonexistent.

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For that reason, globalization and revolution have not brought any good. There has been change of the political and economic meaning of geographical space. Distinctions and borders from one nation to another are only gone beyond rather than were crossed. Distance, geographical space, and borders lose political and economic significance, while markets need no longer to be deemed in terms of physical proximity and location, in which transactions and organizations have become irrelevant.

Though one may argue, importance of such the negative effects is very high. At least as an example, the markets require establishments of property rights, procedures for civil redress, contractual conditions, and also a supply of goods from the public to function as they should. They need to be governed by rules and enforcement of rules as necessities so that the market does not generate itself. Modern intercontinental state’s system of economic governance disregards all that. The discreet flow across borders as forms of trade and investments violate norms and assumptions that were intended to be in place. There are problems of jurisdiction issues regarding international transactions. Jurisdictional clashes have tried to be dealt with by dominant regional governments, whether individually or collectively, but did not function well. The sovereign regional states only define rules and regulations in accordance with their own interests.

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Kobrin (2008) further argues that international firms exercised economic power rather than political power. He viewed that there was a distinction between the public and private domain from markets and economic activities and politics with laws and regulations. However, soon, hypothetically, with the beginning of a post-modern structure, there will be a body that after the division of political power assumes its role, where it gets significant players that are not state-related.

Like Kobrin (2008), Scherer and Palazzo (2011) observed that the Westphalian world order is quickly being replaced by the post-Westphalian world order. Business community appears to be the major agent charged with carrying out and executing this world order. The new world order is evident in corporate social responsibility as one of the tools that the corporate bodies use to reach out what the two authors refer to as the global community. In presenting their thesis, the two authors asserted that their views were meant to prove that NGOs and MNCs were not out to make profit alone. While this is true, it is also not refutable that the same organizations will rarely go out of their way to support the global community without selfish gains hidden underneath. It is for this reason that in some nations foreign companies are perceived to be exploitative. For instance, MNCs like Apple Inc. have been accused of opening sweatshops in China and other countries with their employees receiving peanuts in remuneration after producing high quality products, which are being sold only among the world’s top cream. Such companies claim to provide employment to local communities but when studied from another perspective, they are exploiting the opportunities provided by the Westphalian world order, which creates differences in the costs of labor globally and through the same, such MNCs help their countries to dominate over those nations that get perceived as economically weaker nations.

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In the post-Westphalian world order the democratic space continues to reduce, especially in individual states, even as international lobbyists continue lobbying for what this paper refers to as American style of democracy. This is a style of democracy, in which the powerful states tend to impose a leader on the nationals of a given country. These leaders also attempt to influence legal and electoral processes to get the leaders in place, who, they believe, would uphold a certain ideology, which is meant to carry the spirit of globalization failure, to which the powerful world leaders turn citizens against their national leaders. To some extent, the new world order is to blame for the woes in countries, such as Libya, where the West, especially France and the United States, allegedly turned the masses against Muammar Qaddafi. In the propagation of this world order, anarchy was created in some Arab-speaking nations, and as a result, the anarchy that characterizes state institution became of interest to the world. Today, globalization can be said to be attracting more anarchy than it was in the past with nations and regions, such as China, USA, Russia, and Europe attempting to organize themselves into power blocs competing for resources in the impoverished African and South American nations. Going forward, democracy will continuously reduce as politically and economically powerful regional blocs continue to tower over and control those nations that are struggling.

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Democracy simply represents the will of people but with the new world economic order, democracy has become the fortress of powerful global political leaders. Apparently, these leaders sit in G8, G20, the Meeting of State Parties, and other settings to decide the fate of countries not represented therein. They discuss a genocide case concerning a small African country called Kenya, the suitability of a certain leader in a South American country before proceeding to incite the masses. The result of such actions is an increasingly heterogeneous yet globalized society. Pluralism stands at the center of world values and lifestyles further posing challenges to the much anticipated socio-political order. Instead of creating technologies that curb cybercrime and other technology-related problems, the globalized political powers use Big Brother Technologies to spy on the targeted smaller nations. That being the case, the views made by Kobrin (2008) and Scherer and Palazzo (2011) can be said to give the academic or theoretical view of the changing scope of globalization and global governance instead of the actual facts, on the ground which there is the creation of a new world order that gives power and authority to a single or a few leaders globally who can decide and rule over others.

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In conclusion, the Kobrin’s article Globalization, Transnational Corporations, and The Future of Global Governance (2008) has been compared with that of Scherer and Palazzo (2011). These two articles reveal the changing trend in global governance. They also assert the position of the post-Westphalian order as a replacement of Westphalian order, but what they do not expressly link to the changing scope of global governance is creation of a new world economic order. This new order seeks to create political dominance of global political-economic powers over the developing and underdeveloped nations. As a result, there is a reduced transnational democratic space coupled with increased anarchy. This is the reason why wars characterize everyday news.

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