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Saturday, January 04, 2014

The globalization puzzle

Dani Rodrick has an interesting post about globalization here :

The essential argument is institutional in nature. The institutional development Prof. Roddick argues depends on democratic choice expressed by various countries. He therefore concludes that full globalisation is almost impossible. I beg to differ slightly. 

I agree at this point in time it is difficult to achieve full globalization. However, it is neither impossible nor unlikely in the future. Prof. Roddick allows for such situation in extreme long term so I may have gotten it wrong. 

I think two main forces are working towards that goal. 

First internet and technology is making us realize how similar we are as peoples of the world. In older times we were skeptical of other people - they spoke different language, worshipped different gods, had different skin colour, ate different things, etc. There has been even starker change in people's perception of other counties from pre-1960s where non-western was exotic and a global traveller was a privileged person. Well, no longer is that true. We now have people interacting globally with each other across time zones and across cultures. This is a potent unifying force. We see often than this urge to communicate, trade, intermingle often crashes with the political borders and norms developed to keep peoples separate. No longer are we threatened by those of other culture. 

Second the world human and environmental rights movement is creating a template for global legal alignment. The UN human rights movement is creating a lowest common denominator set of rights that countries and their people are eagerly adopting. This methodology gives us a template that can be used for developing set of common rights which can expand gradually. 

Of course there needs to be a certain convergence between economic development of various countries to make it easier. But this convergence is not as strict a requirement as it was before the internet era. Today the world is  truly and rightly coming closer into a global village. And I sure hope this happens in my lifetime.