May 15, 2009

Guest Post: Globalization in the Third World

By Ashley Brooks

Globalization has caused the international world to become much closer together, negating the many oceans that separate countries from each other. International institutions such as the UN or World Bank have extended out to almost every country, slowly tightening the mold for a global world order, so that even third-world countries now have a chance to be heard and a forum upon which to speak out. Previously, many countries have been mildly overlooked as the western nations have risen up and dominated the global sphere over the past decades; however, these so-called “third-world” nations have now become major players in the global spectrum. However, political scientists such as Samuel Huntington have presented a theory debating the realization of globalization because of the overarching culture clashes.

Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” has helped to establish the fact that nations are no longer dependent on separate states, but rather the different cultures that make up these states. This has become more relevant in the wake of the events of September 11, which helped to establish a new type of world order. No longer are different civilizations solely reliant on ideological or economic rubrics, but are instead dependent on the actual culture, which has had a vast impact on regions such as the Middle East in which there are a plethora of different cultures living together as one overarching state. Additionally, the culture clash between different groups such as radical Muslims and Americans are further solidifying Huntington’s proposal that all wars in modern day will be fought as a result of cultural issues: “The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics.” However, Huntington’s model provides a theory that absolute globalization will be a far-fetched goal due to the rising civilizations and the clash of cultures.

It is difficult to determine the amount that cultural debates will have on a growing world order, but suffice it to say that while countries like China are accepting of corporate America (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.), it becomes a stretch to imagine countries like Iraq participating in this type of world order. Additionally, many conservative Islamic countries are not accepting of a Western model of life, which is what globalization is on its way to becoming. The Western world has dominated international affairs over the past century, and with one lone superpower, it becomes obvious that a global order will remain under the Western rubric until multiple superpowers are made; China has taken great strides toward overtaking the U.S. in terms of their economy and massive population, which puts it in the running as developing into a future superpower from a third-world perspective. It becomes relevant to ask whether countries in the Middle East or Southeast Asia for that matter, will be able to easily mesh into this new global order. While third world countries are slowly falling back into international affairs, there are still many in dire need of financial aid, which prevents many from becoming full participants.

There is still much conflict within third-world nations as genocides are still occurring, different cultures become intermeshed, and most nations do not have adequate funds to combat increasing health issues. This new world order we have come into has left many countries struggling to find footing in it and it will only be secured through many years of help from the international community. While the third world countries may lag behind, one day we might find ourselves tied together in a new global order. However, ever present will be Huntington’s warning of the inevitable “clash of civilizations” and the repercussions this will have on any new global strategy.

This post was contributed by Ashley Brooks, who writes about the online degrees. She welcomes your feedback at AshleyBrooks234 at gmail.com

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