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The World Bank defines globalization as the integration of economies and societies across the world (Mrak, 3). The United Nations (UN) explains that the pace of globalization is accelerated by technological changes, trade liberalization and the growing importance of supranational rules (Mrak, 6). Globalization can also be viewed as increase in linkages between people across the globe through decreased barriers. Globalization has also been characterized by rapid exchange of information which has speeded the transition process. The full participation of the global economy has enabled countries seize new opportunities and reap the benefits of globalization. Globalization has been characterized by tremendous decrease in cost of communication across the globe; removal of artificial barriers of trade such as tariffs and quotas, increased flow of capital across the globe; integration and elimination of artificial barriers such as political and social systems and the international spread of cultures, diseases and even crime (Monsod, 2).
From the above analysis it is easy to deduce that globalization brings forth both advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of globalization are numerous and have accelerated its growth. However, globalization has inevitable negative effects that must be managed in order to reap its benefits fully (Wirkalla). This paper looks at the challenges associated with globalization and proposes possible solutions to these problems.
Challenges of globalization
Unbalanced distribution of benefits
Globalization has led to an imbalance in the distribution of wealth within and between countries (Monsod, 3). The benefits of globalization are badly skewed as the developed countries usually take a bigger share while the developing countries take the lesser share. Globalization has led to unequal distribution of wealth within developed and developing countries. This is has been characterized by income disparities, job insecurity especially for unskilled laborers and unequal distribution of investments (Wirkalla). Governments in industrialized countries today are outsourcing labor from other regions and nations such as china rendering some of its citizens jobless. Local companies have lost their businesses to global competitors who usually provide better quality goods and services at fairer prices. Therefore to some regions globalization is associated with losses.
In the recent times global financial crisis such as that witnessed from the year 2007 to 2009 have become regular and have been associated with globalization (Monson 4). Financial volatility has affected several governments leading to closure of companies, increase in unemployment and increased cost of living. The Asian crisis for instance had very profound effects because it led to human related problems such as decreased schooling, social stress and decreased provision of social services (Monsod 4).
Globalization has also led to human insecurity through increase in global crime rate, spread of diseases and the loss of cultural identity.
Globalization has made it difficult to track criminals because of increased movement and communication (Janni & McLean, 250) . New forms of crimes such as internet crime, which have profound effects on victims, have emerged with the advent of globalization. Internet crime is diverse and ranges from stealing money from personal accounts, fraud, to the provision of pornographic material to minors. Criminals always adapt to changes quickly in order to reduce the capability of being arrested therefore globalization has made crime a much easier activity (Janni & McLean, 250). Even tracking traditional forms of crime with globalization has become difficult
b) Spread of diseases.
The spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Swine Flu and SARS has been attributed to globalization (Monsod, 5). Carriers of such diseases can travel to different geographical locations hence spreading these diseases. Globalization has increased the movement of people across regions. Therefore diseases can spread from one region to another very quickly. Regions that are not well equipped may suffer a great deal from illnesses originating from other geographical areas.
c) Loss of cultural identity
Globalization has also led to the loss of cultural identity. This is because most of the cultural values and practices (especially in the developing nations) have been diluted by western values and cultures (Monsod, 5). Culture identity is important in the society because it gives the members of the society a sense of belonging. The shared cultural values and practices promote cohesion within the society (Janni & McLean, 250). If the diverse cultures of the world are eroded then the world will become one homogeneous community.
Factors contributing to the negative aspects of globalization
Bad terms and policies
The negative effects of globalization are largely attributed to poor local and international policies. Existing policies especially in developing countries lack both transparency and consistency. In some cases they are not even implemented leading to corruption. Governments have in some cases neglected human capital investment especially in health and education. The population is therefore not well equipped to reap the full benefits of globalization (Monsod 8).
Distribution of the benefits brought about by globalization is skewed with the western nations benefitting the most. This is because international trade brings little benefit to the developing nations.
Solution to the challenges brought forward by globalization
Most of the problems brought about by globalization are as a result of poor planning as well as existence of non-functioning policies (Monsod, 6). There is need for the formulation of international policies that will enable fair trade which will benefit the country as a whole. Each country must also formulate internal laws and policies which will enable the country protect its culture (Mrak, 12). This could be done through appreciating the dominant cultural believes and practices. In order to manage global crisis it is important for governments to collaborate in order to find ways to manage the reoccurring financial crisis (Wirakalla).
Globalization has managed to make the world a village through increased movement of people and communication. There are various benefits and challenges that arise from globalization. In order to reap the full benefits of globalization it is important for governments to find tenable ways of managing these challenges. If this is not done the effects of globalization can have profound social, health and economic effects on different countries.