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Over the years, relations between countries worldwide have seen a tremendous improvement. With the era of crimes against humanity, most notably slavery and colonization long gone, nations have undertaken a different approach and are realizing the ever-pressing need to work together for the good of all stakeholders. Globalization has seen through some of the most intriguing achievements ever imagined. Globalization or modernization simply means global unity. It is the process by which countries the world over integrate and unite through trade, cultural sharing, political support, technological and scientific development. Of all the factors mentioned above, sharing and interchange of technological knowledge and technical expertise has almost single handedly spearheaded the marriage of the nations of the world. This essay discusses the contributions and the role of technology, politics and economics in the road towards modernization.
In the past century alone, the world witnessed the greatest technological revolution ever witnessed. Arguably, the technological changes and developments realized in the past century alone are more formidable than the technological advancements seen in the centuries before put together. Forget the ox-drawn plow, the locomotive engine (train) or the bicycle. (Giddens 2010). The 20th century marked a hundred years of sheer genius combined with research and hard work. The fruits were even sweeter. The development of the airplane, the introduction of the phone technology and the rise of the world of computers and the internet all happened in this century. It would be an understatement to say these developments have been great in the road towards globalization. They were not just great but massively phenomenal in bringing about globalization. Airplanes were the newest mode of transport and replaced the slow and uncomfortable rides associated with trains (Giddens 2010). They came in different sizes and speeds, all eager to impress in their quest to make transport fast and efficient. They did. They opened up the world in a way no other mode of transport had done. The technology of mobile phones soon followed, which further made communication between individuals easier (Cameron 2008). All of a sudden, it was possible to hold conversations with people thousands of miles away, at the comfort of your house, in the streets, in the office or any other place u deemed fit. Mobile phones presented a rare opportunity of exchanging information easily, without a time bound schedule. Their portability diversified their use largely. However, the hallmark of technological advancement came in the form of computers and the internet. Initially created for the basic function of calculating and computing, computers gradually made more diverse and soon included other packages (Giddens 2010). The development of the internet is what popularized the use of the computer as a communicating device though. It enabled fast, cheap and easy communication in all corners of the world through the electronic mail (popularly known as e-mail) (Cameron 2008). It also provided a platform for interaction and sharing of information through the World Wide Web and social sites.
Anthony Giddens, in his book Sociology 6th Edition, acknowledges the contribution technological development and advancement as key in the globalization process (Giddens 2010). He talks of the internet stating that it has received applause and criticism alike, with the criticism pegged on the fact that it has contributed to strains in social relations and has come along with cybercrime. Julie Cameron too, in the book AQA Sociology, recognizes the fact that technological advancement has been instrumental in leading the world towards a more united entity (Cameron 2008).
The contribution of politics towards globalization is also worth giving credit. Over the years, the world has seen improvements in the policies of rulers and the ruling elite, a stark difference from a few years ago when politics was a game of corruption, high-handedness and tyranny. Through a favorable political atmosphere, tourism is picking up with the resultant effect being better diplomatic relations. Good relations between countries translate to more trade deals and therefore more opportunities in terms of revenue and employment. The interaction through trade also amounts to close association, better understanding between the countries involved and ultimately integration, an essential aspect of globalization. The politics surrounding trade deals also go a long way in enhancing globalization as they yield long-standing alliances and friendships between states, factors that are important in modernization. Anthony Giddens recognizes the revolution in politics and its relation to the objective of modernization. He singles out the fact that women have grown earned respect in the political fronts and that they vibrant in the politics of today (Giddens 2010). He compares this with the earlier trends, whereby women would not participate politically. In some places, they were not even eligible to take part in a voting process, let alone vying for a seat. Giddens attributes this to the fact that agencies championing for emancipation and equality between men and women have been influential and as a result have drawn the attention of lawmakers who have had to dance to their music. Julie Cameron also reiterates that the developments and milestones achieved in politics have contributed tremendously to globalization (Cameron 2008). According to the book AQA Sociology, politics can prove to be a useful tool in not only bringing unity to a nation but to the world as a whole.
Economic development has also stimulated globalization invariably. There is usually a thin line between political and economic input to globalization as the two more or less go hand in hand. Economic development in different nations have been important in paving way for further association with other states through sharing of knowledge and expertise in different fields. It has also been the key determinant of trade and exchange between nations. Less developed nations are also able to obtain loans and grants from the more developed countries to enable them progress economically. This contributes a lot to globalization as it enhances trust and cooperation between nations. Anthony Giddens cites “world cities”, including New York, London and Tokyo, which have played a critical role in the modernization of the world acting as centers of trade and commerce (Giddens 2010). He notes that despite their positive role in urbanization, the world cities and other major cities in the world have drawn criticism especially from environmentalists in their effect on the environment. Some environmentalists see them as proof of the negative effects of modernization. Cameron suggests that a stable worldwide economy can go a long way in furthering globalization by enhancing trade and exchange, which according to the book AQA Sociology, is the backbone of alliances and good relations between countries (Cameron 2008).
In conclusion, there are different factors that have contributed to the developments in various sectors in the modern world. The technological advancement in the 20th century has ensured better communication, transport and improved industrial and agricultural productions. Through the advanced capitalism, there has been need to create political relations too with countries that will give constructive togetherness. The improved transport has a positive effect on the efficiency of importation and exportation. Tourism has also increased between continents. Therefore, the favorable relation between countries has generally led to increased economy.