Nationalism and Globalisation: The needs for the modern world

Most of you will agree with my statement, when I say “Nationalism and globalisation are the two most essential factors for the creation of a nation along with its modern societies.” While the role of nationalism is itself quite controversial and its existence has been questioned by the world from time to time, however, many say that globalisation caused the rise in nationalism. The two concepts are quite contradictory.

Nationalism

There are numerous faces of Nationalism but at its core lies the basic common features between people, such as common language, history, culture of the independent nation that binds people along with free of external interference.

People have the legal right to decide their own government without influence from outside or external dominance since international law is based on the core principle of self determination (which today exists in numerous treaties).  Some provisions of Self determination are –

  • The Part 2 of the Article 1 of the Chapter 1 of the UN Charter states the self determination of the nation is “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self- determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”
  • The Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
  • The Article 15 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights article states that “everyone has the right to a nationality and that no one should be arbitrarily deprived of a nationality or denied the right to change nationality.”

However even the Charter of the United Nations do not specify what form of self determination should the people or the government take, for example independence and federation are some form that ensures the autonomy of the state remains intact. They do not explain what the “standardised” prescription for the state is.  Nevertheless, the “right to self determination” supports the major cause of independence. Some recent examples of self determination includes South Sudan, Kosovo, Catalonia and, yes, Scotland.

Globalisation

On the contrary globalisation is the integration of various economies in the world, into one. Or I should say integration of the entire world economy into one platform.  It is a process where large economies, regional societies and cultures connect with each other through a network of trade, transportation and communication.   

This process has been largely supported by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which aims to promote economic development and stability, by ensuring free flow of trade as “freely” as possible.  Speaking of the epicentre, the WTO has signed numerous trade pacts with global leading nations in trade to regulate international commerce.

The Tension

The major drawback of globalisation is that it weakens the already weakened Least Economically Developed Nations (LEDC’s) by allowing very few of them to share the products, services, markets and technologies with more advanced countries, decreasing their chance of “economical growth” . Emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil have flourished, whereas companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Samsung, Sony, Google and Amazon have expanded their workforce, generating more employment and expertise in the countries in which they operate.

Moreover globalisation is blamed for the loss of local and distinct cultures. A common shared culture is what brings people together, it is the factor that unites people and makes them a nation.  In response, people might turn back to their old political identities and traditional lives which would then call for greater independence and less external intervention. So the question is, to what extent we call these damaging aspects of globalisation or does the right to self determination override everything? For example, it is right that Taiwan is a trading partner of the US and the United States alone has 140 trade agreements with the Taiwanese but it has not registered Taiwan as an independent nation.

The arguments

For those nations who do not have the power of self determination and are still in a phase of pre-dependent, how do we balance this with the growing needs of the nation, especially the global world as a whole, including any global companies which may be operating within that country?. So will joining the EU or the UN help? For example EU takes careful measures while approving membership to those nations that seek. EU carefully assesses any application for membership to decide whether a country applying for membership should become an EU member state. This process takes a lot of time, as we saw in the case of Croatia. Meanwhile the newly independent country is denied access to an organisation which will prove quite beneficial for its economic and cultural growth.      

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Article Contributed By: 

Anant Mishra is former youth representative United Nations. He has served in number of committees including United Nations Conference for Trade and Development and United Nations General Assembly primarily focusing on international trade, middle east crisis, education, finance, economics. He can be reached on [email protected]gmail.com

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