Convergence or Divergence: Future of Globalization
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Published: Wed, 16 Aug 2017
The author would argue that the future of globalization lies in convergence – the act of group members becoming more alike each other over time by adopting and adapting certain characteristics. In the authors opinion convergence of nation states worldwide has been happening and will carry on doing so in the future due to globalization and the positive advantages of it. In this essay the results and predictions of globalization will be based on researches and papers on the People’s Republic of China.
In the author’s mind one of the biggest aspects of China’s globalization policies, which involved improving manufacture was the modernization of China as a preparation for it to enter the world market. According to Fung (2008) China’s export based globalization involved cycles of adapting global cultures to develop exportable goods with the global capacity and traces of Chinese culture. Fung argues that by mimicking the European or American cultural industries the development, expenditure of the manufacture and export of an appealing good, both the western and Chinese markets and public to become saturated. The aim of the process is to gain commercial popularity and attractiveness thus achieving a more international power in the world market.
In the author’s point of view the boost in production is based on the rapid increase of urbanization. As reported by Airriess (2008) China’s urban population rose from 12.8% in 1978 to 41% in 2004. An interesting fact and perhaps one of the keys of China’s success as stated by Airriess is that most of the growth of urban population did not happen in the largest cities of China nor did the growth of industrial output. Instead one of China’s policies was to focus the urban growth of middle size cities. The industrial output of municipalities reduced from 52% to 22% from 1978 to 2002, and increased from 47% to 75% in middle sized cities in the same time period. The author speculates that such a policy from the government of China resulted in a somewhat more even development of the regions of China and the adaptation of some parts of western culture to its people thus resulting in a convergence between China and the western world.
A positive aspect of China’s urbanization is that even though the size of the territories covered by cities is expanding it has not taken a negative toll on the total forest are of the country state. Even more so according to the cooperative work of Li, Liu, Long, Yong and Youn (2015) the total forest area of the country increased rapidly after the start of the export oriented development of China’s market. This became possible due to the large amounts of foreign direct investments received, which enabled the Chinese manufacturing processes and service industries to be transformed and developed with more advance technologies, which reduced the need for improvements achieved through deforestation of land. The author would argue that implementing the methods used in China to boost manufacturing and agricultural improvements elsewhere in the world, could possibly reduce the deforestation rates in such countries as Indonesia which as stated by Cacho, Milne, Gonzalez and Tacconi (2014) are losing total forest territories at one of the highest rates in the world, which could in time be a tool combating climate change, loss of biodiversity and can be used as one of the means for forest conservation. Thus the authors assumption is that in the future a convergent globalization policy could be an effective way not only for economic gains, but also for the protection of nature and the climate.
An argument in favour of convergence is that as a result of globalization countries across the world are adapting education systems from other countries and hybridizing them to suit their education traditions. In an article by Harris, Zhao and Caldwell (2009) the management in five secondary schools of Southwest China, that had adapted some hybridized traits of western education was monitored. They observed that the schools had transformed the use of resources to support the success of all students and suggested that similar systems could be used for any school in both the East and the West to secure success of all students, by focusing on the aspirations, needs and interests of all students.
Similar to the previously stated argument China is enhancing its educational and technological advances through returning students that have studied elsewhere in the world. As discussed by Wang, Zweig and Lin (2011) Chinese students that have studied in the world’s best universities, gained valuable experience in some of world’s best multinational corporations and been immensely involved in the New Economy are returning to China contributing to its economic role in the world. The author predicts that this kind of student movement and in a way movement of new ideas that contribute to the growth of their state of origin will only increase in the future and with it so will the convergence of the states.
- Airriess, C. (2008) The geographies of secondary city growth in a globalized China: comparing Dongguan and Suzhou. Journal of Urban History.
- Cacho, O.J., Milne, S., Gonzalez, R. and Tacconi, L. (2014) Benefits and costs of deforestation by smallholders: Implications for forest conservation and climate policy. Ecological Economics, 107, pp.321-332.
- Chirico, JoAnn (2013) ‘Case Study: Growth of Middle Cities in China’ in: Globalization: prospects and problems. London: Sage Publications, pp.458-459.
- Fung, A.Y., (2008) Global capital, local culture: Transnational media corporations in China (Vol. 16). Peter Lang.
- Harris, J., Zhao, Y. and Caldwell, B.J. (2009) Global characteristics of school transformation in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 29(4), pp.413-426.
- Li, L., Liu, J., Long, H., de Jong, W. and Youn, Y.C. (2015) Economic globalization, trade and forest transition-the case of nine Asian countries. Forest Policy and Economics.
- Liu, Y. and Fang, Y., (2009) Basic education reform in China: Globalization with Chinese characteristics.
- Tang, S.C., (2009) ‘The club and the carrot of China’s globalization.’ In: Interâ€Asia Cultural Studies, 10(2), pp.326-329.
- Wang, H., Zweig, D. and Lin, X. (2011) Returnee Entrepreneurs: Impact on China’s globalization process. Journal of Contemporary China, 20(70), pp.413-431.
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