Globalisation promotes the integration of societies and economies across state borders all around the world. Regionalisation supports precisely the opposite: economic and social discourse limited to geographical regions, such as Europe or North America. To an extent, both processes are becoming a reality. The success of the European Union is a form of regionalisation, but the EU and its member states also operate prominently as actors on the global stage.
Trade and Business
Globalisation allows many companies and businesses to trade on an international level. There is much greater competition and opportunity for growth in a globalised free market. In a regionalised system, monopolies are more likely to develop and economies can stagnate. The capitalist system is always hungry for new markets and potential profits, and this drives the global free market and reinforces the capitalist system itself. Large companies now employ workers in a multitude of different countries, encouraging local businesses to develop themselves in order to compete.
Cultural and Societal Relations
Working together more closely politically and economically leads to better relations between states and their citizens, lessening the possibility of wars and fostering diplomacy and cooperation. Multiculturalism has been accelerated by the free and inexpensive movement of people around the globe. With communications technology like the Internet now prevalent, people can get in contact with others all over the world at the touch of a button.
Promotion of Democracy and Liberalism
Democracy has emerged as the dominant ideology in the post-Cold War world, and globalisation has only served to underline this position. Inter-governmental organisations like the United Nations and European Union promote human rights and civil liberties worldwide, and dictatorships are increasingly frowned upon. Basic human rights like freedom of speech, thought and religion are being extended on a global basis, even into countries where they were previously repressed.
Peace and Security
The integration of societies and economies had led states to have greater interest in the security of their allies. With institutions like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations Security Council, terrorist attacks and the like are more likely to incur a unilateral response as the international community rallies together. Furthermore, genocides, human rights abuses and civil wars are less likely to be tolerated in a globalised world. The United Nations often intervenes in conflicts to prevent unnecessary civilian bloodshed and to protect human rights.
Globalisation has driven great advances in technology, in terms of communications and on all kinds of other levels. Globalisation and technology have a symbiotic relationship; each drives the other on to new heights. A new product, gadget or piece of software is rarely only available in one country or region; there is demand for these things worldwide, driven by the Internet and the free market.
The globalised international community is also more willing to come to the aid of a country stricken by a natural disaster. Modern communications technology beams pictures from earthquakes and tsunamis right across the world in real-time, encouraging individual citizens to act, and governments are spurred on by the free transit of refugees across borders. A regionalised system could be more inclined to look after its own and not get involved in the affairs of other areas.
Environmental issues like global warming and climate change affect everyone on the planet, so policy responses to them are being formulated on an international level. Pressure groups like Greenpeace, trade partnerships like the International Climate Change Partnership, and inter-governmental organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change all operate in the international arena.
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