Globalization And Nation State Essay

Since the beginning of the 1990s, globalization has become a high frequency word in our daily life. Actually, globalization is not a strange word since the sixteen-century and Europe as the original source of globalization. It has some simple international trade at that time. People realize the importance of multinational communication and trade; therefore make globalization become the main trend in today’s world. In 21st century, globalization has become more and more common in the whole world, no matter people, organizations, or government, both can see the changes which globalization brings them. Globalization has deeply influence people’s life and working style, globalization make world integrity closely and makes people’s life become more and more convenient, it brings many benefits to people. Not only have deeply impact on people’s life, but also influence the nation-state more or less. It influences the nation-state’s sovereignty integrity, impact on their economic development and their national culture. Although it changes the nation-state original condition, it still brings them some positive influence. It helps nation-state develop better and better. Therefore, globalization both give them chances and challenges, restructuring politics, economic penetration and communication between multinational culture and national culture. In this essay, the purpose is to explain the relationship between the globalization and nation-state. Firstly, it will explain the academic definition of globalization and nation-state, and state the process of globalization and the characters of nation-state. Then, it will put forward the academic debate about the relationship between globalization and nation-state and explain it briefly. Thirdly, it will discuss the globalization influences the nation-state through political, economic and cultural aspects. Media globalization also brings benefits to nation-state because media is the key linking bridge which connects the nation-state with other countries. Lastly, it will make a conclusion and provide the opinion for this essay.

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Globalization and nation-state

Globalization has become a major feature of contemporary social life. Globalization is penetration into different aspects like business, politics, economics, cultural identity, law, the environment and music. It almost exists in every corner of people’s life. Robertson gives the academic definition of globalization as follows:

Globalization as a concept refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a wholeaˆ¦both concrete global interdependence and consciousness of the global whole (1992:8).

This definition refers to the increasing of interdependence in different countries, it means the world is unified and standardization, there is close relationship in each country through politics, economics and cultural areas. The more important of this definition is the intensification of global consciousness, it means globalization infuse people the conscious of integrity and unified in their mind, make people think there is one world, and the world is unified. Also this is the common idea that the world is becoming more and more uniform and standardization through the cultural and technological development from the West. After World War II, the high speed development of communications technology and transportation make people come into the new world. More and more people can travel anywhere they want, and make migrate to other countries more easily. Satellite broadcasts make people become globally audience; they can hear different kinds of information through different countries. The world is becoming a single place, people sharing the common understanding of living together in one place (Lechner, F.J.& Boli, J, 2000). Moreover, in some critical view of globalization, Pieterse, J.N.(1995) state that the globalization as a process of hybridization, and the globalization in the plural. Globalization can be described from four aspects, political, economical, international relations and cultural. In political, social arrangements for the application of power which control the territories, populations and others. In economics, globalization refers to internationalization of economic, and expands of the market. The appearance of some international institutions intended to supervise the process of globalization, these international institutions includes International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( It keeps the balance in the international trade. In international relations, the importance is the increasing consistency of the relations between nations and their global politics. In cultural aspect, it is focus on global communications and cultural homogenization, like the spread of the American culture and McDonald’s culture, those culture both the symbol of the cultural globalization. As for nation-state, it can be defined as “a certain form of state that derives its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit (” The nations is refers a cultural and ethnic entity, and the state is for political and geopolitical entity. The “nation-state” combine those two characters then composing the nation-state. Also there are different numbers of ways of understanding the nation-state. One is to focus on the issue of sovereignty. In this perspective, it can be date back to 17th century Europe, “to the emergence of concentrated monarchical power and to the development of a system of nation-states sovereign in relation to each other (Holton,R.J.)” Also the nation-state has own characteristics, differ from pre-national states. Nation-state has strong idea that about their territory, they think the territory cannot be destroyed and non-transferable, it cannot easily exchange to other nations. The crucial character of nation-state is they use ethic entity as the nation policy through the economics, cultural and social life activities. Nation-state promote the economic unity, they abolish the doll and internal customs. They focus on infrastructure the transportation and they also concentrate on construct the motorway network, both of these policies is for better trade and travelling between nations. Compared with non-national predecessors, the most obvious impact of nation-state is the creation of uniform of a nation cultural through nation’s policy. The model of nation-state is that the residents is constitutes a nation, integrity together by common descent, a common language and many shard cultures. If the nation loses this unity, it tends to create it. It promotes the national language unity through the language policy ( Therefore, nation-state has their particular characters which others cannot easily destroy.

Debate between nation-state and globalization

With the world become globally, the relationship between nation-state and globalization has raised the many scholars’ attention. It may use other way to explain this issue which does globalization destroyed the nation-state? Many scholars provide their opinion towards this hot issue. According to Ohmae,K.(2000) opinion, he think the globalization has deeply weaken the nation-state through political, economic and international trade aspects. Ohmae,K.(2000) think the nation-state sovereignty is deeply threatened by globalization, nation-state begun to lose their dominance. Also author think the nation-state is lose their control in economics because of the penetration of globalization. The nations cannot protect their currency and capital market, it become more and more vulnerable. Also from the daily goods and services now produced in today’s world, Ohame, K. think the nation-state has already lose their national label. Other scholars also indicate the challenges towards the nation-state when facing the globalization. Mann,M(1997) put forward their opinion towards this issue, he analyst four threats to nation-state which is global capitalism, the dangerous of environment change, post-nuclear geopolitics and identity politics. All four factors influence the nation-state in different regions. Capitalist transformation is mildly weakening the north of the nation-state, with the development of industrialization, environment pollution also threat the whole world, the problems of environment is hard to solve by nation-state alone; post-nuclearism weakening state sovereignty. For this argument, some other people state opposite opinion, Thus, Mann(1993a, 1997) indicate that the rise of the nation-state does not influence by globalization; Hirst and Thompson (1996) state that the nation-state still remain the strong status. Different people have divergent opinion toward this question. As for personal view, I agree the moderate view, it can combine different scholars opinions because everything both has positive and negative sides. It is no doubt that the globalization plays the dominant role in nation-state, it brings them huge change, but it can act these change as both chance and challenges. Globalization has impact on nation-state in political, economical and socio-cultural areas in positive and negative sides.

The impact of the globalization on nation-state

Globalization is changing the world step by step, it also has profound influence on nation-state, it changing and threatening the nation-state through three aspects like political, economical and socio-cultural. It is both chances and challenges to nation-state. In nation-state, their main thing is to protect the sovereignty and territory integrity. It cannot be easily destroyed. However, the world in nowadays is the ‘Economic Globalizaiton (Holton,R.J.)’, the economic integrity connect today’s world, it also threaten the nation-state’s sovereignty, supranational institutions deeply influence the national political activities, like the appearance of United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and WTO (Held,D,1991), both of these economic regulatory bodies control and monitor the nation-state political structure. The strengthen power of the international institutions make nation-state sovereignty more and more vulnerable. Multinational companies not only manipulate the process of economic globalization, but also influence the internal polity in nation-state. The flow of global capital and the multinational companies activities need to burst the territory and sovereignty’s restriction in order to better develop themselves. Moreover, the nation-state traditional function is threaten and restricted by globalization. Due to the development of global market, nation-state has to cooperate with transnational organizations because they have no other ways to protest the economic globalization. Some national taxes issues, the regulation of financial rules and the investment strategy cannot decide by nation-state alone. All of these issues make nation-state more and more weakening and threatened by globalization. In economics, “the global economy is characterized by massive flows of money and capital across political boundaries. Integrated global finance markets shift billions of dollars around the world daily in a manner (Holton,R.J.).” These changes have profound effect on nation-state’s foreign exchange, tax revenues, interest rate, the stability of currency, the employment level and the stock markets. Also the multinational companies improved by developed information technology and communications. These huge changes is undoubtedly challenge the nation-state develop. As I discussed above, those international institutions not only influence the nation-state sovereignty, but also control the national economic activities more or less. These international institutions like WTO, World Bank regulate the nation-state economy and then it will make their national foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuated; due to the increasingly multinational companies, they come into the national market and doing the international trade between other countries, the flow of capital and money impair their internal economy in some degrees. In addition, globalization makes people can migrant to other countries, this change influence the nation-state local labor market, it may increase their unemployment rate because the flow of the labor market make the local market cannot keep balance. In market, when people look closely at the products and services, they can find most of them are not made by themselves. That’s the result of economic globalization, international trade makes nation-state lose their market share and influence their government income and GDP. In socio-cultural area, there are different views about the relationship between global culture and national culture. Global culture is the main part of globalization, like globalization, with the evolution of information technology and communication, predict the developing trend of global culture. Herbert Schiller(1976) advance that the global culture is a kind of cultural homogenization, also seen the global culture as the Americanization cultural imperialism. However, cultural globalization does not mean the Americanization or absolute homogenization ( In the process of cultural globally, there is connection between homogenization and heterogenization, like different nation-state have different consciousness towards the ecological culture and environment culture. Therefore, this kind of consciousness is the cultural heterogenization. For instance, you can buy KFC fast food in Beijing, you can listen the Madonna tape, but it does not mean you will give up the traditional culture of the nation-state. Americanization is a kind of diversification in cultural homogenization, America culture is the combination of different countries culture factors because America culture is a kind of immigrant culture ( Therefore, people cannot say that global culture is Americanization homogenization. In nation-state, there is a clash between the foreign culture and national culture. With expand of internet technology and communications, it creates the clash to nation-state, also bring the challenges. Firstly, it will generate the ‘cultural war’, this war is between the English language country and non-English language country, in internet, people always can see lot of English language articles appearing in the national website. Therefore, some nations think it is necessary to protect their language culture. Then, the internet communication technologies originally come from USA, lot of multinational media companies dig other countries cultural resources and then act these as the commodity to sell. It means culture is becoming a kind of consumer goods, not the culture itself; it will create negative influence towards the nation-state traditional culture. Moreover, entertainment culture is the main feature of contemporary globalization (Hafez,K. 2007). Due to the media globalization and the evolution of communication technologies, entertainment culture has become the common and popular circumstances in this world. Film and Programme imports are the crucial part in every country. In nation-state, in their TV programme, it has lots of international programmes, people can get the information and learn the different country’s culture, however, if there are too many foreign programmes, it will influence the local people’s mind especially for younger people. It will make younger people ignore their national culture. Therefore, media globalization is also the key feature of the cultural globalization. Due to the evolution of communication technologies and the media globalization, it can spread the culture through these platforms to other countries. It make the culture become globally and increase the communications between different countries. Overall, globalization has profound influence on nation-state in political, economical and cultural fields. These three aspects both threatened the nation-state, it weaken their sovereignty and make their economic activities unstable and easy to undermine their national culture due to the cultural globalization. Nevertheless, not only economic globalization brings the challenges to nation-state, but also have some positive changes in nation-state through these influential factors. Globalization bring more chances to nation-state, nation-state still play the crucial role in today’s world, it cannot easily destroyed or undermine by economic globalization.

Positive effect on nation-state in globalization world

Nation-state still has profound functions in today’s global world, territory still the symbol of distinguishing nations, globalization creates many new political groups, but the nation-state still the most important political group in today’s world. Globalization does not destroy the territory and sovereignty totally, only influence it. Although many international institutions existing in nation-state, the nation identity still play the dominant role in nation-state and they are decide the national rules and policies ( Economic globalization brings many chances to nation-state although it threatens in some ways. In national market, multinational companies give nation-state more benefits due to the international trade, it also enhance their national company’s competitive advantages. It can bring more chance to trade with other international organizations. Then, more and more multinational companies, it can reduce their unemployment rate though it has many foreign labors. It can create more job vacancies to the nation-state labor market. Cultural unified is the main part as for nation-state, however, cultural globalization cannot guarantee the nation-state cultural unity. In one hand, cultural globalization threaten the national culture development, on the other hand, national cultural also integrate into the global culture. National still keep own cultural characters even better developed. Cultural communication is important to nation-state because they also need to improve their cultural weakness, nation-state can learn and absorb multinational culture to enhance their culture. Also other countries people can absorb and learn the nation-state’s cultural through cultural communication. It is a good way to promote their nations culture advantages, make more and more people know their nations. Overall, the evolution of globalization not only threatens the nation-state in some ways, there are more benefits which they can gain through globalization. Chances are more than challenges, nation-state has their policy to protect their country, it cannot easily be destroyed. Nation-state just needs to adapt to this economic globalization world in order to better develop their nations because globalization is the whole world phenomena it cannot reverse it.


In conclusion, from what I discussed above, economic globalization is the main trend in today’s world, the world is become unity and closely. It has a long history since the appearance of early globalization, therefore, globalization is not a strange word in nowadays. The world is changing rapidly since the globalization become more and more dominant; it can be feel through the economical, political and socio-cultural aspects. These changes make people feel the world is a united world, people living in a common planet. Also as for nation-state, they have own nation characters and own living habits, culture habit and economic activities, nation-state is focus on their sovereignty, they try their best to protect their territory and sovereignty. However, the economic globalization cannot make nation-state feel safety forever. There is a drastic debate about the relationship between globalization and nation-state, some scholars indicate the globalization is demise the nation-state and threatened their sovereignty, the nation-state will be disappear after several decades. It still have other people state the globalization have profound influence on nation-state but not destroy it. As far as I know, I prefer the latter view, globalization plays the dominant role in today’s world, however, it does not undermine the nation-state. It is the fact that the economic globalization brings both challenges and chances to nation-state, not only threat the nation-state, it still create some benefits for nation-state. It can be seen from political, economical and cultural areas. Although the appearance of international institutions like World Bank, IMF etc make nation-state feel the challenges towards their sovereignty and territory, it still have positive effect on nation-state. Due to the existing of these institutions and many multinational companies come into nation-state, it makes national economic activities become confusion, in some degrees, nation-state loses their power and threats their local industry. Nevertheless, it also give nation-state more chance to develop them, multinational companies enhance and improve the international trade, make nation-state have more opportunities to develop their economics, also decrease their unemployment rate. In cultural aspects, nation-state also takes lot effort to maintain their cultural unity, however, cultural globalization make cultural integrate and spread to all over the world, it also shock the nation-state national culture. Moreover, due to the development of media technologies and internet widespread, every nations can see more and more TV programmes in television or through different broadcasting. Nation-state have more chances to widen their eyesight to absorb other countries culture and then it can improve their culture weakness. Overall, not only globalization threats the nation-state in some ways, but also give them more opportunities to develop and improve. It can be seen as opportunities more than challenges. Therefore, nation-state cannot undermine by globalization, it just change it in some areas. There is a close relationship between nation-state and globalization, they depend on each other.