Globalisation and human security

GLOBALISATION is a concept that defies easy definition. As such, I will consider it as a series of processes, singling out those which are relevant to the topic. These are two. One is what I call the process of economic globalisation, which is of two kinds.

The first is financial globalisation, that process by which a country opens up its financial system to international capital penetration.

This process has been greatly accelerated in Asia from the early 90s as a result of many Asian countries listening to the advice of what is often called the Washington consensus.

A second is the growing interdependence of trade in the world, not least among Asian countries.

A second process is ideological. On one level, it involves the triumph of capitalism and democracy as signified by the end of the Cold War.

On another level, it is the ascendancy beginning from the early 80s of the Thatcher-Reagan philosophy of freer markets, freer services, and deregulation.

Aiding both these processes is the information revolution. By shrinking space and time, it has greatly aided economic globalisation while making information available even to the most closed regimes, thus making the legitimacy of any regime questionable which does not respond to the people’s will.

Human security as a concept has come into vogue quite recently. In the past security has been defined primarily in terms of the security of the State. Human security shifts the focus to that of human beings. Such security is of two kinds.

One is physical security, that of security of life and limb.

The other is security from fear and want, which is security from torture, arbritary arrest and so on, and the right to a decent material existence.

It has to be said that both these processes of globalisation have the potential of greatly increasing human security.

Yet it can also be argued that globalisation, because of its uneven nature, the control of the important means of production by a few advanced countries, and the resistance to it from many of the recipient countries, can diminish human security, or at least not improve it.

First, the benefits of globalisation like, for example, foreign direct investment, are not spread evenly among the countries. If one looks at the flow of such investment in the past decade or so, the main beneficiaries are primarily China, the original Asean five and some of the more advanced countries of Latin America.

Most of Africa and the Asian subcontinent have missed out on this. At the same time, capital flow is not necessarily a smooth process.

As massively as it can move into countries so it can also move out as massively. This can have disastrous effects on countries as the Asian crisis so manifestly demonstrated.

Also, the dependence of many developing countries on international trade as a means of growth has made them vulnerable to protectionist measures in the developed countries where they find most of their market outlets.

But even if one argues that protectionism is not easily initiated because it can also hurt the protectionist country, the changing nature of the production system has left the State and the workers increasingly at the mercy of the multinationals.

One could, before the end of the Cold War, conceivably opt out of this globalisation by adopting a socialist economy whereby the State uses the means of production to benefit workers and still attain economic growth, following the Soviet model.

There was also an international socialist economy one could depend on. The former is now questionable and the latter non-existent as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

As for physical security, the information revolution and the spread of democracy have made it difficult for Governments to hide from the world any massacre or torture they might indulge in, even if in some cases they still occur and the international community does little about them.

In this sense, physical security is enhanced. Yet it can also be argued that while globalisation has reduced the possibility of inter-State conflict , it has increased the incidents of intra-State conflict.

The spread of democracy worldwide and the placing of human rights as a central plank of the foreign policy of the Western democracies has emboldened oppressed minorities to assert their rights.

Unfortunately, much of such assertion and agitation occurs in States that have no democratic tradition of peaceful resolution of ethnic, tribal and such other disputes, and of peaceful secession. The groups that control such States feel threatened and turn on these minorities, many members of which are killed, dismembered and tortured for no other reason than that they are members of the minority group targeted.

Physical security is thus greatly reduced in such circumstances. How shall Asean respond to the issues mentioned?

One can say fairly confidently that sovereignty in the economic arena is being eroded if not already eroded, by globalisation. Decisions affecting our economic sovereignty are increasingly made in Tokyo, Washington and Brussels, and not so much in our own capitals.

But State sovereignty in the political arena is still a meaningful thing, and Asean, in particular cherishes the principle of non- intervention. But it is increasingly under threat, and a younger generation of Asean opinion makers no longer consider such a principle to be sacrosanct.

Resolving this conflict will be a fundamental challenge for Asean in the future.

Professor Lee Poh Ping

Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, UKM

37 thoughts on “Globalisation and human security

  • April 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm
    Permalink

    Girls wanted, no matter where you live! – to
    hi paid job. If you are young and daring women between 18-40
    years old, you can earn $1000 per week, when you
    get experienced you can earn 4 times more. I won’t spam any websites here, if you are interested, you can google it: Jevlo’s jobs modeling

  • May 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    Permalink

    I not to mention my pals appeared to be checking out the nice recommendations located on the website then then got a terrible feeling I never thanked the web site owner for those techniques. The boys happened to be consequently excited to see all of them and have now sincerely been taking pleasure in them. Thanks for genuinely quite accommodating and also for having certain marvelous subjects most people are really wanting to discover. Our honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.

  • May 24, 2017 at 6:04 am
    Permalink

    Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your
    blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading
    through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the fantastic work!

  • May 24, 2017 at 7:22 am
    Permalink

    I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet
    users, its really really good post on building up new weblog.

  • May 24, 2017 at 11:03 am
    Permalink

    What’s up colleagues, pleasant article and pleasant urging commented here, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

  • May 24, 2017 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • May 25, 2017 at 8:00 am
    Permalink

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am going
    through troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody else having similar RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  • May 25, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while
    you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  • May 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm
    Permalink

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to
    me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  • May 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    I will immediately grasp your rss feed as I can’t to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me recognize so that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  • May 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm
    Permalink

    Link exchange is nothing else except it is simply placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at suitable place
    and other person will also do same in support of you.

  • May 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm
    Permalink

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  • June 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm
    Permalink

    May I simply say what a relief to uncover an individual who genuinely understands what they are discussing on the net.

    You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.

    A lot more people should look at this and understand this
    side of the story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.

  • June 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm
    Permalink

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me
    of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  • June 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after
    checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back
    often!

  • June 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm
    Permalink

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the
    highest quality blogs on the internet. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

  • June 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm
    Permalink

    Your way of describing all in this post is genuinely
    nice, every one be able to easily know it, Thanks a lot.

  • June 7, 2017 at 7:04 pm
    Permalink

    Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, because i wish for enjoyment, as this this web page
    conations in fact pleasant funny data too.

  • June 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    It’s very easy to find out any topic on web as compared to
    books, as I found this post at this web site.

  • June 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

  • June 7, 2017 at 10:27 pm
    Permalink

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  • June 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    Permalink

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I’m not
    sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem.
    You’re incredible! Thanks!

  • June 8, 2017 at 5:23 pm
    Permalink

    Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article
    together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting
    comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  • June 8, 2017 at 6:09 pm
    Permalink

    My brother suggested I may like this website. He was once totally
    right. This publish truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how a
    lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  • June 8, 2017 at 6:12 pm
    Permalink

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I think I would be a
    good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d
    love to write some material for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.
    Thanks!

  • June 11, 2017 at 11:41 pm
    Permalink

    Hey there this is somewhat of off topic
    but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance
    from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  • June 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm
    Permalink

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  • June 14, 2017 at 11:50 pm
    Permalink

    If some one wishes expert view concerning running a blog then i advise him/her
    to visit this web site, Keep up the fastidious work.

  • June 22, 2017 at 8:28 pm
    Permalink

    I just want to tell you that I am all new to blogging and honestly loved this web page. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have remarkable posts. Thanks for revealing your webpage.

  • June 23, 2017 at 4:34 am
    Permalink

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided
    to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get
    home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent
    site!

  • June 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I
    genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with
    the same subjects? Appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.