Globalization as a process began several decades ago along with the restructuring of the world, the emergence of new states, and the development of new technologies. This process continues today, and arguments both in support and against this phenomenon are expressed regularly. Such a broad discussion of this event in all states and at all levels is explained by the very essence of globalization since it penetrates all spheres of human activity. Thanks to this, economists, politicians, environmentalists, and social workers participate in the discussion, forming many points of view that can be evaluated. The purpose of this essay is to summarize the two perspectives presented in the first chapters of Martin Wolf’s and Dani Rodrik’s works to analyze their positions on globalization.
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Both studied texts are introductions and the first chapters to the authors’ works on globalization. The very title of the text, written by Wolf, makes the reader understand that the author takes a favorable position regarding this phenomenon. This point of view can be traced throughout both chapters under consideration. The author begins his book with arguments that are entirely opposite to the concept of globalization. Wolf (3) invites the reader to imagine a world in which the economy is fragmented as opposed to modern realities. Such a division allows him to conclude that there is no correct degree of self-sufficiency, and the current state of affairs is associated with the historical development of the world. In that case, it makes much more sense to create an economy like the United States or the European Union, which is a possible and desirable option (Wolf 4). The author notes that this world needs more global markets to improve the living standards of the poor.
In the following sections, Wolf describes the attitudes towards globalization of different groups of people, commenting on their positions. According to the author, the central theme of this book is the intellectual confrontation between the defenders and opponents of liberal capitalism (Wolf 4). The latter are primarily based on established traditions and the preference of a nation instead of the global economy. Most opponents of globalization can be characterized by their belief that it is inextricably linked to American aggressive and impoverishing capitalism (Wolf 7). However, despite the wide range of claims to this system, the author focuses only on those that affect the economy, deriving a clear definition of globalization as the integration of economic activities through markets (Wolf 19). From his perspective, this integration allows for the formation of a more robust unified system that can withstand the threats of terrorism and ensure the prosperity of its members.
The second author’s text under consideration is an introduction to the criticism of globalization. However, it would be wrong to consider Rodrik’s work as an example of an opposition point of view. Even though Wolf calls Rodrik an opponent, the author himself takes a much more cautious position (Wolf 8). The book presented to the reader is not a one-sided criticism against globalization but is intended to highlight emerging problems (Rodrik 9). The author draws the reader’s attention to the already existing and possible negative sides. As the main goal for his book, he raises the question of combining globalization with political and social stability (Rodrik 2). Although many advantages are announced within the framework of global projects, Rodrik looks at them critically, assessing how much they correspond to reality.
Unlike Wolf, which only focuses on economics, Rodrik primarily considers the social complexities of advancing globalization by providing the reader with a broader perspective. The author identifies three primary sources of tension: the emerging asymmetry in eliminating barriers, the appearance of conflicts based on the combination of national and social norms, and the difficulty in providing social support in the global structure (Rodrik 5). In addition, he notes a historical example of a similar global market that emerged in the years leading up to the First World War. However, Rodrik does not reject globalization entirely and even supports it in some way. If policymakers act wisely, he says, they can fix existing problems and prevent future ones (Rodrik 9). It is necessary to expand the perspective on globalization and its consequences, which is what the author does in his work.
Thus, Wolf and Rodrik present slightly opposite views on this phenomenon. While the first author strongly supports globalization while limiting himself only to its economic side, Rodrik takes a much more cautious stance, trying to consider a large number of details. Both authors present different perspectives on this phenomenon in their texts, which is why their opinions differ but are not entirely opposed. When studying both texts, one can find both arguments for and against globalization since both writers cover the issue under study from all sides.
Rodrik, Dani. Has Globalization Gone Too Far? Columbia University Press, 1997.
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Wolf, Martin. Why Globalization Works. Yale University Press, 2005.