Sample Paper on Globalization and Its Impacts in France

Introduction

In recent years, there has been a significant improvement in cultural and economic interactions across countries due to the concept of globalization. In particular, the expansion of global linkages across countries has helped to consolidate the contemporary society such that geographical reasons no longer inhibit progress in any economic or cultural aspects. Alongside the progress in economic interactions, significant changes have also been experienced in cultural beliefs and practices. Each nation has experienced globalization and realized either economic or social growth to varying degrees. Additionally, various issues have been identified as the results of globalization. Nonetheless, it is deductible that globalization has resulted in more good than bad and its benefits cut across all categories of nations. Better communication, more efficient trade, and international governance have been realized through globalization. In this essay, the concept of globalization is presented, describing what it entails together with its impacts on a country of choice, in this case, France. Through the exemplification of France, the essay will give an overview of the impacts of globalization that can be generalized to other countries as well.

Globalization: What it Entails

Shahzad (2006, p. 204) defines globalization as “the expansion of global linkages, the organization of social life on a global scale, and the growth of global consciousness.” More directly, this amounts to the consolidation of society across the world. Alternatively, globalization has been defined as a context within which both geographical and cultural constraints on society continuously recede with the awareness of the populace. The results of globalization include the consolidation of markets, technologies, and nation-states to the extent that there is an increase in the cross-border movement of technology, goods, and services. It results in economic integration across countries and their economic interdependence. Several other definitions of globalization show the concept in the context of its benefits to the communities and its continuous nature. Shahzad (2006) further describes globalization as a phenomenon that mostly occurred in the 20thcentury, and through which countries such as those in Europe, established ties with other countries. These economic ties helped the countries to obtain goods and services from others. Accumulation of wealth and resources from other countries is, therefore, one of the most profound outcomes of globalization. Moving from a time when capital-intensive policies in the developed world resulted in a large number of skill-dependent areas, it can be said that globalization has improved access to resources, maximizing the benefits associated with each international relationship.

In a discourse on the impacts of globalization, Jara (2017) posits that it is a continuous process that is bound to go on into the future. The process has been accelerating and deepening over the last few decades. This implies that the impacts of globalization will continue to be felt across the world. It is expected that while it continues, its forms and processes will change over the years. The drivers of those changes, however, need to be understood to comprehend the adjustments that are required to ensure adaptations with the new outcomes. The continuous process of globalization implies that as nations identify new challenges that can be solved through international relations, the adoption of new methods and cross-national learning helps to foster better approaches to efficiency and effectiveness in decision making. This has also resulted in changing ideologies about globalization from one period to another since the phenomenon benefits different countries in different ways at different times. For instance, in its early periods (from the 15th century), globalization mainly benefitted developed countries, which accumulated natural and other resources from the developing countries (Shahzad 2006). The latter had no facilities for the absorption of resources from the developed countries. In such a context, it was possible for developing countries to feel oppressed as a result of globalization, contrary to the perceptions of the benefitting countries about the benefits of globalization. More recently, globalization has seen the strengthening of international trade helping countries to utilize their relative competitive advantages in production.

Globalization works by improving the movement of people and products across national borders. The integration of trade and markets eliminates most barriers to international trade, resulting in greater ease of movement of goods and people. According to Bhasin (2019), the factors that drive globalization include multinational production, international finance, and trade. Under government controls, globalization results in various outcomes. For instance, political activism ensures that governments provide the political incentives that can inspire the cross-boundary movement of goods and services. Trade liberalization trends have also contributed to the growth of globalization and its benefits to the involved countries. Technology, in particular, has promoted rapid and more beneficial growth of globalization over the past century, through its capacity to promote communication, sharing of ideas, and improved movement across borders.

While there is strong recognition of the benefits of globalization, there has also been significant concern about its negative impacts. The backlash against globalization is undeniably strong, as observed through their political consequences (Jara, 2017). Various negative impacts of globalization have been discussed including, environmental destruction as a result of increased utilization of natural resources and increased transportation using fossil fuels; increased market competition leading to price fluctuations in international markets; increased job insecurity as most countries can outsource cheaper labor in white collar and manufacturing jobs; and the availability of cheaper jobs (Bhasin, 2019). Each of these outcomes is drawn differently from the increased access to product markets and increased movement of goods and people across boundaries. The chart below gives the perfect example of how globalization impacts on the labor market with a focus on the U.S.

Figure 1: U.S. Manufacturing and Labor Trends from 1973 to 2016 (Source: The Hamilton Project (2017)).

Globalization continues and is expected to have profound effects on the future developments of various nations. Despite some concern about the probable reversals occurring on globalization, there are indications that there is a live and continuous international cooperation on trade issues. This is expected to deliver results that will be linked directly to globalization (Jara, 2017). Provision of adequate and timely leadership will help to foster the outcomes of globalization through increased foreign direct investments into different countries. The impacts of foreign direct investments include productivity, as shown in the chart below.

Figure 2: Trends in Foreign direct Investment and Foreign Aid (Source: Aslam et al. 2018)

With increased productivity, nations seeking markets for different products also have the hope of getting access to those markets due to international trade liberalization and continued opening up of capital markets across the world. Multilateral and plurilateral trade is also growing alongside a high level of national integration across the world. Measures such as reforms in national fiscal and tax policies also give the hope of continued learning from other countries in the process of globalization.

Impacts of Globalization on France

The choice to focus on France to illustrate the impacts of globalization on different countries is based on its initial stance against globalization. Vinokur (2010) points out that the French perception of globalization would inhibit the trade protectionism espoused by the French government. Moreover, the country is characterized by industrial leadership, which many argue is against the sentiments of globalization. There are also beliefs that there has been a shift in the country’s perception of globalization over the years, transitioning from the initial perception of obsession, defiance, and schizophrenia to greater freedom and acceptance of the features presented by globalization. Accordingly, the continued embracement of globalization by France has resulted in greater recognition of its benefits on the country’s economy and culture. France’s position on globalization in the past was more similar to those of other European countries in which rejection and fear were the mainstays of decision making in relation to globalization. This has been changing gradually over the last decade, and past practices such as reduction of immigration and passport checks are increasingly reducing despite the national focus on security (Vinokur, 2010).

The negative attitude to globalization among the French was created by the impression that it was equal to Americanization, which most of the European countries do not find favorable. The imposition of American products to other countries was the main rationale for equating globalization to Americanization. This was, however, because most countries did not recognize that they could also use globalization as American companies did to eliminate the constraints of geographical boundaries in sales (Vinokur, 2010). Americanization particularly led to the destruction of national cultures without any consideration of national social justice and with emphasis on profit maximization as the ultimate objective. Technological and demographic changes in recent years have helped transform the French perception of globalization significantly, with the twin pressures of globalization and Europeanization increasing its preference.

The media has played a significant role in transitioning the French perception of globalization over the past few years. The recognition of the role of state intervention and planning in the creation of an economically robust governance system and its role in promoting social protection has been essential in promoting the acceptance of globalization by the French. While the French remains wary of the doctrines that were previously embraced about globalization in the U.S context, there is a realization that some of those doctrines have been adopted across the world. The realization of the populace that globalization greatly benefits the country, has also been a motivating factor towards more rampant support for globalization over the last few decades. For instance, Vinokur (2010) clarify that one of the reasons why the socialist part was unable to succeed in the last elections had been because the leaders were unable to provide a candid, practical approach towards globalization at a time when the entire population had been making efforts to enhance globalization and its impacts on the economy and culture of the country. The need for a modern and practical approach to achieving globalization indicates the shift from its consideration as Americanization to an essential and inevitable part of survival in contemporary times. The desire of the people to see a more practical approach to globalization can be linked to the research whose results are shown in the chart below, in which 81% of the French thought that the globalization scenario in the country was getting worse.

Figure 3: Perceptions of the masses about the status of globalization across the world.

France has realized many impacts of globalization both before and in modern times. Its effects in France are similar to the impacts discussed and associated with globalization across the world. Impacts on the education sector, in healthcare, in trade and the economy in general, extend from the improvement of communication to actual realization of results. Jara (2017) discussed the impacts of globalization in India, beginning with trade liberalization and improvement of the flow of foreign direct investments. These impacts influence not only economic growth through GDP but also cultural outcomes in relation to globalization. In France, similar impacts have been felt on the economy. In particular, the reduction of the practice of trade protectionism in France as a result of globalization is one of the impacts on trade liberalization. Protectionism is an approach through which local industries are protected from competition and invasion by imported products. The downside of protectionism is that it limits the gross profit margins in the local industries by limiting their access to low-cost labor and raw materials; it also reduces competition hence reducing the quality of products sold in the country (Aslam et al., 2018). With trade liberalization, France has been able to access more market opportunities for locally produced goods and cheaper sources of labor and raw materials for manufacturing operations.

In the health sector, the concept of global health has been a subject of discussion across the world. Global health issues are described as those health concerns that are beyond the capability of one nation to manage, and in which several nations have to be involved in order to be solved. According to a study by Taylor (2018), the emergence of health issues that require global solutions implies the need for solutions drawn from global coordination. Accordingly, globalization has resulted in increased communal, national, and regional participation in problem-solving. There has been an improvement in technological skills, production systems, and political space for collective action and decision making. France has similarly benefited from the health outcomes of globalization. Policy makers in European countries and beyond have been depending on shared knowledge relating to technological advancements to create solutions that address world health problems (Aslam et al., 2018). Scientific knowledge and skills as well as skills in engineering, have been part of the progress in the development of biomedical solutions, improvements in healthcare technology and nursing care and management. This knowledge is not produced and consumed in France; rather, it is collectively produced by several countries and shared through advanced communication technologies to bolster growth in the healthcare sector.

Globalization has resulted in significant progress in the education sector in France. For instance, Vinokur suggests that the impacts of globalization on the education sector have resulted in a new model for university education in France, which pits the French education sector at par with the country’s counterparts across the world. This new model features characteristics such as lower public expenditure for every student, low to no school fees for students, wide variety in entry-level selection, elimination of accreditation systems that are not internationally recognized, and provision of the short-term public research funding. There is also increasing recognition of widely focused research projects over the narrowly focused ones that were previously common.

While there are a lot of benefits that globalization has caused in the French context, there are still more opportunities for the nation to explore the benefits of globalization. The prevailing issues in the implementation of globalization driven reforms in the education and healthcare sectors are linked to budgetary and market-oriented constraints, which if addressed, can help educational and healthcare institutions to improve service delivery efficacy. France can become one of the leaders in international education across the world. Consideration of the education sectors across the European Union is one of the ways through which France can be a part of the international journey in education growth.

Conclusion

The French government has undergone a lot of transition in how it feels about globalization over the last few decades. The transition has been from a schizophrenic consideration of globalization to a position of acceptance and embracement of the concept. The support for globalization in France over the last decades had been limited, resulting in minimum benefits to the country. The definition of globalization has in the more recent times been reflected in the French context, where it has resulted in improvements in the education and healthcare sectors as well as in the economy as a whole. The education sector in France, however, still has significant opportunities for improvement, which can be explored by the French government by recognizing the progress of other countries in the European Union and matching the characteristics of the French education sector to those of the more progressive countries in the union. The impacts of globalization are mostly drawn from boundless communication and trade, which have also become significant aspects of the French education and healthcare sectors.

 

 

Reference List

Aslam, A, Eugster, J, Ho, G, Jaumotte, F, Osorio-Buitron, C, and Piazza, R 2018. ‘Globalization helps spread knowledge and technology across borders.’ IMF Blog. Available from: <https://blogs.imf.org/2018/04/09/globalization-helps-spread-knowledge-and-technology-across-borders/>. [28 April 2019].

Bhasin, H 2019. ‘What is globalization? What are the positives and negatives of globalization?’ Marketing91. Available from: <https://www.marketing91.com/what-is-globalization/>. [28 April 2019].

Jara, A 2017. ‘The future of globalization under new political realities.’ Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, vol. 9, no. 1-3, pp. 75-85. Available from: <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0974910117747759>. [28 April 2019].

Shahzad, A 2006. ‘What is globalization – historical background.’ Jadavpur Journal of International Relations, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 204-212. Available from: <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0973598406110013#articleCitationDownloadContainer>. [28 April 2019].

Taylor, S 2018. ‘Global health: meaning what?’ BMJ Global Health, vol. 3, no. 2. Available from: <https://gh.bmj.com/content/3/2/e000843>. [28 April 2019].

The Hamilton Project 2017. ‘Globalization and technological change affect low-wage workers.’ The Hamilton Project. Available from: <http://www.hamiltonproject.org/charts/globalization_and_technological_change_affect_low_wage_workers>. [29 April 2019].

Thomson, S 2016. People are angry about globalization. This chart explains why. World Economic Forum. Available from: <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/people-are-angry-about-globalization-this-chart-explains-why/>. [28 April 2019].

Vinokur, A 2010. ‘Current internationalization: the case of France,’ Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 205 -217. Available from: <https://www.globalization101.org/what-france-thinks-about-globalization/>. [28 April 2019].