Monday, August 20, 2018 | ePaper

Globalization and underdevelopment at micro level

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Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque :
The whole world today witnesses the wave of globalization. Globalising influences have led to the reinforcement of cosmopolitanism - we mean world culture or broader worldview. Globalization process helps the policy makers to share ideas, opinions, actions and experiences with their counterparts in other countries. This doctrine adds a new dimension to interdependence rendering it meaningful as an operational concept.
Globalization of capital and other markets is beginning to foster structural reformation. This phenomenon may well be conceptualized as 'dynamic economic internationalism' or global approach to economic liberalization (Chowdhury 1997). Globalization is conceptually relevant to economic dimension of international modernization. It is a new economic order directing exchange relationship among nations in relation to trade, access to market, services, information, capital, technology and manpower. Globalization, as such, is a sort of trading capitalism hovering around market relation among interacting nations. It may be defined as 'an expansion of trade, finance, investment and other economic activities across political boundaries of nation state. It means liberalization of all trade, investment and financial rules and integration of each economy with the rest of the world." (Abedin 1997:39).
Globalization pre-supposes interdependence among nations. Such interdependence involves technical aid programs, research, innovation, and diffusion of knowledge and dissemination of common development policy goals. Being the essence of globalization technological interdependence fosters modern telecommunication and information technology.  Such development promoting modernization of knowledge and communication takes place through the transnational enterprises.
On the contrary, conceptualization of participatory rural development is meaningless unless the policy makers take on board a thorough study to identify cross-cutting explosive problems and predict the challenges to come in the new millennium under the impact of open market economy Recently Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) that paves for open market operation advocates 'specific interventions'.
'There are two contending opinions on the issue of globalization. There are some observers who believe that globalization has brought rapid prosperity to the underdeveloped countries while others argue that globalization serves the needs of the metropolitan countries at the expense of the peripheral countries. Globalization is economic terrorism. Using a dependency theory to analyze the asymmetric relationships between the developed and the underdeveloped countries, the writer applies some economic indicators to highlight the widening gap between the two worlds.It is argued that the socio-economic and political structures of the peripheral countries are subordinated via globalization to foster the economic interest (the superstructure) of the metropolitan countries. Although several studies have been done on the issue of globalization, there has been no systematic study done to link the activities of both the governmental and nongovernmental organizations in terms of their impact in the international political economy. This holistic approach is an attempt to fill that vacuum. Drawing from the experience of Nigeria and some other underdeveloped countries in enhancing our understanding of how globalization accelerates the underdevelopment of the periphery, the roles played by the multinational corporations, Western media technology, the lone superpower, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Bank/World Bank, are subjected to the test of empirical reality and logical plausibility.Globalization (a homogenization of global economic, social and political order) is not synonymous with internationalization (a collaboration of nationstates in their pursuit of mutual interests). It is argued in this paper that the ideal of a universal civilization is a recipe for unending conflicts in the world. It is time to resolve the contradiction between the need to foster multiculturalism and diversity on the one hand and the promotion of globalization on the other hand.To fully understand the system of globalization, there is the need to revisit dependency theory. Dependency theory evolved in Latin America during the 1960s and later it found favor in some writings about Africa and Asia. Since both orthodox as well as the radical writers have assimilated dependency into their interpretation of development and underdevelopment, resulting in considerable confusion, effort is made here to distinguish the nature of dependency that the underdeveloped countries are subjected to from what the orthodox scholars may claim. Contemporary perspectives of dependency reveal the contrasting forms of dominance and dependence among the nations of the capitalist world. A Brazilian social scientist, By dependence we mean a situation in which the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected. The relation of interdependence between two or more economies, and between these and world trade, assumes the forms of dependence when some countries (the dominant ones) can do this only as a reflection of that expansion, which can have ...a negative effect on their immediate development.1In other words, because of the unequal political, military, and economic relationships between a dependent economy and the dominant external economy, the structure of the former is shaped as much or more by the requirements of the external economy as by its own domestic needs.'  (hanaian ChronicleGlobalization and the development of underdevelopment of the third world)
Given the complexity of rural development structural and discursive transformations of peasant communities would be counter-productive without reference to acceptable measures of participation. Policy analysts perceive the dimension of development in neoclassical line showing little concern about dysfunctional features of structural reforifiation. Implications of market-oriented growth embedded in SAP may be found in terms of co-relative attributes of fierce competition, uneven distribution and lop-sided participation.
Structural changes are beginning to take place in response to globalization of capital and other markets. This on-going process may well be termed as 'dynamic economic internationalism' or global approach to economic liberalization.
Rather unplanned and too rapid grouth of global capitalism is thought to be dehumanizing leading to the marginalization of the toiling masses of peasants. The consequence is likely to create structural tension. New trends found in the 'dominant paradigm of development' threaten to impinge into social fabric. The ominous signs hovering around the paradigm are likely be annihilation of indigenous system, catastrophic human problems, disintegration of co-operative sector, environmental hazards, rampant competition over 'exceedingly scare resources' in peasant societies, weakening of production base in traditional agricultural and agro-based small industrial and manufacturing sectors, downward spiral of poverty and reinforced rural urban migration.
Socio-economic setting in contemporary peasant communities are not prepared for massive reformation in line with SAP It is not difficult to predict the shape of things to come in the event of full-blooded 'process facilitation for implementing 'structural adjustment packages'. This article has already hinted much about micro-level societal realities and dynamics in two-fold structural settings: traditional (pre-modern) and transitional. What is important is to build up new blocks of empirical knowledge about development in microcosm through partcipant observation.
Misconception of the recent time is the way the world Bank and IMF redefine development in pursuance of recent policy approach like SAP Stabilization, deregulation, private capital investment on large scale inductrialization, and expansion of export throuth the shift of investable resources from 'domestic consumption - linked activities' push up free market economic activism that stands in the way of success of poverty alleviation program as the frontline component of participatory rural development.
Basic inadequacy of this north-based development model presented to countries in the South Pole can thus be realized from secondary and even tertiary emphasis it attaches to micro-econimic stability. The majoritarian among rural beneficiarices involved in cultivation or in tiny commercial pursuits in rural market situatuion still suffer deprivation. Erratic management coupled with corruption has thrived and inflationary stress has largely increased cost of living. Perhaps the bilateral and muilateral aid giving agencies are aware of the negative consequence of the 'dominant paradigm of development'. They have started rethinking and reappraising these recent policy approaches.
The state is beginning to relinquish much of its conventional rural development functions to private sector. The wave of privatization of infra-structural projects for local economic resilience has been contraindicated in rural economic scenario.  Economic viability of the potential rural institutions suffers stress. The village co-operatives once flourished to promote ruralization of development with the provisions of modern production technologies, distributions of agricultural inputs, subsidies, banking and marketing facilities have started eroding.
World Bank reports that with the progress of structural adjustment the state will find extremely difficult to channel significant funds into the credit lines of the rurual co-operatives. The Annual Development Plan (ADP) expenditure on the self-financed sector declined from 12.12 billion Taka in 1991 financial year, which was 35.07 per cent of the total to only 2.69 billion Taka in 1993.
(Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque, Retired Professor, Chittagong University).

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