Globalization is a continuous process that describes the integration of regional economies, cultures and societies through trade and communication networks designed in a global spinning way. The term globalization is mostly associated with economic integration in the international front where capital flows; foreign direct investment, trade and migration are enhanced through the use of modern sophisticated technology. Globalization however involves an integrated process incorporating socio-cultural, political, technological, biological and economic factors. Broad definition also includes the acculturation process where there is transnational circulation and exchange of languages, ideas and other cross cultural cultures. The notion of globalization took roots mostly after the Second World War when the international politicians joined forces to eliminate all hindrances and borders hampering international trade. Their aim and objective was to increase global prosperity through increased and open trading and enhance interdependence thereby reducing greatly the propensity of future world war occurrence (Sullivan and Kymlicka 2007).
The process of globalization was seen to be formalized when the world politicians meet at Washington in Bretton Wood conference to establish a legal framework involving practices in international finance and commerce. During this conference, several international economic institutions were established under the Bretton Wood treaty to spearhead the globalization processes. International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were the results of Bretton Wood conference to enhance globalization agenda through easier and advanced way of technological transfers to facilitate reduction of trading costs through friendly and beneficial trade negotiations with the first international negotiation resulting to the creation of General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1944. This formed the formal start of thorough globalization processes through advanced discussions that eased interregional trading through reduction and removal of taxes, tariffs and trading quotas (Sullivan and Kymlicka 2007).
Ethics of globalization
Globalization has completely transformed the world around us not only in trading practices but also in cultural, political and social settings. The national and international borders do not have meaning in the current state of globalization with regard to environment, trade and health field in relation to the technological advances accompanying globalization. All these interactions have left the world with no option rather than accept the trading connectedness in the world regimes. This emerging phenomenon of globalization has altered the way societies and cultures interrelate and work in the international trading and social environment. The ways individuals relate, behave and regard each other have greatly changed. The moral and ethical obligations of one another have as well changed with time lapse and globalization takes over the every day activities (Singer and Myers 2009).
Due to globalization influences, political decisions have always raised sharp debates concerning their ethical and moral support. Many people have always desired to do what is right and ethically justifies their actions. Therefore, our ethical thoughts should be geared to the dealing and reactions towards effects of globalization like climate change, global warming, trade liberalization, economic issues as well as the role played by the international institutions and organizations in their role to international affairs like genocide, crime against humanity and issues concerning foreign aid. Globalization does not consider the obligations of wealthy nations to the poor just the same way the issue of rich and poor is considered within an individual nation, region or community. In the national level, inequality is permitted as long as it is focused to promote the welfare of the poor unlike globalization that has no such consideration of what wealth and rich societies owes to the poor ones without consideration that poor societies benefits less while rich ones rips all the fruits of globalization (Singer and Myers 2009).
Therefore globalization compromises the issue of justice within societies and their interaction process. For instance, the issue of climate change has been a thorny ethical concern. The type of emissions from industries and vehicles do not consider the massive effects towards the large masses that entirely depend on the environment for their livelihood especially poor agricultural societies. The huge emissions from few industrialized societies do not care for the welfare of massive poor societies resulting to climate and environmental degradation which has detrimental effects to their lives with regard to earnings. Therefore, the notion of globalization that nations should always do what is to their best interest should not be allowed to thrive (Weiss 2008).
Ethical perception across cultures concerning globalization
Societies across the world have different views concerning globalization. There are some who advocate for the exercise of globalization activities with all its outcomes and results without consideration of effects to others as long as it is executed to the nations best of interests. An issue that has been of controversy is the corporate social responsibility and the globalization agenda. This is also referred to as corporate and responsible business, sustainable and responsible business or even corporate social performance. This represents a self regulating mechanism in the business world which ensures activities and practices are in conformity to the stipulated law, international norms and ethical standards. Therefore, business corporate bodies should embrace the consequences of their actions and activities to the environment, communities, stakeholders, employees, consumers and all the members of the public as a whole. Therefore, businesses should practice and promote those activities that are of public growth and development through voluntarily elimination of harmful activities and practices regardless of their legality.
Proponents of globalization through corporate social responsibility regard the practice as having a strong case against it through multiple benefits realized from cross border operations. Others argue that it diverts through distractions the fundamental role assigned to businesses. There are others who view it as a phony widow dressing in corporate activities while others view it as a leeway to allow multinational corporations operate freely without respective governments’ regulation, supervision and control (Singer and Myers 2009).
Due to these conflicting stands concerning globalization and its consequences, nations practice and hold dear to what they regard and view globalization. When there is lack of common perception to the globalization issue, risks like environmental degradation, pollution, moral decadence, poverty has resulted due to the dilemma of globalization definition and scope of activities. The results from these activities and nation operations has been war among countries due to interference with individual interests, increase in poverty levels, continuous environmental exploitation and pollution, widening of inequality gap between societies as well as interstate suspicions and mistrust between countries. The consequences of these activities are enormous through global warming which results to unbearable living conditions across societies. Nations are also utilizing a lot of their resources to curb and mitigate the consequences of global warming at the expense of beneficial development programs for their citizens (Merz and Chen 2009).
Globalization has its historical roots since the agrarian societies but have advanced and intensified especially after the first and second world wars. The legal framework for the activity and practice was drafted after the Second World War during the Bretton Wood conference in the United States of America. International political heads meet in Washington and drafted procedures towards international integration in trade, business, and commerce, socio-cultural and political fields. Two major institutions were created during Bretton Wood Conference to spearhead globalization agenda (International Monetary fund and he World Bank) especially in economic terms through economic interdependence and integration.
However, this issue has elicited sharp debate concerning the ethical and moral underlying and its effects to societies. Some nations have pursued the agenda to their own interests regardless of others as long as their actions and practices are legal. Other nations has chosen to promote societal growth and development through voluntarily execution of activities and practices which are ethical rather than legal as long as they promote societal welfare. These conflicting stands and perceptions across societies has resulted to detrimental effects like environmental pollution and degradation which consequently has resulted to global warming and increase poverty levels widening inequality gap among societies. Globalization has also resulted to confliction relations between and among international states with accusations and counter accusation for each other for internal interference of the respective nation’s affairs. Poor societies have been the worst affected by globalization agenda, trade liberalization results to inefficiency and ineffectiveness of domestic industrial sector reducing respective society’s income for development purposes thereby increasing debt burden situation in poor societies.