What is the impact of globalization on the sovereignty and autonomy of the nation-state?

Essay by greekqueenUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2007

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Globalization is a relatively new concept. As little as ten years ago, the term was hardly used. Today globalization is being discussed everywhere; by businessmen, politicians, economists, academics, right through to the average person on the street. It affects all aspects of our modern lives, from what we eat, to what we watch on telly, to the type and amount of crime we experience and to how much money we have in the bank. In this essay I intend to briefly define globalization, explain the term nation state, describe how globalization is manifesting itself and discuss from three differing standpoints the impact that globalization is having in relation to the autonomy and sovereignty of the nation state.

Although globalization can be perceived in many different ways, it is essentially the term used to describe the way in which all manner of people's lives are crossing national boundaries at an ever increasing speed and transforming the way in which we live.

Different cultures are becoming increasingly accessible and interconnected. Modern technology now enables us to access information and communicate with people from the other side of the world virtually instantaneously. News is published and broadcast to us about distant places around the globe. Pollution in one country can affect the environment of another. Fluctuations in the financial market of one nation can affect the value of currency in another. Globalization describes the growing interconnectedness of the world. It is a multi-dimensional process, which encompasses economic, political and cultural aspects. It is important however, to understand that the affects of globalisation are geographically uneven due to the enormous inequality and imbalance of power between rich nation states and poor.

The system of states commonly known as the 'Westphalian system' (due to it's origins in the signing of the 'Peace of Westphalia' treaty...