How Does Globalisation Affect Cultural Power

1679 Words7 Pages
I believe that globalisation has changed the nature and scope of cultural and economic power more than it has the nature and scope of political power. Lukes defines power as having “three faces” – decision-making power, nondecision-making power and idealogical power over political agendas, and that if one party has power over another, they are able to influence that party to do something they would otherwise not do (Lukes, 2004.) Scholte defines globalisation as internationalization (a “growth of transactions and interdependence between countries”), liberalization (“a process of removing officially imposed restrictions on movements of resources between countries in order to form an ‘open’ and ‘borderless’ world economy”), universalization…show more content…
More so than ever before, western brands like Coca-cola are prominent in almost every country around the world. Benjamin Barber refers to this as “Jihad vs Mcworld” – a struggle where globalisation leads to a spread of brands around the world by increased communication and spread of information, and the “Jihad” of nation-states who resist globalization in order to protect their cultural identity (Barber, 1995). According to Barber, there are four imperatives of the McWorld: a market imperative, which Barber thinks leads to common behaviours and erodes individual cultures’ identity due to the spread of commercialism, a resource imperative, where globalisation has interdependence making self-sufficiency impossible, the information-technology imperative, which describes an open communication and exchanging of ideas and technologies around the globe leading to a more connected world but also a less private world and the ecological imperative, where increased globalisation has had a negative impact on the environment over time. The spread of global brands of clothing and fast food around the world is an example of the market imperative of McWorld, where non-western cultures adopt features of western culture and lose traits of their own cultures over time. Barber calls the resistance to McWorld “Jihad” – a sort of exclusionary group within cultures. He gives examples such as Quebecois in Canada or Kurds in Turkey who…show more content…
The existence of political and economic unions such as the European Union has diminished the power of the countries within these unions, as the EU can set policies on a broad range of areas, for example banning imports of ivory or introducing safety regulations on imported electronic goods. However, this impact is somewhat mitigated by the fact that these unions rarely have absolute power over countries within them and the individual nations still determine a significant amount of policies themselves without the intervention of the European Union. Furthermore, as evidenced by the recent “Brexit” of the United Kingdom, membership of these unions is not always absolute and the countries in them can elect to leave if they wish, so the power of the union is therefore not absolute. Increased globalisation has also culminated in a world where there are very few command economies left – outside of a few countries which operate at near-command economies such as Cuba or Venezuela, most countries are mixed economies where there is a level of government intervention in economies but consumers can still buy and sell most goods with a degree of freedom. Mixed economies naturally have less political power over the consumption habits of the citizens living within these economies than mixed economies, as consumers now attempt to consume to maximise their utility rather than relying on a central planner to

More about How Does Globalisation Affect Cultural Power

Open Document