International Competitiveness Politics and Policy Essay

Pages: 6 (1915 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Urban Studies

International Competitiveness, Politics and Policy

Globalization

As Thomas Friedman clearly states in the Lexus and the Olive Tree, globalization is not just a trend. Globalization is not just a trend that countries or companies may choose to follow or not to follow. Globalization is the system that replaces the former system that was ended by the Cold War.

Countries and companies have no choice but to go with the flow, to stand in line, otherwise chaos would probably emerge. Globalization changes the relationships and interdependencies across the world, whether one takes into consideration economics, politics, or culture.

The effects of this process, called globalization, are various, they can be direct or indirect, they can be positive or negative, and they can produce effects on general processes or on particular aspects of businesses.

Certain experts in the field consider globalization as "the process of increasing social and cultural interconnectedness, political interdependence, and economic, financial and market integration" (Thoumrungroje, 2007). These are the main effects of globalization at the macro level.

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But in the case of companies and firms things are clearer. Overall, globalization is thought to improve businesses' performance. One of the most prominent effects of globalization is represented by outsourcing. More and more companies apply outsourcing strategies to their business. This has further positive effects for all the parties involved. The company that uses outsourcing is able to reduce its costs. The customers further benefit from reduced prices due to reduced production costs. Also, outsourcing regions like China, India, or certain countries in Africa are helped to develop themselves through the investments made by outsourcing companies.

Globalization is also responsible for the global integration of markets. Some experts see this as global trade liberalization. This further leads to global integration pressures and local responsiveness pressures. This way, the process of globalization expands, develops, and intensifies its effects continuously.

Essay on International Competitiveness Politics and Policy Assignment

2. Thomas Friedman's affirmation regarding the increasing influence of Saudi Arabia is perfectly justified. Over the past decades, Saudi Arabia has done nothing else but to increase its power and influence. It started by increasing its influence in the vicinity, in the region where the country belongs. Saudi Arabia's influence further increased throughout the entire world.

Saudi Arabia's power obviously derives from the natural resources it possesses, especially oil. In fact, the country's influence began to grow more and more after the war in 1973. This is the period when oil prices increased tremendously. This situation brought substantial profits to Saudi Arabia that was able to significantly improve its financial situation. As a consequence, the country's political influence was also improved.

The country's economic situation started to significantly improve. Saudi Arabia's leaders gained more and more power due to illicit international politics games. However, not everyone agrees with Friedman's statement. There are people that believe Saudi Arabia's influence on oil prices and therefore on international economics and politics is lowly decreasing. The reason behind this situation consists in the fact that the country's oil reserves did not increase in 2007. This is supposed to affect oil prices, meaning to maintain it at a stable level (Raphaeli, 2008).

An example of the Lexus type that influences marketing strategies is represented by individuals' orientation towards luxury products. The psychology behind such marketing strategies is very interesting. By acquiring luxury products, people are actually acquiring a certain social status. In other words, the more expensive the products, the better it is for its customers. Marketers take this into consideration when developing the marketing strategy for these products.

An example of the olive tree type is represented by social initiatives of certain companies implemented in the community in which they activate. Large companies find it useful in expanding their marketing strategy to involve in the social life of the community in case. They help build schools, hospitals, they help less favored social categories.

3. The relationship between globalization and urbanization is a very complex one. And so are the results of the two processes. Their evolution is quite similar. The two processes have accelerated over the past decade.

The most important and significant direct effect of globalization and urbanization is represented by poverty. It has been proven that urban poverty increased with the acceleration of the two processes.

However, even if the two processes can be linked together, their emergence and development are generated by different factors. Globalization is a natural process, it is normal for matters to evolve towards globalization after the Cold War and the eras before the war.

Urbanization has different causes, more specific ones. For example, the process of urbanization is more frequent in areas characterized by wars. Armed conflicts are directly responsible for rapid rural to urban migration (United Nations, 2001). This means that urbanization, in such cases, is not a natural process, like globalization.

When such processes take place without preparation, rapidly, forced by outside factors, the result is dysfunctional one. For example, it has been observed that urbanization increases urban poverty.

It is impossible to stop globalization and urbanization. And it is not recommended either. But we can diminish their negative effects by implementing a series of policies. For example, the rehabilitation of small towns and cities can help refugees and others to resettle. Other policies refer to "urban governance, housing rights, basic services, civil conflict, urban violence, and the urban environment" (United Nations, 2001).

In order to reduce the negative effects of urbanization, the authorities and NGOs must not think about centralization. The measures must be implemented on a local level. This is because each area has its unique characteristics and problems that respond to unique solutions.

4. Jeffrey D. Sachs aims at solving problems like: global warming, biodiversity, water scarcity, overpopulation, and global poverty. Even more, he believes these objectives can be achieved in an affordable manner (Drezner, 2008).

The methods proposed by Sachs for achieving these objectives are:

International cooperation

Embracing technological optimism

Affordability of plans

Of course, he is right about identifying the most important global problems we are currently facing. But the strategies taken into consideration by Sachs do not seem strong enough for making a big difference.

International cooperation is indeed manifested in certain economic, politic or cultural aspects. But complete international cooperation in support of eliminating the above mentioned problems can be considered a utopia. It is impossible to reach such an international cooperation level, since each country is oriented towards maximizing its national wealth. When Saudi Arabia is responsible for significantly increasing oil prices to its own profits, in order to maximize its wealth, it is clear that international cooperation is out of the question.

The technological optimism promoted by Sachs is probably not even embraced by his fans. Technology is not the answer to all problems and it cannot replace anything. In other words, technology cannot solve everything.

The affordability of plans promoted by Sachs can probably be achieved. But this is not the only condition required by his plans in order to be successful.

In my opinion, it is not possible to achieve prosperity for all. Individuals are not economically equal and they should not be. I believe that economic equality would lead to chaos, rather than to order. In addition to this, even if prosperity for all would be achieved, this would have a negative impact on progress, which would be diminished.

5. The most stringent problems of today's global society include: poverty, whether it is urban or rural, environmental issues, and stimulating the economy. As mentioned above, poverty is negatively and directly influenced by globalization in general, and by urbanization in particular.

In order to diminish this aspect, it is necessary to implement specific programs in the affected areas, not just general, abstract policies. For example, professional re-conversion is a very suitable idea in this direction. The European Union implements several programs of this kind, where certain areas affected by increased poverty are financially helped through a series of financial grants.

Environmental issues can be diminished, but it is unlikely that they will ever be completely solved. Such problems can be diminished with individual help and with the contribution of authorities. If every individual would implement a few measures, like electricity saving, the effects would be impressive. The authorities alone cannot fight global warming.

Things appear to be moving in the right direction. For example, the Earth Hour project was a global success. This is the proof that people can mobilize themselves and others in support of environmental issues. This means that if other initiatives would be promoted on a large scale, their success is guaranteed. People are aware of environmental issues and they really want to help. They just need a little help, like such global environmental initiatives. In my opinion, mass-media plays a very important role in mobilizing people in support of such actions.

There are several authorities and NGOs in each country and on international level that have been particularly designed to manage each of the above mentioned phenomena. Each of them deals with only one problem, they are not obliged to divide their… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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