Review: Globalization Unplugged in Globalization Unplugged: Sovereignty Term Paper

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Review: Globalization Unplugged

In Globalization Unplugged: Sovereignty and the Canadian State in the

Twenty-First Century, Peter Urmetzer tackles the issue of whether

globalization truly detracts from a country's sovereignty. While reviewing

the literature and history of globalization, he evaluates the term

'globalization' from all angles to find a better understanding of what is

meant by it. Although he comes to the conclusion, after careful

consideration, that it is impossible to define what globalization is, he

establishes that globalization is not a new phenomenon, and he backs up

this point with solid evidence. Most significant, to his argument however,

is an understanding of how this globalization and capitalism has affected

Canada. In making his claim that globalization does not hinder the

sovereignty of a nation-state, Urmetzer use strong analysis in his

arguments by approaching the issue of globalization from an unbiased

perspective using both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Attempting to make sense of the perception of globalization, Urmetzer

tries to define the term and its historical significance. He understands

the power of the term, and the effects it is perceived to have on the

nation-state, but he notes that the "empirical foundations of how it has

affected Canada remain largely unexamined" (Urmetzer 2005: 3). This makes

Urmetzer's work a unique piece of literature in the cluttered Americanized

field of globalization. In Globalization Unplugged, Urmetzer examines theDownload full Download Microsoft Word File
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effects of globalization on Canada that can be applied to other nation-

states as well. This becomes increasingly challenging, because the term

'globalization' can be used to refer to "everything and anything" (Urmetzer

2005: 4). Thus before jumping into the empirical evidence, Urmetzer wisely

and effectively sets out to understand the term before jumping to

conclusions as the effects of globalization on not only Canada, but other

nation states as well.

Urmetzer is fully aware of the vast range of literature and

Term Paper on Review: Globalization Unplugged in Globalization Unplugged: Sovereignty Assignment

discussion on globalization, and he makes this clear in Globalization

Unplugged. Before attempting to understand the implications of

globalization on Canada and ultimately the nation-state, he tries to make

sense of this "catch-all term" used "to explain ever-thing from rapidly

changing communications technology to increased unemployment" (Urmetzer

2005: 3). In doing so, Urmetzer understands the common perception of what

globalization is believed to be, and because globalization is not an

academic term but rather a term that has gained prevalence through popular

usage, the notion that globalization is "undermining the power of the

state" is what he accepts (Urmetzer 2005: 17). It is a true strength of

his work that Urmetzer defines globalization in the best way possible in

order to make his evaluation, as by defining relatively this presumably

indefinable term, Urmetzer is able to make arguments as to what

globalization is to Canada.

More important though, in trying to understand this term of

globalization, is Urmetzer's appreciation of the term as being "both new

and old" according to "globalists" (Urtmetzer 2005: 31). This later

becomes a key point to his argument, but in his opening chapter entitled

'The Life and Times of Globalization,' Urmetzer takes a broad approach to

the issue of globalization before he narrows down to the core of what it

really means. This approach lends itself to a definition of globalization

without overlooking what has defined globalization in other literature and

interpretations of the word. Ultimately, Urmetzer considers the arguments

on globalizations then makes valid points. To Urmetzer, globalization means

interconnections between nations that have increased considerably since

World War II, and that nation-state's sovereignty have been weakened in

this process. It is this final point, widely accepted to be a truth about

globalization that Urmetzer seeks to evaluate- without political rhetoric

or pretense- the truth of the matter behind globalization.

Before jumping into the empirical evidence, however, Urmetzer

understands this problem as it relates to history- the new and the old. He

does so by comparing globalization to the problem presented in Marxism, of

the eventually take over of capitalism. Because of this, globalization has

been around for hundreds of years, and furthermore globalization can be

linked to the days of colonialism. In a key point, Urmetzer notes that

because of the prevalence of globalization for hundreds of years, its

trampling on sovereignty has to be evaluated from a different angle. The

"victory of capitalism" expressed in The Communist Manifesto, has been

projected for years, and thus globalization must be evaluated in terms

greater than the recent advances in free-market trade (Urmetzer 2005: 47).

For instance, a country's relations to the periphery of the world market

have to be considered because the economic history of globalization can be

traced back more than 500 years. Because globalization has become more

common since World War II does not mean it is a new phenomenon, and

Urmetzer's review of the literature helps to illustrate this point.

In evaluating the term globalization through the first third of his

work, Urmetzer helps to offer a better understanding of what globalization

means. As a overused term, this is crucial to helping to setting the stage

for the crux of his argument which is how, in recent years, globalization

has impacted Canada. Although he does not directly link the history of

globalization to his argument, by helping the reader to understand the

broad notion of the term and how misconceptions regarding globalization can

lead to pre-made judgments without proper evaluation of empirical evidence,

can lead to false claims about the impact of globalization on nation-

states. If determining that globalization generally effects sovereignty

without looking closely at the case study, misconceptions will rule the day

and mistakes will be made. By first demonstrating a solid understanding of

the historical process of globalization and how it relates to not only

Canada, but all nation-states, Urmetzer is able to put his study on Canada

in proper perspective without being bogged down by general misconceptions

or predetermined notions that dominate the term 'globalization.'

In the final two thirds of Globalization Unplugged, Urmetzer evaluates

globalization and Canada from nearly every possible angle. Very complete

and thorough, and not relying on statistics that are not biased, Urmetzer

makes solid observations on globalization and Canada. For example, his

note that Canada has been a long time player in globalization while the

United States has not, is an interesting point because more literature on

globalization has come out of the United States which has a very different

history than Canada (Urmetzer 2005: 66-67). He backs up such points by

showing the level of trade in Canada as being high, and he evaluates who

Canada trades with. This is important, because the trading partner of

Canada, whether or not they are developing, has an influence on the whether

or not Canada is truly a player in globalization (Urmetzer 2005: 69). By

looking at Canada's imports and exports as a percentage of their GDP,

Urmetzer uses valid evidence to determine Canada's involvement in

international trade. He comes to the conclusion, using this logic, that

seven-tenths of "Canada's economic activity is conducted within its own

borders" and thus problems within Canada are likely not attributed to

international economic pressure (Urmetzer 2005: 78). While this may be a

hasty conclusion to make at this point, as this correlation is highly

speculative and not evident in his empirical evidence, Urmetzer develops

his argument further.

After evaluating Canada's trading partners, Urmetzer then evaluates

who invests in Canada. While this varies from the trading partners, as the

United States is coming to trade more with Canada while investments are

being diversified, it still does not show an over reliance on globalization

to the point that Canada's sovereignty would be jeopardized. Like with his

statistical evaluation of trade, Urmetzer's evaluation on foreign direct

investment is based on simple graphs and singular statistical analysis.

Perhaps he jumps to conclusions too hastily based on a lack of empirical

evidence, as he just used the amount of foreign direct investment in

relation to GDP, however he outlines his argument convincingly.

Manufacturing is an example which Urmetzer's style of analysis can be

demonstrated, as manufacturing is important to the notion of

globalization's impact as "the globalization argument rests on the premise

that manufacturing is moving from the First World to the Third" (Urmetzer

2005: 96). His findings on this critical point, that manufacturing

investment is leaving Canada while not going to Third World countries

clearly refutes the general theory on the nature of globalization to cause

manufacturing to trend towards the Third World. According to Urmetzer,

this means that yes the borders between nations are coming down, but they

are coming down within the market (between Canada and Europe for example)

and not between the First and Third World (Urmetzer 2005: 98-99). This is

highly indicative of the logic Urmetzer uses, and I cannot find fault in

it. Although he lacks original and even authoritative empirical evidence,

relying on just one statistical measure to back up his arguments, the

measure he uses are illustrative of his thesis and the arguments he is

trying to make. On the issue of manufacturing, Urmetzer determines through… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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