Terrorism: An External Shock Of A Globalized Society

1368 words - 5 pages

Terrorism: An External Shock of a Globalized Society

For many, living in a globalized world has generated many benefits and welfare gains to their society, yet now it may be in jeopardy. Globalization is that phenomena where the world appears to be coming closer in terms of communication, services, trade, and culture. Examples of this includes the lowering of transaction costs in all these fields including the lowering of barriers to trade, reduced communication costs, (to an extent) the freer movement of people, and easier access to other countries' information. In economics, there has been a freer movement of goods, services, finance, and production between nation-states. In Europe, though on a regional scale, foreign and domestic policies are being harmonized among the member states. Thus it appears that the world has indeed been coming closer. However the events dealing with the World Trade Center have made many question whether globalization has stopped or is now in decline. Many have tried to even comprehend and question the causes and motives of terrorism and its multiplier impacts that these terrorist acts have created. In light of this, is globalization viewed more at a discount? Many have been pessimistic, however, the events of September 11 and following may perhaps be a test to the world facing a common enemy and even make them become aware in looking at themselves as a citizen of the world, thus facilitating the increase of globalization.

To begin, look at globalization mainly in light of its benefits and costs. Focusing at this idea more narrowed in terms of economics, the benefits include realizing the effects by practicing the theories of comparative advantage, and allowing greater efficiencies that produce economic growth. Some economic scholars, for example, Milton Friedman views economics as the "science of wealth creation" which if practiced can empower people giving them the power of voice and strengthen the democratic process (Burns, 31-32). Hopefully economic development and this empowerment can lead to stability and peace. Yet globalization does come at a cost hurting certain groups and national policies, such as those dealing with security and environmental affairs. Thus globalization (especially in terms of economic liberalism) benefits some and not others.

Others also have found that terrorism to be a cost of globalization. Raphael Perl, a specialist in international affairs at the Congressional Research Service testified in December of 2000 indicating that globalization will increase terrorism and criminal activity (Perl). Now again recalling events last year, the world experienced many external shocks that have affected its political, economic, and social climate. The Economist gives examples such as noting that this is the first time in the modern era where many of the large economies are stagnating making the flows of trade and services to slowly grow or even slump. According to UNCTAD, FDI has fallen...

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