Science & Technology

Sustainable Delevopment and Globalisation

All elements in the today`s world become more agile and complex where society often encounter unprecedented moments. One of the most critical occurrences is globalisation and sustainable development which is emerging among countries. Both of those concepts are more likely as ‘double-edged sword’ which means there are always two sides to portray it holistically. Therefore, this essay will explain conseptly how globalisation and sustainable development present among convoluted systems in today`s era and evaluate current discourses in two side perspectives. First, this essay will begin with fundamental concepts and reasons for the existence of globalisation and sustainable development with strain discourses between the two of them. Second, the synergy and important actors of globalisation and sustainable development will be presented.

The way of researchers and experts to emphasize globalisation tend to broader, Kelly (1999) argues that globalisation reflects qualitative changes in terms of movement of information, capital, commodities, and human resource among countries. However, Wai-chung Yeung (2002) claims that globalisation should be specified as arrenged of mutual tendencies between the material action of transformation and countermovements even though, conseptually, the definition of globalisation tends to be ‘chaotic’. In another view, Byrne and Glover (2002) specify globalisation narrower as an interconnection between ‘world-connection’ itself and changes of social awareness. It means the world has been changing through technology and knowledge as well as it influences the way people thinking and seeing the world. Consequently, globalisation is not only about how the movement is becoming faster but also how society who influenced by globalisation take part.

The presence of globalisation in the last two decades has two opposite interests which are positive and negative, or Byrne and Glover (2002) divide them by globalisation`s advocates and reform-minded scepticism. Firstly, globalisation is beneficial for states and societies. Byrne and Glover (2002) classified globalisation advocate’s perspectives who believe globalisation benefits for economic, technological transfer and democratisation. In the case of technological tranasfer, it affects diffusion technology that drives innovation from well-established countries to less innovative countries (Ritzer, 2002). Moreover, globalisation through a concept of McDonaldisation brings wider benefits to society; for instance, transfer of technology is becoming more fast, more products and services available in markets, and the world society tend to become uniform (Ritzer, 2002). He also argues that this system also provides more porabibilities to companies for expanding their business to larger markets in the other countries with four principles dimension, such as calculability, efficiency, predictibility, and technological control. These four pillars iconically become the main sucssefull key of the business model of globalisation firms. Therefore, globalisation can be a ‘tools’ to improve people and countries prosperity with the adaption of technology and supported by fair-opened economy systems.

Secondly, sceptics perpective critics that globalisation will bring disadvantage mostly to non-developed countries (Byrne & Glover, 2002). They are also argued globalisation only profitable for companies from countries who monopolise capital, such as North America, Western Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. This is because globalisation often directed by capitalism that mostly comes from these rich countries. Another context is uniformity due to globalisation is not always to be an acceptable part as the world tends to be westernity and reduce differences, especially eastern culture. The relation between western-uniformity and monopolise by capitalism was aggravated by changes in society consumptive habits. While society becomes more consumtive, they may have less participation in economic activities. This issue may be worsed by the role of people that be replaced by non-human techonology in order to make the operation more efficient and faster (Ritzer, 2002). Dehumanisation also may not absorb a lot of workers and lead to increase unemployment level that implies an imbalance in workfore. Consequently, a country that does not have strong capital control tend to be the market of the consumer of richer countries.

Many concepts of sustainable developments are divergent because of different perspectives. Generally, sustainable development is able to defined as managing resources, mostly environment, over time without consuming the future needs (Stage, 2013; United-Nation, 1987). In addition, Stage (2013) also argued that the definition of sustainable development is depending on the aim and discipline of a particular context. Although sustainable development was initiated by World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987 which was formulate current concern of economy and environment and it was associated by challenge of elements that consist of population, food security, ecosystem, energy, and urbanisation (United Nation, 1987), sustainable development can be summarised as three simple spheres which are natural, social, and economic (Stage, 2013). These three spheres have to intersect each other that simply means economic development has to be considered by environmental and social balance.

Similar to globalisation, experts think there are two sides to response phenomenon of sustainable development. Firstly, sustainable development is benefits through an ‘ecological modernisation’. Byrne and Glover (2002) describe this term as the response of environmental needs by reformation of the institution, economics, and implementation of technology. It implies the advanced of technology will reduce human needs for natural resources and may encourage of protection of the environment. In this case, spheres between economic and environment share the role fairly with well-established political situations.

Secondly, the opposite argument believes that sustainable development will harm the environment. This is because development prioritises more on economic than the environment, whereas developing countries more likely to be more environmental-expense of developed countries. Green revolution, as a sustainable development of food security, beneficial to increasing of rice and wheat production more than 300% in India during 1965-1980 but it expense more cost; for instance, destruction of genetic of rice, produce more diseases and insects, and soil degraded (Shiva, 1991). This obstacle was caused by the usage of a chemical substance, such as fertilision and pesticide, in order to boost production that might damage the balance of soil and crop. Moreover, Shiva (1991) claimed that Punjab floods in 1988 were caused by the green revolution which indicates that the effect of the green revolution was wider than expected. Consequently, sustainable development has been developing to a larger stakeholder of disciplines; for example, information, communication, and technology (ICT), environmental studies, economics, and social sciences (Stage, 2013). This complex obstacles, widely, described as the irrationality of the rational of globalisation which means the consumption from the globalisation system is exploited more than environmental conservation effort (Ritzer, 2002). In short, economic development tend to be a negative relation to ecological degradation where a solution to accommodate environment needs in order to expand great economic interests may impossible to achieve.

The synergy between globalisation and sustainable development occurs because of some interests of certain parties. These actors hierarchically from international, state, and local groups of society. In international level, five years after WCED in 1987, ‘Agenda-21’ was published as a follow-up and accelerate sustainable development with wider participators. This agenda focused on the fundamental area of social and economic levels and conservation and management of resource for development (United Nation, 1992). This international cooperation was continued by several international meetings, such as World Summit on Sustainable Development in 1997, Millennium Development Goals in 2000, and Rio +20 in 2012. These meetings basically influenced countries, including Non-Government Organisation (NGOs), to play an active role in realising sustainable development, where they may conduct more regional agreements and blueprint to achieve sustainable development in the smaller area.

In lower levels, society, as one important sphere of three pillars sustainable development, has an important role in addressing globalisation and sustainable development to higher level institutions. In fact, environmentalism movement, through environmental justice, challenges environmental organisations to expand their agenda to the develop policies along with solving the environmental issue (Stage, 2013). This movement can be consequential to change policies of international resources as if they ‘scale jump’ from local groups to an international organisation (Jim Glassman, 2001). This is supported by Rootes (1999) who suppose local group can involve global ways to solve environmental obstacles by global action. However, the action should not only just ecological campaigns, but intuitiveness environmental justice to answer problems between social and environmental tension (Byrne & Glover, 2002). Therefore, there are no boundaries to all actors to involve political competition both in the local and global area to be rooted ‘win-win’ solution in the world development.

In conclusion, there are many debates among researchers about the benefits of globalisation and sustainable development. This essay has discussed the two-side viewpoints of globalisation and sustainable development and its main strain discourses and synergy between the two of them. Generally, this essay optimistic that globalisation will spread prosperity to society and expand equality among countries, especially it beneficial for non-developed countries. However, efforts to make the world more sustainable may have contradictory impacts, one of the centers of attention is sacrifice environmental damage in mostly non-developed countries; in addition, the effectiveness among actors, from individuals to international organisanisations, is expected able to solve this conflict. In short, all parties are responsible to take advantages in globalisation phenomenon, but international organisation and states should work together with non-state organisation and society to produce a fairer outcome.

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