The Global North/South Divide
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1740
- Category: Globalisation
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A descriptive essay on the Globla North/South divide. Explores the social, cuptural and economic differences that exist between the regions defined as the global north and the global south. The theory of the Global North and Global South is a new geopolitical perspective. It divides the world into two blocs – the industrialized countries of the global North and the poor countries of the South on the global level of analysis. While “Global South” is sometimes used as a synonym for the more familiar “third world” that term has fallen into disfavor. This essay looks at globalization and discusses how it has exacerbated the pre-existing inequalities between the poor global south and the wealthy global north. It illustrates how globalization forces some people (predominantly in the southern regions of the planet) to work while permitting other people (predominantly individuals residing in the global north) to become wealthy. Final Essay Global North/South Divide History 116 1 The theory of the Global North and Global South is a new geopolitical perspective. It divides the world into two blocs – the industrialized countries of the global North and the poor countries of the South on the global level of analysis.
While “Global South” is sometimes used as a synonym for the more familiar “third world” that term has fallen into disfavor. This essay looks at globalization and discusses how it has exacerbated the pre-existing inequalities between the poor global south and the wealthy global north. It illustrates how globalization forces some people (predominantly in the southern regions of the planet) to work while permitting other people (predominantly individuals residing in the global north) to become wealthy. The global north refers to the 57 countries with high human development. They are located on the northern hemisphere. These countries are well developed, highly industrialized with free-market economies. These countries practice democracy as their main form of government. In contrast, the global South refers to those countries in the southern hemisphere, with lower levels of human development. Most of these countries are either developing, or are underdeveloped, and most are former European colonies.
There is a vast difference between the economic problems of the global south countries and the relative economic success of the global north countries. The global south faces many issues but the most important is economic development. There are many different definitions of economic development. But the core issue is how to raise the living standards of the Global South to the same level as exists in the global north. There are many disparities in living standards between the rich and poor countries. For the global south countries, economic development means the process whereby living standards will gradually be brought up to the levels enjoyed in the global nouth. There are some theories that attempt to explain the lag in development of the global south countries. One theory postulates that the countries of the global south have been resistant to change, industrialization, and modernization, and because these changes take time, the modernization process has spread slowly 2 through these countries. The second theory, called the dependency theory, states that free trade, foreign investments, foreign aid work to the disadvantage of the global south.
They keep the Global south in a permanent condition of economic neo-colonialism. Dependency theory globalizes the class struggle. The world is seen as a division between the rich countries versus the poor countries. The poor, global south, is being exploited by the rich global north. The global south has natural resources and cheap labor. Both are exploited by the industrialized countries of the North. Global south countries are primarily producers of primary or single crops like tobacco, bananas, peanuts, rice, and cotton. Many of these countries have only a single primary product to export. Prices of many of these commodities fluctuate, but the trend is mainly downward. If a commodity has a high price, then other producers will convert production to take advantage of the high prices or else consumers will switch to a substitute product. The South produces primary goods while the North produces manufactured goods. Generally, manufactured goods are more expensive to buy than raw materials. Until the South produces its own manufactured goods, it will always be dependent on the North. The international division of labor, according to Dependency Theory, creates unequal terms of trade.
The ratio of export prices to import prices refers to the terms of trade. Monophony refers to the condition where there are many sellers but few buyers. With many primary agricultural producers , this is the condition facing the global south. There are many coffee growers or banana producers but very few buyers. Few buyers can force down the price which producers can charge. Many of the global south areas are located within the boundaries of a global north country, yet they 3 are all but forgotten by the economic powers of the global north, With economic assistance from the global north the global south would be able to add to the global economy and with global trade become not only a participant of the global economy but a profitable one as well. The key issue is enabling the countries of the global south to begin to profitably produce and export domestic products.
1 Final Essay Part 2-Imperialism and changes in the global community International events from 1870-1945, the Age of Imperialism, World War I, and the Great Depression had worldwide impacts on economic and social issues. Imperialism in the late 19th century became a competition among European countries to take control of as many areas in Africa before the others did. For the most part, France, England, and Germany competed for bragging rights to these countries. They thought at the time that the more colonies a country had the more prestigious and noble that country looked. European countries were in pursuit of demonstrating their power. Not only this, but imperialism helped build a strong economy in the mother country because they could invade their colony and strip them of their natural resources in order to produce goods. In turn, that country could then sell these good to the colony in order to make money. Rudyard Kipling talks about this fierce competition in “The White Man’s Burden”.
He however states that Imperialism is a two way street. It should also be the white man’s job to go into Africa to teach them how to be civilized. These colonies according to Kipling needed protection from their surroundings. They needed to be civilized and christianized. Imperialism, although a process of accumulation and acquisition of land, resources, labor, and profit, is supported by an ideology that suggest that certain peoples and certain territories require domination, assistance, “civilization.” Although the intention of the colonists was to establish this goal, they still considered the colonizers to be inferior, and did not want them to get too comfortable in the ways of the ‘superior’ colonists. Imperialism caused the disappearance of many of the old countries to colonization. This allowed for the development of new countries, some of which did 2 not believe in the imperialist ways, and fought against ‘westernization’. Critics of cultural imperialism often refer to it as ‘cultural domination’.
Causes of imperialism include: Search for new markets for European manufactured goods: overproduction and under consumption search for raw materials for European industry: oil, cotton, rubber, tin, copper and gold search for cheap and profitable labor, e.g. Indian laborers growing cotton and opium search for cheap and profitable land search for goods demanded by a mass consumption market: coffee, chocolate, tea, bananas and oranges Imperialism had an impact on the world because it created a new market for goods to be exchanged. Countries in Europe were able to acquire new natural resources and raw materials for further production. Then, these countries could sell their goods back to their colonies or elsewhere in the world. Profit and hopes of further profit was the overwhelming goal of empire. Behind this goal, however, was the belief – and the justification – that distant lands and their peoples should be subjugated, and that the empire had the duty to rule “less advanced” peoples. Colonies were designed to assist the mother country by providing cheap labor, providing cheap raw materials, providing cheap land and providing open markets.
This made the colonies not only economically profitable, but politically submissive to the mother country. The Industrial Revolution empowered Europeans in a way they hadn’t been empowered before; industrialization and technology changed the very nature of 3 imperialism. Technology made imperialism, and acquiring colonies, more efficient. Technology is power, and those with advanced technology have advanced power over weaker nations. Through the media, the United States is spreading some universal values and human rights. To some authoritarian countries, it spreads ideas of freedom of expression, democracy, equality, and rights – concepts that should be, in some people’s opinion, universal. Universality of some values may be possible – human nature is not that different from one culture to another, and many values are shared across cultures.
However, the majority of the world’s cultures undervalue women and children. Finally, the majority of the world’s people, regardless of the names given to governmental regimes by those with authority, continue to live without real participatory democracy. American ideals of equality, freedom, and democracy now available in the world may give more freedom to women, children, and to minorities in all cultures, and will promote anti-racist, anti-sexist or anti-authoritarian messages and regimes. Differences in cultures make the world a rich and diverse place. Every individual of each country should have the right to express his or her own culture. A cultural uniformity would lead to the extinction of cultures and it would definitely represent a great loss However, the imperialist culture is intruding on most cultures in the world, in many cases threatening their existence.
Superman, Spider-man, and Batman replace local heroes; Pepsi and Coke replace local fruit drinks; and fast food is consumed more than traditional cultural food. Perhaps more insidious, to compete with imperialist cultural imports, local varieties and products begin to mimic imperialist products. For example, the exportation of goods and information from the United States to the entire planet contributes to the exportation of the American culture, and this leads to American dominance in other countries. It is in this way that imperialist countries continue their dominance over lesser developed, poor and needy countries.