Globalization has been viewed as the last resort to the economic hardship that is generally facing the nations of the world. Globalization is most pronounced in developed nations, however, the developing are catching up with this development. Globalization is characterized by formations of treaties, partnerships, unions and trading blocs among other many processes. In as much as globalization has opened up markets and enhanced free circulation of goods and services, there have been fierce protests against this movement.
Though globalization was only thought to affect the underdeveloped nations as goods from developed countries affected local industries, it has come to reality that even the developed countries share in some of these consequences. This article picks up England and examines the politics of globalization within that nation. England is an excellent example of the manifestation of globalization.
As noted in the introduction section above, formation of trading blocs is a globalization process. The European Union (henceforth from now EU) is an excellent example of the manifestation of the globalization process in Europe. The EU bloc has amalgamated the nations of Europe so that they operate as one bloc. It is worth noting that the Great Britain (England is inclusive by default) is very much involved in the EU affairs and thus, in the opinion of Dr David Abbott, the effects of globalization are advanced in Britain (Abbott 1).
Globalization, in the context of England and Great Britain in general, majorly has to do with the EU trading activities. Therefore, this article examines the globalization politics of England in reference to the EU. In order to effectively examine the politics of globalization in England the following sections are discussed in details: foreign policy, competitive advantage in the trade and struggle for rare resources such oil (Rucker 1).
The England and Globalization
Britain and therefore England is a strong and influential member of the EU. England supports all the efforts of the EU and thus globalization.
Its foreign policy is accommodative of the efforts to create unified trading bloc. England has allowed without any reservation the forces of globalization within its markets. According to Abbott, this kind of foreign of foreign policy has led to more conflicts than good. Abbott argued that the people of Britain have given too much power to the government which has in turn turned it over to the EU.
He argued against the EU claiming that “We have given away most of our freedoms to our government, to the European Union and other supranational bodies” (Abbott 1). Abbott claimed that all these events have dumped England in an awkward position whereby they are not only losing the political powers but also some natural resources which have been conserved over centuries of years.
Abbott also expressed concerns about Britain being subjected to trade in goods which highly priced. Abbott gave the following example to express his disappointment with the government’s miscalculated priorities:
Twyford Down was a beautiful hill near my house in Winchester. The hill was in private ownership, and in addition was protected by various scenic, scientific, and historical designations, and was also designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Government wanted to make a road through the Down, rather than a tunnel.
The tunnel would have cost $150 million more. (This incidentally is the amount we send to the EU in the space of three days.) They violated the private property rights of the Trust that owned the land by shoving through the road. This resulted in the area’s desecration, and saw me racing in protest across the defiled landscape. (Abbott 1)
Abbott was also quite bitter about the effect of common fisheries policy, an element of globalization, as it has negatively impacted on the people of Britain. He argued that:
Increasingly Spanish and other foreign trawlers, often using illegally small net sizes, were devastating the fish stocks around Britain. Britain had 80% of EU fish stocks because the stocks had been carefully managed for hundreds of years. France, Spain, and Italy had virtually destroyed the fish stocks of the Mediterranean and around their coasts. Now they were destroying ours with the connivance of the British Government. (Abbott 1)
Abbot further more revealed that the EU has gone further with this predatory action to seek the cooperation of some twenty African governments to allow the EU members carry out fishing along their coasts. Abbott viewed this as being exploitative and described it as “killing the native fishermen who fish in small boats and often at night” (Abbott 1).
The EU, in the eyes of Abbott, is a bi threat to the England and Britain in general. Abbott does not view it lightly that there are so many people moving past the boundaries and flocking the country which is already the most populated in the Europe. He argues that the immigrants are a strain to the economy of the country as they take advantage of the generous welfare system.
Abbott believes that the signing of the European Charter for Human rights is quite disadvantageous to the Britain considering that the charter does not allow for the deportation of people even when they are in a country illegally. More foreigners will take advantage of the welfare systems in the UK taking into consideration the fact that they cannot be deported even after accessing the country illegally (Abbott 1).
There are many arguments which have been fired against the globalization of England especially in the context of being compliant with the EU. The issue of splitting up England has often proved to be difficulty. It should be noted that the other regions have already been split up:
Brussels wants to divide up all the larger countries into bite-sized areas that they can control directly, by-passing the national parliaments. In Britain, it was easy to hive off Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, since they were the right size for independent ‘regions’. Then they took London, which was used to having an Assembly of its own.
However, the rest of England has proved difficult. The Government has created these regional bodies by fiat. They are private organisations that have not been formed by statute. They have never been discussed in Parliament. The bodies that run them are appointed, not elected. They are supervising the destruction of England. (Abbott 1)
The foreign policy which has been adopted by Britain policy makers can best described as hyperglobalists. However, it has been briefly shown that this policy has actually resulted to making England lose to the other states which form the EU. It is evident that the development of the EU has impacted negatively on England by the fact the relatively far ahead than most of the members of the EU who are mostly benefiting from England (Held and McGrew 1).
Comparative advantage in the views of Kahn is a principle of specialization which, “posits that nations can be most productive through specialization in areas where they have a ratio advantage, relative to other nations, in the production of a good or service” (Kahn 1). England and the whole of UK adopted the spirit of industrialization earlier as described by Ye and Yin:
Largely due to the legacy of the British Empire, early industrialisation, high levels of education, sophisticated consumer taste and vast accumulated wealth, the UK traditionally enjoys a comparative advantage in the production and distribution of such products in the international markets. (Ye and Yin 1)
England has the advantage of accessing a large protected market for its industrial products. Its advanced status in industries enables it to produce goods cheaply and export them to other members of the EU. England just like the rest of the EU members face challenges with respect to scarce resources such oil. Though England has substitutes for instance nuclear power plants it is nevertheless affected when there are shortages of the oil at the world market.
The effects of globalization in England have been much debated. Though there are benefits which have been accrued from the EU formation, it is felt that England and the UK in general will stand to lose in the long run.
Abbott, David. Globalization in Great Britain. The August Review, 2005. Web. 04 April 2011.
Held, David and McGrew, Anthony. Globalization. Polity, n.d. Web. 04 April 2011.
Kahn, Alice. Globalization. Iowa State University, n.d. Web. 04 April 2011.
Rucker, Martin. European Integration, Unplugged. Foreign Policy, 2004. Web. 04 April 2011.
Ye, Zhen and Yin, Ping. Economic Linkage and Comparative Advantage of the UK Creative state. University of Hertfordshire, 2007.
Dr. David Abbott was born and raised in Southampton, England. He is a medical doctor and active in politics. Spent 25 years in America, where he raised a family and practiced medicine in Oregon. In 2000, Abbott returned to Winchester, UK in order to join UKIP’s campaign for the freedom, independence and prosperity of all Brits. He ran for MP (Member of Parliament) in the 2005 General Election in England.