Q. State the ethical challenges that the process of globalization has engendered. Also suggest the ways to overcome these challenges. (250 Words)12 Dec, 2019 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions
- Briefly define globalization
- Enumerate the ethical challenges caused by globalisation
- Suggest measures to overcome these challenges
Globalisation refers to the growing interdependence between different people, regions and countries in the world as social and economic relationships come to stretch world-wide.
Although economic forces are an integral part of globalisation, it is usually driven by a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political and biological factors thus impacting society in many ways.
Ethical challenges associated with the process of globalisation
- Rising inequality: While the advanced capitalist countries enjoy the benefits of industrialization, the rest of the world is forced to share the negative consequences or externalities thrown up by industrial activities.
- Culture of consumption: Rising trend of the culture of consumption such as “fast-fashion” which results in faster production at lower costs has led to a number of ethical issues. It poses a threat to the workers who are overwhelmingly poor, and usually are immigrants, young women, or children. They are forced to work long hours in unhealthy conditions and undergo verbal and physical abuse.
- Human rights issues: The harmful work environments and low-wages involved in the industry prevent workers from accessing even basic human rights.
- Refugee crisis: There is a sharp increase in the number of environmental refugees and economic refugees which often leads to violation of the rights of the migrants.
- Environmental degradation: Pollution; loss of biodiversity and habitat due to climate change; etc. have threatened the survival of life on the Earth.
- Spiritual disruption: as a consequence of the global spread of materialism driven by advancements in science and technology among other factors.
- Socio-cultural disruption: Dissolution of families and communities, rise in nuclear families and increasing isolation of old-aged parents; privatisation and consequent rise in cost of health care, education and other social services are some of the other issues engendered by the process of globalisation.
Measures to overcome these challenges
- To reduce economic and social inequality there is an urgent need to invest in quality education, reforming workplace laws such as minimum wages and universal basic income (UBI) and empower the women and other vulnerable sections of the society.
- Upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Declaration for Refugees and Migrants can help in addressing the issue of human rights violations and problems faced by refugees and migrants.
- Conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, adopting the policy of 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), responsible consumption and production practices etc. can play a great role in preserving and protecting the environment.
- Effective global governance on issues such as climate change, rights of migrants, prevention of human and wildlife trafficking etc can help address these pressing challenges.
- Nurturing leadership which can convey the importance of virtue ethics can also help in reducing the ethical challenges caused by the phenomenon of globalisation.
As the countries get closer to each other, sharing the fruits of globalisation, the responsibility to share the fallouts of industrialisation, capitalism, consumerism and sustainable living acquires even greater significance. In this regard, each nation must uptake, uphold and abide by its share of responsibility to seek solution to now global problems like environmental pollution, climate change, terrorism etc., at every