Fortune News | Mar 04,2023
Feb 27 , 2021
By Yehualashet Tamiru Tegegn
Ancient Greece Philosopher Cicero once said that a rational discussion on any topic should first define the subject matter. Thus, it is critical to state what is meant by "globalisation."
As a result of numerous invocations in various media outlets and books, the term has entered everyday language without having a universally accepted single definition. Globalisation is so broad a phenomenon that comprehensive description now seems almost futile. Nevertheless, the Peterson Institute for International Economics offers a helpful definition:
“The growing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information.”
In some instances, globalisation is synonymous with terms such as internationalisation, liberalisation, universalisation, Westernisation and even deterritorialisation. Although there is a gulf of difference as to the advantages of globalisation, virtually no one denies its existence.
As we used to know it, the concept of sovereignty has been eroded by globalisation. Traditionally, sovereignty, which stems from the treaties signed during the Peace of Westphalia, are understood to mean that every state has complete autonomy to determine what is going on and will be going in their territory. This is known as the Westphalian sovereignty, and it dates back to the 17th century.
Things have changed over the last few centuries. There is a new understanding of international law, which is sometimes referred to as world law, supernatural law or cosmopolitan law, to distinguish from the traditional precept established in the Westphalian cities of German.
Current international law governs not only the relationship between states but also between states and individuals. The process of creating, interpreting and enforcing international law is also vastly different.
One such area where an individual can claim more rights than what is provided under national law is human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a common standard of achievement for all people and nations that expands the rights of people and the obligation of the states. Subsequent to this, various international treaties such as the international conventions on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Economic and Social Rights, widen the rights of the individual. These international instruments provide rights and access to individuals to prosecute a state at international forums such as the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court on Human & People’s Rights.
The effect of globalisation is also well reflected in the power of states to regulate a domestic economy. In the traditional concept of internal sovereignty, states virtually single-handedly determine their economic policies regarding tariffs, quotas, state subsidies and safety standards. However, with the increasing prominence of international corporations, this right has become eroded.
For instance, under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), member states are free to determine the amount of tariff they want to charge. However, once they decide on a maximum tariff, they cannot charge over this rate. On top of this, under the WTO, quota and voluntary export restraints are prohibited. Member states can impose an equivalent tariff on any other member country that violates this rule. These two key instruments have two purposes: open market access for foreigners while at the same time restricting the power of the state to regulate.
One of the cornerstones of international trade is the principle of non-discrimination. A member state is neither allowed to discriminate its products against those of other countries nor extend more favourable treatment to any single WTO member that does not apply to all others.
Although there are exceptional circumstances that allow deviation from the principle, there are stringent requirements to benefit from them. For instance, agreements on products and services that impact human, animal and plant health make it clear that a discriminatory measure should be taken only based on sufficient scientific evidence. The exception should not be used to constitute a disguise of a restrictive policy. On top of this, under the WTO system, the Trade Policy Review and the dispute settlement mechanisms substantially affect state sovereignty.
Another prominent effect of globalisation is the proliferation of international organisations that have a legal personality. For instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under its Poverty Reduction & Growth Facility, requires borrower countries to incorporate good governance and reform their domestic policy by raising taxes, cutting expenses and lifting restrictions on financial flow. Likewise, since the 1960s, the World Bank has been consistent in adopting and enforcing policy-based lending, which requires borrowers to reform the civil service, state-owned enterprises and the justice system.
Taken together, such economic and political international legal policies constrain the power of the state to regulate social life. K. Mills captures the impacts of globalisation in his famous essay, “Reconstructing Sovereignty: A Human Rights Perspective.”
“The dividing line between international law and domestic law is becoming increasingly blurred … the principle of non-intervention which has been the link between the internal and external dimension of sovereignty, correspondingly weakens,” he wrote.
We live in a time where the absolute sovereignty of a state, as we used to know it, is no longer a reality. There is an ever-growing interdependency among states that make it nearly impossible for any given country to act independently as much as it would like.
Although there is no single definition for the term globalisation, its existence and impacts are undoubted. As a result, states split their sovereignty with various regional and global institutions. Moreover, globalisation has forced states to shape and reconsider their domestic and foreign policies, which has ultimately eroded one of the central and defining features of a state: sovereignty.
PUBLISHED ON Feb 27,2021 [ VOL 21 , NO 1087]
Fortune News | Mar 04,2023
Agenda | Aug 24,2019
Commentaries | Oct 31,2020
Editorial | Jun 27,2020
Fortune News | Aug 22,2020
Fortune News | May 25,2019
Fortune News | Feb 09,2019
Featured | Sep 19,2020
Films Review | Nov 30,2019
Life Matters | Mar 21,2020
Photo Gallery | 83193 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 75350 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fineline | 58791 Views | Oct 03,2020
Fortune News | 58544 Views | Jul 18,2020
Commentaries | Dec 09,2023
Life Matters | Dec 09,2023
My Opinion | Dec 09,2023
Sunday with Eden | Dec 02,2023
Agenda | Dec 09,2023
Editorial | Dec 09,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Dec 9 , 2023
Making a paradigm shift seems elusive for those in the driving seat of Ethiopia's mon...
Dec 2 , 2023
The symphony of traffic noise in Addis Abeba is not just a sign of life, but a siren...
Nov 25 , 2023
Ethiopia's quest to develop a functioning capital market is a demanding yet not unach...
Nov 18 , 2023
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has made a fervent call for landlocked Ethiopia to ga...
I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It is my go to source for information. I enjoy interacting with text messages and browsing t...
While doing laundry over the weekend, I began video chatting with a friend from overseas. Amid our lively conversation, I told him to give m...
Dec 9 , 2023 . By BERSABEH GEBRE
Amhara Bank finds itself embroiled in a detrimental controversy after its Board Chair...
Dec 9 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
Moha Softdrink Industries S.C., Ethiopia's leading beverage bottler, is in a precarious situation after seeing its founding General Manager...
Dec 9 , 2023 . By BERSABEH GEBRE
The Addis Abeba City Administration officials have sanctioned plot allotments for various developers, com...
Dec 9 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Ethiopia's manufacturing sector remains in a tangled web of macroeconomic pressures, security challenges...
Or see contact page