Saturday, February 13, 2010

In defence of Globalization: migration aspect by Aditya Muharam

News anchor had it repeated on their news; politician slips it when they speech; trade union condemned it in their demonstration; and universities makes a program out of it. Indeed Globalization is a trending topic of today’s daily word. It grows the significance in the daily life of the people. Globalization refers to the entrenched and enduring patterns of interconnectedness. It suggests a growing magnitude or intensity of global flows.[i] But is it? Has globalization leads to a freer movement of capital, goods, technology, ideas and peoples?

Nowadays we see, stricter border control and boundaries, rising nationalism and protectionism, stronger localism and ethnicity may seem as the feature of de-globalization.[ii] One of the issues interesting to elaborate is the people mobility under the so-called globalization.

Eriksen said that Globalization involves accelerated and intensified movement of people, eventhough he also see that a far greater percentage of humanity were migrants a hundred years ago than today.[iii] Furthermore, Milanovic sees that the people’s freedom to move is partial and not sustainable, there are growing tendency to limit the free circulation of the people, to “fence in” the rich world. He saw huge income gaps among state that spurs migration.[iv] People from low income state moved and attempting to move to a higher income state, in order to achieve better standard of living. But the higher economics increase their border control to minimize risk due to flowing migrants. This become more reasonable currently especially due to the severe recession that to some extent might lead to increasing border control of the richer country.

The interconnectedness of financial system as one of the feature of globalization, showed the dark side once again when the subprime mortgage in the US eventually lead to a global recession. The IMF global report and policies stated that the recession was inflicted by massive financial crisis and acute loss of confidence. The report stated that global activity is projected to decline by 1,3% in 2009; than world GDP will drop in 2009, with advanced economies experiencing deep contractions and emerging and developing economies slowly abruptly.[v]

In terms of employment, unemployment rose throughout the entire landscape. For example based on Eurostat, Euro area unemployment in August 2009 rose up to 9,6% compare with 7,6% August 2008. With the highest rate Spain (18,9%) and Latvia (18,3%), and highest increase rate in Estonia (4,1% to 13,3% between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009).[vi] Still, EU seems attractive for migrants whereas EU became the destination choice for 78% of East Europeans, 79% of Middle Eastern and 93% of North Africans.[vii]

Measures taken to tackle the recession falls into three key elements; 1. Ensuring the financial institution access of liquidity, 2.identifying and dealing with distressed assets and 3. Recapitalizing weak but viable institution.[viii] Whilst public spending pushed to grease the wheel of domestic economics, measures taken also to safeguard the fragile domestic. Namely, stronger regulation to tackle illegal immigration enforced to minimize burden from the ill domestic economics. For example, Italy has enforced new approach by taking illegal migrants found in international waters back to Libya instead taking them to Italy.[ix] It is seemed that Italy prevents migrants from applying for asylum even if they entitled to humanitarian protection.

But does this mean that the Globalization has ended due to limited migration. I would argue that even the mobility of people limited by regulation, alternatives such as illegal immigration increase, as long as there are desperate reason to migrate, people tend to find desperate ways. Furthermore, migration is regulated and harmonized according to the context of reality within the corridor of maximizing the benefit and minimizing the vulnerability. All in all movement and their regulations, correlating with the mobility of capital, goods, technology and ideas, still and will happen as part of the dynamics of Globalization.

[i] Held, David and Mcgrew, Anthony,“The Great Globalization Debate: an Introduction”, p.3, in David Held & Anthony Mcgrew (eds.), 2000, The Global Transformations reader; an introduction to the globalization debate. Cambridge, Polity press.

[ii] Held, David and Mcgrew, Anthony,“Introduction: Globalization at Risk?”, p.3, in David Held & Anthony Mcgrew (eds.), 2007, Globalization Theory; Approaches and Controversies. Cambridge, Polity press.

[iii] Eriksen, Thomas Hylland, p.105, Globalization. Oxford, Berg.

[iv] Branko Milanovic, “Migration Laws May be the End of Globalization”, the Taipei News, 1 August 2006, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

[v] IMF, IMF Global Prospect and Policies, p.1, 2009, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

[vi] Eurostat, “August 2009; Euro area unemployment up to 9,6%”,2009, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

[vii] De Arce, Rafael and Mahia, Ramon, “Determinants of Bilateral Immigration Flows between The European Union and some Mediterranean Partner Countries: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia,” 2008, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

[viii] IMF, IMF Global Prospect and Policies, p.39, 2009, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

[ix] Boat race people, The Economist, aug 27th 2009, available at [accessed at 1 October 2009]

class=L n n b nce>[9] Freeman, Carla, ”Is Local: Global as Feminine: Masculine? Rethinking the

Gender of Globalization” in Signs. 26(4):1007-1037. Available at [accessed at 14 okt 2009]

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