Essay Question:

In a globalised world, it is increasingly difficult for governments to rule effectively?

Interpretation of Keywords:

Globalised world: identify the characteristics/trends of a globalised world – interconnected world – shrinking of political, economic and geographical boundaries.

Increasingly: compare the past and the present

rule effectively: what are the different aspects of governance? — the ability for the government to manage economy for the greater good of people, to maintain safety and social security, to exercise surveillance over society, to uphold social norms and mainstream values

Arguments + Examples for why it is difficult for governments to rule effectively.

In the globalised world, with the ubiquity(pervasive presence) of the Internet and social media, information posted in cyberspace can expose netizens to different dissenting political points of view on social issues, hence challenging the political rule and legitimacy of the ruling government in today’s world.

Tiananmen Square Protest 1989 – a highly contentious rally led by university students who demanded political reform from the Chinese government – protesters were treated with blatant brutality and force by the Chinese government and the politically sensitive event was widely censored in the mainstream media back in those days.

Yet, in the globalised world today, the power of citizen journalism and the freedom of expression on the Internet have helped to cast a spotlight on such historical events, enabling overseas netizens to have a second interpretation of such events which used to be censored by the government.

Arab Spring Revolution – What took place in the Arab nations eventually was no longer confined to a particular society, as information and opinions about the political uprisings were circulated in other Arab countries via cyberspace and social media.

Tunisia – Egypt, Libya

Umbrella Movement – media coverage of the protests was censored and restricted in mainland China – However, people in Hong Kong who use a different server or Chinese citizens who live abroad are able to have access to such information about the protests in Hong Kong —

The protesters in Hong Kong were clamouring for universal suffrage (the voting right of every one).

Link:

Citizens are no longer buying into the ideals of the Powers That Be and will continue to rally for even more change, given the access to political information that globalisation has brought about. Governments will face larger forces of opposition due to the accessibility of information.

2nd argument:

In the globalised world, with the freer movement of people and mass migration across countries’ borders, the rising threats of trans-border terrorism and xenophobia that ensue will eventually pose challenges to the government in maintaining social stability.

Examples:

The increasing backlash against migrants and Syrian refugees across Europe, as most evident in the Brexit movement and the U.S presidential elections

In recent months, some of the horrific terrorist attacks that took place in France and Germany were planned by refugees who were granted political asylum ( the truck attack at the Christmas festive market in Berlin, Germany)

Citizens are disillusioned and frustrated with the open-door policies adopted by their ruling governments as the shrinking of geographical and political borders has indeed opened the Pandora’s Box / opened the floodgate of a host/plethora of many social problems.

Link:

With globalisation on the rise, citizens will have increasingly conflicted views towards government policies, facing new challenges from immigration. Governments will have to bear the brunt of these sources of unrest, leading to a lower capacity to rule and appease the people effectively, due to widespread dissent.

Arguments + Examples for why it is not difficult for governments to rule effectively.

Globalisation of the world has also encouraged the closer collaboration of governments around the world, leading to effective intergovernmental cooperation in advancing common goals and addressing common challenges in the world.

Free trade agreements among countries – lower tariffs and help reduce trade barriers to mutually benefit trading countries.

TPP – Trans-Pacific Partnership

European Union – the use of a single currency Euro – the visa-free travel –

The formation of Economic and political blocs

ASEAN – resolve the problem of the haze crisis

Globalisation of political governance in today’s world also suggests that vulnerable developing nations can benefit from such close intergovernmental collaboration as it often results in the transfer of expertise, international aids and economic resources to empower these Third World nations.

UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) reported that in 2016 $646 billion dollars was invested into developing economies such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Link:

These third world nations will be able to rule their people with greater efficiency and effectiveness because of the funds that have been allocated to them by more affluent countries. More capital can be spent on enforcing the law, building infrastructure and maintaining political stability within a developing country. Thus globalisation has made it easier for developing nations to govern more effectively than before.