World Systems And General System Theory Essays Example
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In this Journal, authored by Christopher Chase-Dunn and Peter Grimes, different research into early world-systems is delineated. The traditional assumptions about the world systems, also referred to as world-economy or market, are challenged by the modern research into the topic. Whereas traditional research asserts that world-systems were grounded on the employment of the coercive power of states. However, modern research maintains that world-systems are to be regarded as an overlapping of interaction networks that connect the various social analysis units, such as nations, individual, classes and firms. As such, it entails the relations that exist among the people across the world in terms of social, political, economic and cultural fronts. The eminent setback in the world-system is the transportation cost incurred when transporting bulk goods. Besides, military and political interactions take place over relatively large territories. More importantly, the concept of capitalism is greatly associated with the modern world-systems. Sates in the core come forth as developed and industrialized than those in the periphery. Given this, the periphery seeks financial aid from the core states since they are not able to finance projects that are aimed at public welfare. Dependency of the nations at the Core helps aid in the avoidance of coups and political insurrections in the periphery. The modern world-system has also led to an increase in population, especially at the periphery due to economic grounds. The pace at which technology transfers across the world has accelerated; however, this vastness is hampered by the energy requirement. Commodification and proliferation have also been enhanced in the modern world-systems, but the recessions encountered across the world emerge as a setback of these concepts. It is important to note that modern research affirms that certain Core states that have access to great amounts of economic, military and political power, tend to disseminate their culture, currency, and even language as a worldwide standard. It is because this dissemination boosts the development of world-systems as is evident in the world today.
The United States (U.S.) dollar, for example, has been disseminated as ‘global’ standard. Given the political, economic and military power that the U.S. possesses, it has influenced other states across the world to embrace the dollar as the most significant reserve currency. Moreover, the U.S. dollar is the dominant currency used to clear international debts and payments alike. In accordance to the world-systems, the U.S. dollar egresses as a standard through which other states, especially in the periphery, evaluate their economy through the exchange rates between the dollar and the domestic currencies. The soundness of the U.S.’s economy ascertains the stability of the value of the dollar and hence many individuals prefer to store their wealth in terms of dollars and not any other currency in the world (Prasad, 2014). In essence, the interconnectedness of the world is eminent with respect to the currency, and this is an ideal ground for world-systems.
Similarly, the American culture has been widely accepted across the world since it is regarded as civilized. The U.S. has capitalized on its military and economic prowess to persuade the rest of the world to embrace its culture. For instance, the casual fashion style of wearing T-shirts, jeans, and sports shoes is widely accepted across the globe. For the office, the American culture of wearing suits, ties, and official leather shoes has become a norm for office employees in the world. Apart from the fashion culture, the American food franchises, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s, are best known across the world, and this has helped spread the American cooking culture that emphasizes on deep-frying. The American popular (pop) culture has also been disseminated as a global standard as it is evident from the adoration of rap music, hip-hop, jazz and Hollywood movies across the world. What is surprising is that people in the peripheral countries go to an extent of emulating the cigar-smoking culture portrayed in movies, especially in casinos (Ssenyonga, 2006). Without doubt, the modern world-systems can be comprehended as an overlapping of social units, such as culture and currency, with persuasion rather than coercion.
a) Did the modern world-systems lead to the rapid globalization of the world economy that has been experienced in the recent years?
b) Did world-systems begin recently or is it a trend that has been existence for a long period and given its recent vastness led to its recognition?
c) Are the world-systems, such as culture and currency, sustainable across the world, given that the peripheral states’ status is not static?
An Outline of General System Theory
This journal addresses the disparity between the different roles played by science, both traditionally and in the modern world alike. Traditionally, science attempted to explicate phenomena through isolating them into independent units for easy investigation. However, in the modern world, science provides conceptions of phenomena with wholeness and has been demonstrated in the field of physic, medicine, psychology, biology, as well as in social sciences. The journal asserts that certain principles are universally applicable regardless of the nature of a system. Further, it is suggested that it is impossible to understand something without regarding I as a part of a large system. The major aim of the General System theory is to substitute the theory of categories. The journal champions the effectiveness of open systems as opposed to closed systems because the transition from the former to the latter is possible as opposed to vice versa. In addition, closed systems are bound to attain a time-dependent state of equilibrium, besides lacking the ability to behave equifinally. However, open systems, where materials are exchanged through the environment, stands to gain a great deal relative to the closed systems that only stand to gain the initial conditions confer on them. In essence, the journal advocates open economies in this globalization era because the benefits are eminent. The most important point here is that, contrary to the perception that events have a general tendency of achieving maximum disorder, physical events tend to undergo a transition to attain the ultimate status of the order. What is being inferred here is the fact that open economies are bound to be stable given that they participate as part of the global village.
Open economies, such as China, have reaped greatly from participating in globalization. Countries that have open economies encourage capital inflows in terms of foreign direct investment. The financial benefits that underlie the globalization enables countries, especially developing ones, to overcome their economic instability, something that is impossible if the economy is closed and isolated. China is emerging one of the world’s economic giants. This has not been the case through time; rather, the decision for China to open up its economy to globalization has stabilized its economy and even a political system alike (Roberts, Hite and Chorev, 2015). Without doubt, being part of a system can help an economy go a long way, which is in line with the analogy that if one wants to go far, he or she should go alone; however, if he or she wants to go further, an individual needs the support of a group, which is the system in this case.
a) What are the elements of globalization that help developing countries garner the benefits of being part of the global village?
b) What are the setbacks of opening an economy to globalization?
c) Does the macroeconomic volatility of developed countries have an impact on the economies of developing countries?
Prasad, E.S. (2014). The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global
Finance. Penguin Books Limited. City of Westminster, London.
Roberts, J. T., Hite, A., & Chorev, N. (2015). The globalization and development reader:
Perspectives on development and global change.
Ssenyonga, A. (2006). Americanization or Globalization? Global Envision. Retrieved from
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