Home > Ignas Kleden > Democracy, Globalization and Localities: Political Trade-Off in Indonesia

Democracy, Globalization and Localities: Political Trade-Off in Indonesia

By Ignas Kleden

Globalization turns out to be a phenomenon at the end of the 20th century that makes a lot of things in the societal setting no more a matter of course. It makes nationstates questionable and renders national borders less relevant than they were before. National economy becomes increasingly vulnerable in the face of global market especially global financial market to the extent that in some extreme cases it is not very clear anymore whether national economy is under the control of central bank or is dependent upon the situation of stock exchange. Global communication makes the exchange of the news of global and local affairs so intensive that some social scientists start introducing the notion “glocalization”. Indeed, globalization is much older than that in the 20th century and now but what makes the present globalization is so different is its magnitude, its speed, and its impact on general cognition. Its magnitude is discernible in its global reach, its speed results in the so-called time-space compression and the new cognition it brings about makes the whole world much smaller and interrelated in the awareness of human beings. In more general terms there is a shift from space that is controlled by the rulers of the territory to time that is controlled by the masters of speed.

Democracy seems to be unable to get rid of these major changes that have resulted from the superimposition of globalization. However, the changes brought about by globalization, have in turn pushed for changes at the local level so that democracy for the time being has to struggle in a double front: it has to come to terms with global forces from outside while being forced to deal with more assertive local challenges from inside a country. Before the advent of the present globalization democracy was usually understood as a national category. Given its universal values and principles democracy is implemented in a national framework. The international agreement on non-intervention in domestic affairs makes the realization of democratic values and principles more a matter of domestic affair than a matter of international relations and collaboration.

International intervention takes place in the case of serious transgression of democratic principles in the form of political violence, human right violations, or in the form of national policies that revoke explicitly civil and political rights such as freedom of expression or the right to information. This means, whereas the protection of democratic values and principles is assumed to be an international responsibility, the realization of those values and principles is treated as a national affair. The people of USA might be politically happy with the two-party system but there is no reason to force people from other countries to follow suit.

In that connection democracy is faced with the first main challenge resulting from globalization in that national framework is undermined by global forces so much so that nation-states are no more as intact as they were before. The intrusion of global market and global information through cyberspace makes national boundaries less hermetic and national control less effective than ever before. From economic perspective globalization has brought about international mobility of both capital and labour, the impacts of which are of graver importance than what was foreseen and anticipated. Internationalization of capital and market has accelerated the mobility of national capital, while national control

Ignas Kleden

Komunitas Indonesia untuk Demokrasi

The complete article can be accessed here

Categories: Ignas Kleden
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