Critical scholars take a less positive analysis than liberal scholars when discussing globalization. In a condensed version, critical scholars attribute globalization to events such as imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, and the overall marginalization of minorities. Globalization was only able to be achieved by forcing their way into countries and taking advantage of people. On the flip side, you have liberal scholars, who have a more positive outlook on globalization, as they believe this was because of success within diplomacy and international organizations, which aided in creating interdependence. When taking a look at both of these perspectives, I believe that the liberal perspective is more persuasive.
I can understand the argument that the critical scholars give, however, I don’t believe through these events they could achieve globalization unless there was only one hegemonic state in the end. Even within colonization, there were many different states, which took part, all of which were battling for power. There was no other goal in mind other than trying to outdo one another. So, unless there was only one main power at the end there would not be global interdependence, solely based on this chain of events. I do believe that critical scholars give important information about events that helped to lead to globalization, however, they missed the connection that states needed to create interdependence. Liberal scholars help to bridge that, as they talk about how the states need to have succeeded within diplomacy, along with the successful use of international organizations. A perfect example of how both of these are needed because of the major division was after World War II, with the creation of the United Nations. After World War II, the UN helped to bring diplomates (delegates) from many states together to create long-term peace between states. After this continued diplomacy and other organizations such as the World Trade Organization were created to create and facilitate interactions between states. All of which created a world where most states can rely on each other for trade, aid, and allyship. Now, this opens a way for more cultural practices and migration of people between states. These factors are all needed to create interdependence which is key for globalization. Overall, critical scholars do a good job of giving important backstory into how globalization came about, however, it missed key aspects needed to bring states together to achieve it.
Many states can grow and progress towards UN sustainable development goals from international aid, but there are some that crumble. In the cases of Brazil and Senegal, they are perfect examples of a country that thrive from international involvement and that seems to dig themselves deeper. Brazil has made some questionable choices when it comes to the welfare of the rainforest. As a result of their mismanagement, around 17% of the rainforest has been lost, with more than 75% being susceptible to fires and less likely to recover, as talked about in the podcast. They also talked about that due, to the amount of greenhouse gases released it has caused a prediction of a .023 degree increase in climate change. These environmental disasters brought Brazil farther from achieving SDG 16. This damage to rainforest was caused by gold mining and agriculture, funded by powerful investors such as Black Rock, Vanguard, and Bank of America. All of which put Brazil at risk of losing 10% of their GDP, and even with this they still continue to push for more deforestation development. Now, this created major organizations such as RDD+, which was created to help with the Amazon deforestation. They helped to supply grants and create new economic plans and strategies that are forest and governmental-friendly, along with monitoring all damage. There is also the Amazon fund that was created to help aid projects to help maintain and rebuild the rainforest, and BJF which buys land to create safe zones. All of these have been seeing an upward trend in Brazil’s compliance and support. They have been able to make a positive stride towards SDG 16 through the use of international aid despite being opposed at first.
In contrast, you have countries like Senegal who are not taking too well to international aid. Senegal has also been going through serious issues with trying to achieve SDGS 16, 4, and even 3. They suffer from major corruption that has spread to every sector of their government. As a result of the corruption, as stated within the podcast, there has been a constant misuse of government funds from previous presidents using them to buy statues or missing COVID aid which totaled around 30 million euros. The mismanagement of money has caused major poverty within the state with no money to strengthen education, medical care, or combat poverty. In fact, schools with students are overcrowded, have poor infrastructure, and some schools lack the finances for educational materials. Even the countries attempting to clear up some of these problems by taking loans from the IMF backfire because of the corruption leading the country into more debt.
I do want to acknowledge that Brazil’s issue was more publicized compared to Senegal’s. Brazil’s issues would be considered a global problem not internal. This has caused a lot more aid, attention, and action to be taken, giving Brazil a better chance to turn things around. I do also see though that the Brazilian government is pushing for change unlike the Senegal government (as of what was in the podcast). Within Senegal just see a constant mismanagement of money, displacement of people, and overall decline. It could also be that financial aid is not what Senegal needs but a governmental change. However, that is hard to achieve without completely overstepping the state’s sovereignty.