Globalization and the Middle East

Researches globalization and its impact on the Middle East from a sociopolitical point of view.
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    Globalization and the Middle East:Room for More?ByMahmoud H. Al-QudsiNo. 1041619Dr. George GiacamanCulture 3313o May 2006  Al-Qudsi 1Globalization and the Middle East:Room for More? Globalization i is as the term itself implies: a global and indiscriminating sweep thatstandardizes the commercial, military, cultural, and human resources around it with respect to one nation or group of peoples at the top. In a ‘globalized’ society, the entire world bends to the  will of this power and follows standards as set by them. It leaves no country or continentuntouched, and is almost impossible to repulse. Globalization has many effects that – in theory  –  bring some form of prosperity or greater good to all involved, but without a doubt it benefits mostthe group in power (Wikipedia 1).The problem with globalization with respect to the developing nations of today is a simple one: the fact that it’s already there.  With the nations in power already at the top, the very definition of globalization dictates that they will remain there, and that the remainder of thenations and groups, especially the developing and 3 rd World nations, will be subject to the rulesand restrictions as set forth by those in the lead. Once all the issues are factored in, the one thingthat matters most is whether or not it is possible for the status quo to change and for one or morenations, to move from the lower ranks to the higher echelons of world globalization; and it isespecially possible in the Middle East for a variety of important reasons (Encarta 3).The Middle East is an especially intriguing specimen taken in this light; where mostcountries have reached some sort of equilibrium with the wo rld around them and have ‘maxedout’ their potential, the Middle East has faced non -stop turbulent violence for the past century,leaving its inhabitants focused on issues more immediately important than globalization and theassertion of their role as a world power. However, trends from all components of globalizationhave manifested themselves in recent years in the Middle East; which has the power to in turn  Al-Qudsi 2 lead to globalization with portions of the Middle East as a major source of influence and/or powera possibility. According to Microsoft Encarta, “ globalization ” is a comprehensive term that refers to a global society in which “ economic, political, cultural, and environmental events in one part of the world quickly come to have significance for people in other parts of the world. ” Taking this inconnotation with the definition of globalization, it becomes clear that if a nation or group of nations can stand against the current trends of globalization, and then go the extra mile by having other  nations or peoples following the trends they set , it is possible for them to become globalpowers in their own right. At the moment, the Middle East is in a temporary position of supreme economic power: with the rest of the world highly dependent on fossil fuels and not yet researching alternate fuelsto the extent as they should; and therein the Middle Eastern nations have an opportunity to takethings further, if it is taken promptly and dealt with rationally (Moreno 4). With the Middle Eastbeing the number one provider of oil in OPEC, the rest of the world could be said to be at theirmercy: no matter what leverage they hold, in the face of no oil, the Middle East will prevail(Morse and Richard 5). The Middle East is in the seat of power due to a lucky coincidence with which thousands of years of fossil fuel collected beneath the otherwise bare desert, and left therest of the world dependent on them for energy and survival.Though it can be said that the Middle East already is a global economic power, oil alone isnot enough, especially when, sooner or later, it will either run out or be replaced with somethingcleaner, cheaper, more efficient, and better (Greene, Hopson and Li). The true play for powerneeds to come in the form of a self-sufficing economy built on the manufacture of finished goodsand services, and not just the provision of raw materials for processing and sale elsewhere  Al-Qudsi 3 (Weathers). For the Middle East to truly clam its role as an honest and official world economicpower with the full intention of remaining that way, it must engage in large-scale manufacturingand goods business. Given the current affluence in the Middle East and abundance of company start-ups and investments, the Middle East has a prime chance to ascertain its position andconcrete its role if approached the right way. A political superpower can be defined as a nation or union/group with enough influence(from any angle) on the political process of the entire world, and can use this influence toaccomplish almost anything (Soderberg 43-46). For a nation to become a political superpower,there are many obstacles that must be overcome, and even more feats that need to beaccomplished, but there are varying levels of importance within these ranks. A politicalsuperpower must have some means of reinforcing a decision should pure politics fail (military,economic, or otherwise), it must also be united in its stance from within, and clear in its goals(Soderberg 66).The Middle East has serious issues prohibiting it from becoming once more thesuperpower empire it was centuries ago, that range from a lack of unity to governmental disarray and fear of modern progress, to constant conflict and disagreement amongst the various Arab ii  nations as well as between the Middle East as a whole and the rest of world (Wilson and Williams22). While it may possible to envision a joint Middle Eastern global economic power, it is muchmore difficult to imagine a unified Middle East of one political mind, largely due to the sectionaland regional sociopolitical splits in the region (Cleveland 82).Given the present political conditions in the Middle East, it becomes obvious that apolitical superpower rising from the ashes of a once-great empire is quite a ways off, and willrequire an enormous amount of effort and time from for all the parties involved to realize the
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