The changing face of the world
The modes of transport and communication have also evolved fast, reducing the role of distance and other physical features which used to be obstacles to human movement and activity. ” (Gottmann, J. (1982) The basic problem of political geography: the organisation of space and the search for stability. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geographie 73, 6, Pg. 340. ) The growing scale of transnational flows and the sheer power of multinational companies is subverting the capacity of the state and weakening national identities.
People no longer belong to Scotland or Britain; they belong to the European Union. The EU is a supranational organisation which reduces the interests of the state. The members share common political and economic goals. Great symbols of nations have been replaced by the Euro; there are no trade barriers between members; EU citizens can choose to live and work wherever they choose within the large boundaries of the community. The number of supranational organisations is increasing greatly as more small regions are assimilated into a larger community, increasing the reach of their power and becoming more global.
This is happening so much that Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor believe that the “globality of modern society is clear for us all to see in the photo prints, communicated back to earth, of lights delimiting a global pattern of cities. ” (Beaverstock, J. V. , Smith, R. G. and Taylor, P. J. (2000) World-City Network: A new metageography? Annals of the Association of American Geographers 90, 1:Pg. 123) They believe that globalisation is creating an alternative metageography through networks of world cities rather than the traditional mosaic of states we are so commonly used to.
Rapid urbanization is leading to conglomerations within large cities, which could be labelled ‘world-cities,’ money flows easily and quickly around the world and the idea of exotic is almost extinct. The concept of physical boundaries is almost hard to imagine now as information bypasses borders and crosses the world. However, location is still important. People still work and live in a specific area, there are still differences between economies, ethnic groups, voting systems, etc. I still belong to an area, no matter how big or small it is.
Conclusion There is the possibility that the concept of globalisation, of a homogenous state without borders could produce beneficial results. After all, as C. H. Williams points out, “the inherent tension between state nationalism and ethnic nationalism within the world system has already contributed to two major catastrophes this century. ” (Williams, C. H. (1989) The question of national congruence? In – A World in crisis? Geographical Perspectives (ed. Johnson, R. J. and Taylor, P. J. ) Oxford: Blackwell, Pg.
229. ) If state interests were moved into a larger scale, boundaries removed, then a minority could become an equality. The weakening effect on nationalism could have a reducing effect on fascism and racism. Williams continues that the “integrative capacity of capitalism links previously disparate regions, interests and groups into an evolving world-system. ” (Williams, C. H. (1989) Pg. 230. ) Nation states would develop into transnational states and things would flow more freely around the world.
The removal of the demarcated boundary may encourage trade; however, it does not remove the invisible boundaries of language, culture and religion. These are at the heart of a nation, even in a multi-national state. They present barriers and effect the actions of the people in an area, making that area different from a neighbouring one. These differences are the essence of geography: traditional state boundaries may be loosing there importance, but other boundaries still exist and are still essential to the study of geography.
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