It is the contemporary fact that states relation is no longer inside the boundary of the state. People may communicate to each other 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, around the world, without any limitation from state’s bureaucracy or censorship. People may find out what happened at the other side of the world within seconds through television, telephone, internet, or other types of communication device. CNN and Al-Jazeera provide the latest and updated news on conflicts in the Middle East, or even through news in the internet. The speed of people communicating to each other on different countries in this age of time indicated the era of modern and global world. It shows the era where people may easily communicate easier without any barrier. On the other side, globalization also emerge threats for the existing of nation-state. Borderless world as the expression of globalization has made many countries in the world worked harder to keep their sovereignty and nationalism against the attack of globalization.
Many “prophets’ of the idea of globalism said that the era has put state border or geographical knowledge of a country to an end permanently already. State border is meaningless since globalization has connected all the world with no limit, in term of economic, politic, or others such as culture, civilization and others. Ohmae, one of the prophets of globalization, said that there has been an intervention and occupation in economy by some countries to other countries in form of economic aid or investment. The dependency theory introduced by Cardoso makes it clear that in the name of globalization, welfare and advanced states have abilities and resources to interfere policies of a state .
However, facts do not support statements of these “prophets” of globalization. State border or geographical form of a state is still exist until now. Although European countries erase limitations for European people who live in member of countries of European Union, states are still exist, especially in the era of European Economic Council. Another example is on the relation between USA and Mexico. United States issued anti-illegal immigrant workers policy by building strong barb wire walls at the border of both countries. These examples are contradictive to the belief of Ohmae and other “prophets’ of globalization.
Sovereignty of a state/country is still important and the most important issue in globalization. The end of a state’s sovereignty and the vanishing nationalism among the people of the country is the effect of globalization snowball. The debate is not over yet between those who support globalization as the end of state’s sovereignty to the birth of the world’s sovereignty, and those who against globalization as the new form of imperialism over sovereign countries. Mean while there is a realist group who believes that globalization is part of the modern world, not the step to conquer sovereign states or to put sovereignty of a state to an end as believed by ‘prophets’ of modernization. This paper will explain on the relation between globalization and nationalism, also whether globalization will put sovereignty of a state into an end?
II. Nationalism as an Instrument of Globalization
Nationalism is a concept where the highest loyalty of a person should be given to the nation-state . While globalization is a concept of complex process related to the relation of interests of countries in the world . Both concepts in the context of human civilization is considered reducing on each other. The exact term is, globalization reduce the nationalism and sovereignty of a state into an end. This is the part where author decides to disagree with these ‘prophets’ of globalization. The reality is not yet proven or at least there is no proof that nationalism is reducing and gone, replaced by new idealism known as globalization.
Author believes that nationalism is an instrument of globalization, not against it. Nationalism is an important instrument since, first, globalization is product of states in the world, especially advanced and developed countries, in order to enhance and improve communication system among the people in the world. It means globalization is the product of the existence of the nation state. Before nationalism even exist, in ages of barbaric tribes, before the Peloponnesian War, and 30 Years War that brought religion as the main issue, the spirit to protect every inch of the land they owned against enemy’s invasion is clear statement for the world today that globalization or imperialism is based on the spirit of nation and love to the motherland .
If we relate it to the contemporary context, the use of Microsoft and Intel as computer hardware and software by more than half of the people in the world is also part of hegemony made by the United States. The domination of CNN and BBC in international news and issues is also part of the hegemony made by western countries: USA and England. Meanwhile the emerging Al-Jazeera as the competitor of CNN and BBC is part of hegemony built by Arab countries, or Qatar for specific.
Second, globalization and nationalism have similar tendencies, to build specific consciousness. If the spirit of nationalism exists and built nation identity in the war of 30 years and France Revolution, replacing the nobility identities based on land occupied by noble families, perhaps it is in the form of Protestant Ethic as the basic spirit of birth of new countries in Europe against the noble families and Catholic Church, when it finally replaced by spirit of nation-state . The interesting part is, after world war II, there are many new independent states in Asia and Africa announcing their freedom from their colonizer based on nationalism .
Globalization in the post-cold war era brought the people into the new consciousness of ethnic and race since the fall of Soviet Union. This is the beginning of an era where conflicts based on ethnical hatred were the most horrifying incidents after twenty years of cold war, aside of the unification of East and West Germany. Yugoslavia also fall and become five new independent countries: Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and new enclave of Kosovo, which is still struggling to get independence from Serbia. Czechoslovakia also fall into two new independent countries: Czech and Slovakia. In Africa, Ethiopia ended long conflict with Eritrea and the region become new independent state separated from Ethiopia. It also related to conflicts in Somalia, Rwanda, and Burundi. In Asia, Indonesia has to let East Timor become new independent state . Globalization in the post-cold war era has given the birth of many independent countries. Nowadays, there are more than 210 countries with full sovereignty in small geographical area and based on ethnic or race .
Third, globalization has emerged conflicts between states and conflict inside a state higher than ever. It indicates the spirit of nationalism is emerging, aside from how the conflict emerges. Conflict between India and Pakistan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and many others in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, has indicated the higher number of conflicts between states in the era of globalization or Post-Cold War . Beside that, nationalism also emerges conflicts inside the state, related to the main idea of nationalism and a test of the nation-state itself to overcome the conflict, for example, Maoist rebels in Nepal against the government of Nepal, Aceh Independent Movements and Papua Freedom Organization against the Republic of Indonesia, MILF and MNLF against the government of the Philippine, and many others. The most interesting part is conflict between states or at the intern part of a state is increasing and improves the spirit of nationalism of people of the state higher than before.
Fourth, globalization encourages states to unite in regional associations such as Europe Union, APEC, ASEAN, and many others to form the spirit of communication and cooperation between states. The cooperation is still under the flag of each state and based on nation-state. Europe Union, considered as the most advanced regional association, is still uphold the identity of the nation-state side by side with regional symbol and administration. The only thing change is on the loose border security among member countries of the Europe Union compare to those time when the Union was not exist. It is actually based on similarity of standards among countries in Europe.
Fifth, Globalization has spread the spirit of liberty and democracy, also respect on human right. One thing that should be aware of is ultra-nationalism, where it actually negates the spirit of liberty, democracy, and human right. These spirits are part of the necessary subjects in improvement of the state. These are the basic foundation of a nation-state where fraternity, democracy, and human rights are inseparable parts. Most countries mention fraternity, democracy, and human right, as part of their constitution and inseparable from the spirit of a nation .
Sixth, globalization encourages people of the world to spread and travel around the world and new discovered area. The spread of Jews before the founding of Israel has become evidence on how they could maintain their cultural and religion identity. Meanwhile, the India and China ethnic were spread for more than 300 years in the world including the times when colonial countries made them as workers in new discovered area such as Fiji, Canada, South East Asia, Latin America, and other countries. However, the spread in modern age relates to how to make a better living. It results in form of new entity in the place where these people lives . Singapore for example, Indian Tamil ethnic group has become important political group when S. Nathan is elected as President of Singapore. Harry Lee, known as Lee Kwan Yew, was also important figure of the country while he was actually Chinese descendant in Singapore. The latest example is on the selected Chinese-Sabah descendant as Minister in the Cabinet of Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia .
There is another example of hoe Hispanic and Mexican in the United States reject the strict regulation to prohibit migrants from Mexico, or protests held by India descendants in Malaysia by showing posters of Mahatma Gandhi and using Hindi identity such as Hindraf or MIC. Another interesting fact is on policies of some countries to allow double citizenship, which indicates that the spread people are still maintain their ethnic and culture at the new place they lives. It means, the bond between the spread people and the entity of their home countries are still tight.
Based on the explanation above, the author wants to explain that there is a bond between globalization and nationalism, not a negation. Nationalism is the most important factor in globalization. Although the limit of a country is no longer exist virtually, the border does exist to protect the sovereignty of the state. It means globalization is not a threat for the existence of nation-state, it is just a phase of world modernization. Nationalism is the identity of world citizens and globalization will suit its place in the state. The assumption of the lost sovereignty by global perspective is no more than efforts made by “prophets” of globalization to change the face of the world. In reality, globalization is still control by states with strong state’s entity.