Globalization and Social Movements

by Natsuki Oshiro

I’ll write about Globalization & Social movements, especially pose the theme about the democratization movement in 2011:“Arab Spring” .

“Arab Spring” stemmed from anti-government movement in Tunisia of North Africa. And it was spread over countries in Middle East and North Africa. In these countries like Tunisia and Egypt, presidents who did authoritarian governments for a long time were retreated. In Libya, a change of government was occurred through armed conflict against people who are antiestablishment.

Like above, “Arab Spring” became as big political change as ever. The characteristic of this political change is that the people, who could not almost participate in politics until then, became impelling force of the movement and the change. And on the back of that, dissatisfaction by people to economic inequality and control by the despotic political power rose more and more.

The people who participated in anti-government movement shared information through social networking service (SNS) like Facebook or Twitter. And the democratization movement had spread beyond borders faster than ever before through the internet. I think that if it were not for spread of internet with globalization, this rapid spread of movement would not happen.

After a series of “Arab Spring”, global society has supported the democratization movement in each country. To the violent suppression by the government authorities, armed sanction based on UN Security Council Resolutions was done like the case in Libya.

Now, in many countries where democratization movement happened, political process to democratization is developing. However, a lot of problems are accumulating in the respect of economic gap and employment. We have to pay attention to abilities of Islamic political parties that come into power in Tunisia and Egypt.  And from now on, some people have apprehensive that the society becomes unstable if dissatisfaction to new system rises.

After “Arab Spring”, Chinese authority worried that this democratization movement had spread in China too. And they regulate information on internet or any other information mediums that have to do with this democratization movement. Actually this stream extended to China, and some people attempted to bring about a democratization movement in China. However, China authority suppressed those people. This rapid spread of social movements is threat for authorities of some countries like China that are not democratic country.

Social movements may be regarded as domestic issue. But now, social movement also have influenced strongly by globalization, and it spreads all over the world rapidly now.

≪Reference≫

Japanese Ministry of foreign Affairs WEBSITE. http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/pr/wakaru/topics/vol87/index.html

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