How Nations weight in the Era of Globalisation

Globalisation has brought about a transformation in every aspect of the functioning of a society. It is not just linked to the industrialisation or just an economic terminology. It has become a new world system, where the private, as well as governments, play at the level play field. Globalisation has brought about a transformation at virtually all levels of human activity that is unprecedented and cannot even be rivalled by industrialisation as the latter took part in only a small part of the world.

One of the most important developments contributing to globalization is rather political in nature. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War era which witnessed its final event with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when Gorbachev brought in two terms, such as Perestroika and Glasnost, allowing for territories within the Soviet Union to have political and economic independence. Thus, enabling the world to adapt to the capitalist system of Democracy and Bush, the then American President, used the term Globalisation in many of his speeches to adapt to the free-market system, across the world. This eventually lead to the rise of private players in the global economic system.

While talking about the public administration in the era of globalisation, there is a lot of fiasco about the role the public administration itself plays. And to a very large extent a very plausible confusion. From a domestic perspective, it is an important body in which nation-state executes its businesses. The globalisation has fundamentally changed the way in which we look at the world. Every nation is dependent on trade with other nation. Well. This just does not end with the economic aspect. Globalisation is a co-operation between different nations that allows for the safe world, which includes, global terrorism, wars, environment and also issues concerning the political instability in several nations. Globalisation has changed the way the governments interact with their citizens and also function with other governments around the world.

Traditionally, one of the strengths of public administration was the clear-cut hierarchal system developed by the state and practised by the entire public administrative apparatus, which enabled for the smooth functioning of the nations. Globalization challenges this sort of traditional practice because it changes the basic role of governance. With the rise of new and powerful competitors, as well as the influx of geographic regional rivalries, the new global system depends less on power through brute force and more on the power of persuasion.

Thus, public administration becomes contested with the way we look at the globalised world. While it has benefited the rich countries, it has also lead to increased intervention of big powers on the small nations. Today the nation-states are not, in the strictest sense, the actual actors of national and international politics and situation. MNCs, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals and some organs of United Nations and specialised agencies of UN are controlling the political and economic conditions of nation-states. In many nation-states, the governments are simply the puppets at the hands of top bureaucrats and it is well known to the international institutions.

The newly independent states of Asia and Africa are very often called banana republics (a small state that is politically unstable as a result of the domination of its economy by foreign capital). They are usually considered to influenced by the tech giants and oil companies that control their economies. These giants will play a very significant role in the policy making, often for their own benefits. Gunnar Myrdal called these states — “soft states”.[1] The states that are influenced by big powers, especially by MNCs any NGOs.

The simple fact is that political independence has not been able to free them administratively or economically. The public administration of these states is attuned to the needs and many other requirements of the foreign organisations. Even there is invisible hand of foreign institutions in the selection or appointment of top bureaucrats and policy-makers. While many of the countries help in giving aid for small countries to improve their infrastructure, they expect them to be their puppets. This maybe in terms of economic like allowing for companies to set up their business in the beneficiary country, or by making use of their oil reserves, etc. For example, Afghanistan, a Valley nation, is still bearing the brunt of the cold-war and following the rise of the extremist regime and now collapsed nation. It was used as a buffer-zone by the USA during the cold war to counter the Soviets.

Presently, in the UN, there are about 193 member states, each of them politically sovereign and have their own system of administration. But economically, each of them is dependent on one another. Even though China has a lot of market for its goods in India, it is still in a confrontation with India. But, that does not affect both the nation’s economic interests. But, when a state comes to be a part of the international system and in a globalised world, its public administration cannot keep itself away from the world. The consequences of globalisation fall upon all nation, irrespective of their size and power.

Globalisation has completely changed the traditional hierarchical system that persisted within the age-old public administration. It has, in fact, allowed more and more structuring with the power, not just lying within the nations, but also with the several private players like – NGOs and private organisations. But, the public administration has to play an important role in the global level, in making sure that there is sustainable growth in the world, and need for peace and curbing of terrorism in the world. The organisations like United Nations will play a vital role in the administration of global concerns.



Brown, M. M. and J. L. Brudney, 1998. A “Smarter, Better, and Cheaper” Government: Contracting and Geographic Information Systems. Public Administration Review 58 (4): 335-345.

Caiden, G. E., 1994. “Globalizing the Theory and Practice of Public Administration.” In Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor and Renu Khator, eds., Public Administration in the Global Village. Westport, Connecticut, London: Praeger.

Farazmand, A., 1999. “Globalization and Public Administration.” Public Administration Review 59 (6): 509-522

[1] Gunnar M (1968) , Asian Drama: An inquiry into poverty of nations, Allen Lane, Penguin Press, London, p. 1026