Globalization the international system that replaced the cold war system
Thomas Friedman who has written extensively on the subject of globalization argues that this phenomenon is not a trend or a fad but it is the international system that replaced the cold war system. In defining this concept, Friedman states that it is the unstoppable integration of the markets, information systems, transportation systems, technology and telecommunications systems in a way that is shrinking the world to a small size and enabling corporations, countries, and individuals to reach around the world farther, faster deeper, and cheaper than before, and also enabling corporations, countries, and the world to reach to individuals farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than before.
The cold war system on other hand is a power system that existed between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. This system resulted from the bipolar conflict involving the U.S. and the Soviet Union as they were both vying for global dominance and consequently they superimposed their rivalry upon other states as they sought to expand their ideologies globally. This article seeks to highlight the differences between these two systems of the cold war and globalization.
The integration of globalization versus the division of the cold war
While the main feature of the cold war era was division of the countries along ideological lines propagated by the two superpowers, the era of globalization is characterized by increasing integration and interconnectedness between states and among individuals across the globe. The said integration and interconnectedness have been made possible by technological advancements and the advent of the internet. Moreover, countries are ever more seeking the economic, cultural and political benefits of integration through the membership of international and regional bodies such as the UN and the EU respectively.
The power structure difference
The bipolar and the unipolar power structures are the other distinguishing features of the cold war system and the globalization era respectively. The bipolar power structures is a consequence of the existence of two superpowers in the international system namely; the U.S and the Soviet Union. These two states ensured the balance of power at the international level during the cold war. However with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent end of the cold war, the new era of globalization was ushered into a unipolar international system. The latter is a dominated by the U.S. which is the state that has the most power to exercise cultural, economic and military influence within the international system.
The difference in the socio-economic system
Moreover, the cold war era differs from the epoch of globalization in terms of the socio-economic system in place. During the cold war, both communism and capitalism were the dominant socio-economic systems in the world as they were advocated for by the U.S.-Soviet duopoly. In contrast, the global economic system in the globalization era has been effectively dominated by capitalist economic models which proved to be the better model that survived the cold war.
Difference in Accessibility of information
Furthermore, the cold war era was characterized by gagging and censoring of information available to the general public and there was a lot of propaganda released by both sides to their public and their spheres of influence. On the other hand, there is limited censorship and restriction of access of information by the public across the globe in the current era of globalization. The internet and technological advancements have made it easy for people across the globe to access unrestricted information.