Many people recognize globalization as the understanding that the world is becoming a more interconnected place; that ideas, technology, events, and people move porously through state, national, and regional boundaries. But for those scholars who are focused on peace- specifically international peace- are aware that globalization is much more than that. Globalization is also the evolution of the concept of nation-state, addresses the concerns around modernization, and derives a large amount of theory from postcolonization.
While I was preparing for a class on postcolonization theory, I read a wonderful essay by James Ferguson called Decomposing Modernity. He describes the modern globalizing world from a much different point of view, exposing the polarization that occurs within the context of globalization and modernization. A few benefit from globalization, but many are forced to suffer in deterriorating living conditions. This is creating a crisis of identities in some regions. Focusing on the continent of Africa, he sums up a familiar viewpoint shared among Africans: Africans do not see themselves as less developed, they see themselves as less; poor countries are no longer behind the West, they are beneath it.
In other words, statuses and conditions of peoples and nations may change over time due to globalization, but not necessarily in a progressive way. These beliefs are further reinforced subconsciously (or not) in the production of Mercator maps, featuring Europe in the center and everything else surrounding it. One doesn't have to look too far to see the effects of colonization in the mindsets of Westerns still today.
From this standpoint, it is clear to see the value postcolonization theory has on the formation and evolution of globalization and conflict resolution. Westerners (corporations especially) look at developing nations and ask "What is it worth?". The consequences of this type of thinking are seen in the dwindling rainsforsts, the sites that are used as toxic dumping zones, the offshore tax havens, all of which are refered to as zones of invisibility. Westerners typically don't concern themselves with what goes on in these areas or how their lifestyles are contributing to the waste and destruction.
As individuals, we must be sure not to simply write off globalization as a positive evolution- many countries and peoples are suffering because of it. It is therefore necessary to review methods and outcomes from colonization through postcolonization theories to develop a course of action that will allow for different (and more positive) outcomes. Postcolonization theory also adds new dimensions to conflict resolution theories, as it raises many issues and problems that may not have been seen as direct sources of conflict. This should remind us that every point of view needs to be explored deeply when preparing a plan for global conflict management and prevention politically, economically, socially, culturally, and historically. The question is, will we learn from the past in time to change the future?