Globalization and Justice: Navigating Contradictions

Globalization and Justice

Globalization is a fact. Some would prefer that the world did not become more globalized, but preferences matter little–globalization is growing, like it or not.  The world is becoming both closer and more divided. The world is shrinking while at the same time, economic opportunities are growing. Cultures are becoming more homogenous while at the same time movements are developing to maintain heterogenity. Clashes of values result in wars both to prevent and to increase globalization.  At no other time in history has mankind been so close to global peace, yet also so close to global destruction.  Such contradictions can provide both the basis for the strife resulting in both justice and injustice being performed–such contradictions can lead the world either to be brink of disaster or the essence of global peace…it all depends on a few simple concepts.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “justice” for our purposes can be defined as…

(1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action

 (2):  conformity to this principle or ideal: righteousness ،conformity to truth, fact, or reason: correctness.

Consider that definition for a moment in light of some events from around the world.


  1. Edward Snowden fled to Russia after exposing the illegal activities of his home country the United States. In the U.S., many view him as a traitor, but to some, he is a patriot. Who is righteous or just in the matter?
  2. Syria is a nation at war with itself. The ruling party certainly holds the legal basis for yielding power and fighting those seeking overthrow, but there are indications this ruler has used chemical weapons on thousands of innocent civilians. Which side is justified in their actions?
  3. Israel and Palestine have been fighting over territory for more than 60 years–the conflict at times resembles the Hatfields and McCoys–does it matter at this point who is in the right?
  4. The U.S.-led Drug War has been operating globally for nearly as long as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with far greater destruction according to most statistics. Is this war just?

Now think about your answers. Would you not agree that how you decide what is just and what is not just in each of these examples is largely shaped by your values?  Is your view not colored by your culture?  Your socio-economic status? Your nationality?

In the case of at least three of the above examples, that is indeed the case.  So really, justice would appear to be at the mercy of culture and social mores would it not?  But if this is the case, what hope does the world have forever in achieving justice?  What hope does anyone have of living in a just and righteous world?