Causal Story Paper

In Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann’s article on the correlation between human rights and
globalization, it is possible to identify the dependent variable as the level of quality and fairness
of universal human rights being influenced by the independent variable which is globalization as
a whole. Globalization is a variable that is not affected by the change in consistency of human
rights, which therefore remains independent throughout the research. As globalization is the
result of many societal and capital changes, it is important to note the intervening variables as
well, thus helping to identify the causal mechanisms to the increase or loss of human rights. The
article discusses globalization through its mainly negative short-term effects but mainly positive
long-term effects and how democracy is the best solution to protect human rights in the future,
by going through different models to study the relationship between both variables. As the author
describes how democracy is a type of political system that is greatly influenced by capitalism,
she also demonstrates how globalization is not only inevitable, but primordial for the world’s
long-term growth (Howard-Hassmann, p.4 ).

There are important factors in explaining the change of positions regarding human rights caused
by globalization, such as the newly absence of assured economic security for all. As described on
page 6 concerning the multinational corporations’’ ‘’disconnection of power from obligation’’ in
which investors can act selfishly and earn more profits, there is also a noticeable change in
policies which makes economic security now depend on families and individuals instead of the
community as a whole, for the laws providing health care and basic economic rights to the
people are now swaying towards capitalist ideals. The phenomena, called an ‘’avalanche of
social dislocation’’, is one of many changes seen since the eminent development of
globalization. Also, by studying the GNP per capita and the foreign investments of a country, it
is possible to explain drastic democratic and social changes in a country such as China or North
Korea under a century.
On page 13, the change in social relations is also derived from globalization, describing how
there will eventually be a change between the sexes, fluid societies, and elements that are today
considered as dangerous and illegal (ie. Drugs and guns) will be distributed easily. Human rights
therefore change as societies evolve economically and as a society might become less sexist, it
can also become more violence prone. The models studied in this essay also represent that
globalization does cause human rights, through wealth, markets, liberal economic order and
democracy. It then shows the other side of the relationship, in which globalization undermines
human rights through rightlessness, re-development, market economies, the classic society
model (rich vs. poor) and how it creates a cycle.
The optimistic and pessimistic models also offer another view of the relationship between
globalization and human rights. In a negative light, the pessimistic model describes the economic
situation of a society (ie. Hot money capital flight causing government’s tax revenue decline)
affecting the job industry and the disinvestment in social services such as health care and
education. This lowers the quality of the standard human being life, caused by capitalism and
affecting human rights once again. However, in a more positive light, the optimistic model
describes the development of a universal moral sense through the spread of markets, making
people communicate and create bonds, leading to democracy. Thus, what all of these economic,
social and political factors affecting human behaviour and thus how people treat one another are
really explaining is that as the markets expand, it makes ethnic and social groups compete for
jobs and statuses, separating people. Elements such as global governance, global civil society ,
the global human rights regimes and others demonstrate how universal civil rights are affected
by the development or decreasing of democracy through markets, wealth and middle-class
Works Cited
William H. Meyer, (1996) ‘’Human Rights Multinational Corporations: Theory Versus
Quantitative Evidence.’’ Human Rights Quarterly 18(2): 368-380.


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