Globalization is whereby local and regional trends are changed into worldwide trends. It is marked by the unification of the world’s people into a single cultural setting and is capable of functioning together. It involves the integration of economic, socio-cultural, political and technological know how throughout the world. It is mainly marked by the incorporation of global economies as one. This is achieved through trade, capital flows, foreign direct investment, technology spread and migration. Some scholars have defined globalization as the elimination of restrictions that are bound by a single state or country concerning international trade. This has resulted into integrated global systems which are very complex (Bhagwati, 119).
The world globalization has been used by scholars of economics for almost the last thirty years. However, it was used in the social sciences in 1960s. Globalization’s importance can be attributed to the activities of 1980s and 1990s. The concept has been in writing since the 1890s and is perceived as ages of a process that has been there since the human population expansion and the civilizations growth. It has spectacularly picked up the pace in the last fifty years or so. The Parthian empire, Roman Empire and Han Dynasty are all forms of past globalization (Bakan,39).
In the 16th Century there was a worldwide trade, enculturation and colonization. In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain and Portugal colonized the Americas and hence enhanced global trade. There were later followed by Britain and France. One remarkable entity of globalization in the past was the establishment of the British East India Company which can be said to be the first multinational company. It is also the first company to issue shares because it wanted to spread the risks that were involved in the international trade; which is a very important driver of globalization (Morris, 49).
Globalization can be said to have been achieved in the largest form by the British Empire because British culture and ideals were enforced to other nations through this period. The first era of globalization is said to be the 19th century because there was a remarkable increase in international trade. This is because the European countries had colonized most of the rest of the world and they used to trade with the colonies (Capra, 46).
The first era of globalization collapsed after the Second World War and precisely at the gold standard crisis of 1920s and 1930s.
Economists’ planning has mainly led to globalization after the Second World War. Also responsible are politicians who were anti-protectionism and recognized that the international trade was negatively affected by the declining international integration. There were also the interests of businesses and multinationals (Bakan, 45).
These led to a conference known as Breton Woods Conference and this marked the establishment of various institutions which were internationally recognized. This was meant to enhance the success of the renewed processes of globalization. They would promote international growth and also they were responsible for the management of the consequences of globalization which sometimes would be adverse.
The institutions came to be known as the World Bank and the International Monetary fund. Advances in technology have greatly helped in globalization. Technology have helped in communication around the world has facilitated easier channels of international trade through General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This has also facilitated a series of agreements which has the removal of trade restrictions and formed a platform of free trade.
After the World War II, various international agreements have seen the lifting of many international trade barriers especially through General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) initiatives and the foundation of the World Trade Organization. These organizations have geared the globalization concept in their bid for the promotion of free trade around the globe.
Promotion of free trade
These institutes of lobbied for the elimination or at least the reduction of trade tariffs and they have also projected the formation of free trade zones. Transportation cost especially shipping and air transport is also another area the institutes are actively involved in their bid of promoting globalization. The institutions are also involved in encouraging the removal of capital controls throughout the world. Subsidies are also another part the institutions are keen on their elimination which discourage local businesses from going global (Bhagwati, 125).
Restrictions of free trade
There are various restrictions of free trade around the globe. There are the deterrents of globalization as they affect the businesses that are keen on going global adversely and negatively in their bid of going global. One such restriction is the synchronization of intellectual property in most countries worldwide and this is incorporated with more restrictions. There is also the supranational acknowledgment of the intellectual property and coupled with their restrictions adversely and negatively affect the globalization process.
This is brought about by the advancement of communication technology. It involves the selling of cultural setting of various regions of the world to the rest of the world. Western culture industries are on the rise and so there is the tendency of the world leaning toward cultural globalization. However critics have argued that the spread of western cultures are advancing at the expense of traditional cultural settings and so new trends have emerged where there are campaigns pointing out the importance of local uniqueness of identity and individuality across the world and in respect to various indigenous cultural settings (Capra, 49).
Effects of globalization
Globalization has been attributed to the advancement in technology particularly the information technology, communication technology and also the transport technology. There has been a great improvement around the world and some of the evidence of this is that currencies and stocks can be sold anywhere in the world and most importantly around the clock. This is thanks to the technological advancement in information processing and storage. The cost of communication has also gone from the traditional exorbitant rates to merely insignificant figures of the modern world.
Processing businesses have also been greatly reduced by the advancement in information and communication technologies. Computer processing and online applications have reduced the cost of the processing businesses especially the banking industry. It has revolutionized information storage systems whereby vast amount of information can be stored in computer chips and discs. Apart from storage, it has also increased the speed of data processing, which can be easily shared by many individuals regardless of the place one is around the world (Capra, 54).
The cost is also declining and this enhanced the communication of people around the globe. Irregardless of where one and what time it is one can communicate with anybody around the globe. This has enhanced business growth because one can easily speak with the business’s publics which include customers and suppliers (Bhagwati, 128).
Communication technology advancement has also led to the unification of people around the globe. Faraway events have been aired throughout the world in global television networks like the Al Jazeera, CNN and BBC corporations. The Internet, telephone and fax machines have also enable the instantaneous communication of people throughout the world. The World Wide Web and computer technology in general have also enable the storage and transmission of vast amounts of data around the world.
Transportation technology has also played a great role in globalization. It has enabled the mass transportation of goods and people around the world especially by airplanes. Even the ocean shipping has played a great role in globalization by streamlining transport although it is a bit slow. There has been a worldwide decline in transportation cost brought about by modernization of transport such as containerized shipping (Friedman, 50).
Transportation technology advances have helped many corporations around the world to subcontract foreign factories for manufacturing processes. A good example is the Nike corporations which have many satellite subcontracted factories around the world
Businesses have benefited from low operation costs thanks to advances in information technology. This has enable companies to subcontract foreign companies to aid in their manufacturing and distribution of their goods (Chossudovsky, 79).
It is noted that goods, information and money thanks to globalization can move large distances across the world. Globalization’s capability has not been limited to that because even people are traveling large distances just likes the other three. One of the major aspects of globalization is immigration which can be both legal and illegal. A good source of government revenue for most countries is remittance. Remittance is the money sent home from people working abroad. A good example of one country that has derived a lot of revenue from remittances is El Salvador (Perkins, 55).
Economic globalization can be measured in different ways across the world. This is by application of economic theories and statistics. Economic globalization is revolved by various forms of economic flows.
There exist the flow of international trade in imports and exports. In order to calculate the effect of globalization the sum of imports and exports is calculated as a proportion of the gross domestic product or national income.
Another economical measurement is the labor or workforce of a country. In order to calculate the effect of globalization the sum of all immigrations is calculated as a proportion of the entire national population.
It can also be calculated as an impact of the entire country’s capital. This is done by calculating the foreign investment in the country added by the direct investment of the country’s investors against the national income or gross domestic income (Friedman, 54).
It can also be calculated on the basis of technology. This is done by calculating the development brought about by international research. This is done by calculating the percentage of the population that has adopted a particular technological advancement arising from the international research (Bhagwati, 130).
Other measurements (KOF measurement)
A Swiss company has adopted a new index for measuring globalization. It incorporates all aspects of globalization, that is, political, economy and social globalization. In relation to the three indices, there is an overall index measuring globalization. Belgium is the country that has greatly embraced the globalization concepts. Other countries that closely follow Belgium are Austria, Sweden, Britain and Holland. The countries that have least embraced globalization are Haiti, Burundi and Central African Republic (Sheila, 10).
Benefits of globalization
As a result of globalization the overall income inequality in the world is diminishing. There were countries where people were very poor and the minority of them above the poverty level. Most of the countries in Africa have benefited very much in terms of income equality where the gap between the rich and the poor is narrowing. In the global level the gap between the poor and the rich is also narrowing in terms of countries and individuals. This is not only in the individual country’s level but even in the world as a whole (Hurst, 25).
The table below shows the distribution of the world GDP in the year 1989.
|Distribution of world GDP 1989|
|Quintile of Population||Income|
United Nations Development Program. 1992 Human Development Report.
Improved life expectancy
The developing world’s life expectancy has doubled since globalization process started. It has continued to cross the gap between the developed countries life expectancy and the developing countries life expectancy. The least developed region in the world is the Sub-Saharan Africa region and since the globalization process started it has increased its life expectancy at a remarkable rate through the years (Friedman, 78).
Other parts of improvement include the child and infant mortality rates which have also improved dramatically. Most of the developing countries especially in Africa and Asia have benefited greatly because access to medication and good living conditions has been enabled thanks to globalization.
Democracy has increased in quite remarkable rates and it is important to note that there is almost no country in the world without universal suffrage. Before and immediately after the World War II many countries especially in Eastern Europe leaned towards Communism. After globalization started taking effect many countries in the region started leaning towards democracy and now many countries in the world are democratic apart from a few where there is communism and dictatorship. Everybody who has reached the voting age in almost 70% of all countries in the world is given the right to vote without any discrimination (Jurgen, 26).
Through globalization, women’s rights awareness has been spread all over the world and the women are now recognized even in those countries that their tradition cultures were very anti-feminism. Even some countries like Bangladesh have started providing employment opportunities for the women and securing the women economically through government policies and planning (Perkins, 85).
Through globalization most people in the world have enjoyed food security since globalization effects started to be felt in the world. In fact a significant amount of people who had been living in places where there was food scarcity are now living in food secure environs since 1990s. Many countries where previously there were famines have now thanks to advancement in technology imported from other countries been able to avert famine. Also where there is famine advancement in transport technology have helped in quick delivery of help and food efficiently (Terry, 47).
Globalization has also been responsible for the increment in the levels of global literacy. Global literacy has increased in significant percentages and there is all the improving equality of education provision between the male and females worldwide unlike in the past where education in some regions in the world was only availed to a lot of males and a limited number of girls (Sheila, 13).
Declining child labor
There has been a significant decline of children in the labor force around the world. This change has been worldwide and has also enabled the children to get education rather than be employed in casual employment schemes in some of the world regions where there is low level of education for children. Most of these countries are the less developed countries or where people have different perspective concerning education (Capra, 67).
The world in general has started to appreciate various technological advancement and those regions which had been left behind are starting to catch up with the modern trends. Many people are now starting to use motor vehicles, telephones, television to name but just a few. Many countries in Africa have benefited from importing technology and technical know how from developed countries in the world. This has helped them to close the gap between developed countries and developing countries in terms of technology and general development.
There has been a great improvement in the world industrialization process through the establishment of industrial production which caters for global markets. There has been an increased access to foreign products and all countries are intertwined in the world market whereby there are exporters and importers. The technological transfer across borders has helped the developing countries and hence some countries have started producing such things as electronics in Africa and other poor countries. This has been greatly contributed by the free market by which most restriction limiting the flow of raw materials and finished products over boundaries have been done away with (Friedman, 63).
There has been the establishment of global financial institutions and markets. There has also been improved access of external financing from foreign institutions and also the Breton Wood Institutes. Another benefit of globalization financially is the emergence of the era of unregulated foreign exchange markets or if they exist they are under-regulated all over the world. This case also applies to speculative markets. Many countries in the world especially the developing countries have benefited from the international financial institutions especially developing countries where they use the loans and aid to develop their countries (Noam, 58).
There has been a dramatic and positive change of the economy in a global level. The establishment of free markets has helped countries as well as individuals to have access to the global market and hence improving the global economy. Many developing countries have benefited from economic integration of many countries especially the European Union in which has started using a single currency all over the region.
Some globalization experts have used the term to convey notion of creating a world government. They also use it to convey the notion of the creation of packets of government governing the whole world. A good example is the various branches of the United Nations, World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. These organizations create a platform of cohesion between world governments and the establishment of rights emanating from globalization. There is also the people’s protection against human rights abuse by the various governments and many countries like Iraq have benefited from American intervention and the removal of the dictator Saddam Hussein from power (Hurst, 19).
There has been a tremendous flow of information between locations which are remote geographically. The introduction of the fiber-optic communications has greatly helped in this area of globalization. Increased receptiveness of telephony, Internet usage and satellites has also contributed significantly to this end. Many countries in various regions have benefited from gaining information from cross border and hence have also been aware of the modern trends and world conflicts and other issues like those (Bhagwati, 136).
Generally the world has accepted that the leading language is English. English has become the most popular language in the world. Many of the world’s mail, cables and fax use the English language. Most of the radio broadcasts are also in English. The most widely used language in internet traffic is English (Friedman, 65).
Competition among global businesses and multinationals has enhanced high quality production of products and service rendering. There are many industries in the globe competing and this has called for the upgrading of their services and products and also the proper use for technology in order to have a survival chance in the increasing competition which increases day by day. For example in the motor vehicle industry the competition between Japan, China, America, Germany among other vehicle exporting countries have improved the quality of vehicles they are producing hence ensuring safety throughout the world.
There has been a steady growth in the world’s cultures. Most of the cultures have been affected by various cultures of the world and have lost their traditional cultural attributes and settings. There is also the yearning for improved living standards has also helped in culture change. Critics argue that cultural globalization has resulted in consumerism and languages loss. Most of the African and less developed countries have positively adopted the western culture and hence enhancing global integration on the basis of one culture.
There is the hope that the global environmental challenges can be solved with the cooperation of various countries in the world. However, globalization might result in more environment pollution because with most up coming industries building factories in the third world countries that have no environmental regulation, the environment is likely to be more polluted (Sachs, 36).
Social and international cultural exchange
This is brought about by the increased travel by people of all nations with even fewer restrictions. The exchange of movies mainly from India and America has also played a great role in cultural exchange whereby many people can get a glimpse of various cultures of the world. Globalization has also brought about increased rates of international travel and tourism which has also facilitated cultural exchange (Terry, 37).
There has also been increased immigration which incorporates illegal immigration which has also played a significant role in cultural exchange on the international level. Globalization has also brought about increased worldwide sporting events good examples being the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games which have also brought about a lot of cultural exchange in the international level (Friedman, 71).
There has also been the integration of multinational corporations into new channels of media a good example being the Adidas being the chief sponsor of All Blacks rugby team have a website which provides an interactive rugby game which provides the fans with the chance to compete and play the game of rugby.
Globalization has brought about the development of global transport and communication infrastructure which creates a platform for the flow of information and technology too many countries in the world. There has also been a variety of global standards such as patents and copyright laws all over the world (Sheila, 10).
Legal and ethical effects
There has been the formation of international bodies and institutes that are concerned with legal and ethical matters worldwide. Such institutes as the International criminal court (The Hague) and International justice movements have been established for these effects. There is also the concept of crime importation and there has been global campaign for making people all over the world to be aware of efforts the international community is employing in global crime fighting strategies especially against such things as genocides and terrorism (Jurgen, 17).
Most multinationals are benefiting on free labor or very cheap labor. Some multinationals like Nike have been noted to employ child-labor which is cheap to the company but very unethical.
Poor countries have been exploited by richer countries in the modern trend of globalization. Developing countries are mostly at a disadvantage. There are countries that try to save their national market especially those that are dependent on agriculture as the main source of income. Globalization has ensured that there will never be a fairer ground for international markets competition between the third world and first world countries. The first world countries always are at an advantage (Sachs, 45).
Third world countries or developing countries have been exploited by the developed countries as a part of globalization. Countries without technical know-how have been exploited by increased globalization as they are used as the providers of raw-materials while the developed countries are involved with the more lucrative processes such as processing and marketing the finished products.
These countries have also been exploited by being sold technology at very exorbitant rates. Things that are necessary for a country have been sold to the poor countries at very exorbitant rates (Terry, 37).
Offshore workers are far cheaper than the domestic workforce especially in the developed countries. This has contributed to too many people being unemployed in the domestic workforce while those employed by outsourcing companies are very lowly paid. This means the companies are not looking out for the welfare of the workers but only want to increase their profit margins. Many American companies are employing people from outside America. These people are in developing countries and have the vulnerability of getting low pay.
Deteriorating global environment
Globalization has led to the deterioration of the global environment and so is endangering the livelihood of the people. It has brought about the establishment of many industries which are emitting environmental pollution to the environment. There has been increased water, air and soil pollution as a result of the industrial waste that is being left on the water, air and soil. There is also the affinity to global warming which is responsible for many natural disasters witnessed in the modern times. This has affected countries like Japan with many earthquakes, America with Hurricanes and the African continent with famines (Terry. 57).
There has been introduction of western cultures into other cultures which have contributed greatly to the deterioration of culture conflict. Many people are in a dilemma of which culture to adopt and do away with. It has also brought the culture of consumerism which is a negative effect to the people (Patrick).
Globalization can be blamed for the spreading of various diseases and is also blamed for the emergence of many diseases. In the transportation technology advancement, there is the risk of disease agents traveling from one region and hence enhancing the spread of many diseases in the world. Terrorists have used some aspects of globalization to convey their terrorist acts and this has led to viral and bacterial terrorism which puts the health of many people especially in the western countries.
Many countries in the world are losing their sovereignty due to globalization. There is the creation of universal government and politically the US has had a political dominion over the other countries for some decades now. The US government is interfering with other nations’ sovereignty and is practically the ruling nation in the world with its control over the United Nations (Sheila, 15).
This study has come to the conclusion that globalization has both negative and positive effects. However, the positive effects are far much more than the negative effects. It will be a positive thing for the world to do to incorporate globalization because the world stands the chance of gaining many benefits.
The world if it embraces globalization stands the chance of improving the livelihood of millions of people around the world. This is because it is evidenced in the study that globalization has helped increased literacy levels, food security, access to technology and various other aspects of life.
Globalization is a desirable thing and since the world is changing in many ways globalization is inevitable. Ignoring globalization would lead to country having no external link and hence the citizens will end up suffering. No country is self sufficient these days and all countries have the need to export and most importantly import from other countries. Such things as medicine and fuel are essential to a country hence the need for international market.
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